Scotland Bill (HL Bill 73)

A

BILL

TO

Amend the Scotland Act 1998 and make provision about the functions of the
Scottish Ministers; and for connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Part 1 Constitutional arrangements

The Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government

1 Permanence of the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government

5In the Scotland Act 1998 after Part 2 (the Scottish Administration) insert—

“Part 2A Permanence of the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government
63A Permanence of the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government

(1) The Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government are a permanent
10part of the United Kingdom’s constitutional arrangements.

(2) The purpose of this section is, with due regard to the other provisions
of this Act, to signify the commitment of the Parliament and
Government of the United Kingdom to the Scottish Parliament and the
Scottish Government.

(3) 15In view of that commitment it is declared that the Scottish Parliament
and the Scottish Government are not to be abolished except on the basis
of a decision of the people of Scotland voting in a referendum.”

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The Sewel convention

2 The Sewel convention

In section 28 of the Scotland Act 1998 (Acts of the Scottish Parliament) at the
end add—

(8) 5But it is recognised that the Parliament of the United Kingdom will not
normally legislate with regard to devolved matters without the consent
of the Scottish Parliament.”

Elections etc

3 Elections

(1) 10Section B3 of Part 2 of Schedule 5 to the Scotland Act 1998 (elections) is
amended as follows.

(2) Under the heading “B3 Elections” insert—

(A) Elections for membership of the House of Commons and the European
Parliament”.

(3) 15For “, the European Parliament and the Parliament” substitute “and the
European Parliament”.

(4) Omit “The franchise at local government elections.”

(5) At the end insert—

(B) Elections for membership of the Parliament and local government elections in
20Scotland

The subject-matter of sections 2(2A) and 12A of this Act.

The combination of—

(a) polls at elections or referendums that are outside the legislative
competence of the Parliament with polls at—

(i) 25elections for membership of the Parliament, or

(ii) local government elections in Scotland, and

(b) polls at ordinary general elections for membership of the
Parliament with polls at ordinary local government elections in
Scotland.

30The timing of ordinary local government elections in Scotland where
the poll at such an election would otherwise be held on the same day as
the poll at an ordinary general election for membership of the
Parliament.

Any digital service provided by a Minister of the Crown for the
35registration of electors.

The subject matter of—

(a) Parts 5 and 6 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums
Act 2000 (expenditure in connection with elections) where a
limit applies to expenditure in relation to a period determined
40by reference both to the date of the poll for an election within

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the legislative competence of the Parliament and to the date of
the poll at an election for membership of the House of
Commons or the European Parliament, and

(b) sections 145 to 148 and 150 to 154 of that Act (enforcement) as
5they apply for the purposes of Part 5 or 6, so far as the subject-
matter of that Part is reserved by paragraph (a).

The subject matter of—

(a) sections 155 and 156 of the Political Parties, Elections and
Referendums Act 2000, except in relation to Parts 5 and 6 of that
10Act so far as those Parts relate to elections for membership of the
Parliament, and

(b) sections 145 to 148 and 150 to 154 of that Act as they apply for
the purposes of section 155 or 156, so far as the subject-matter of
that section is reserved by paragraph (a).

15The subject-matter of the following sections of the Political Parties,
Elections and Referendums Act 2000 in relation to elections for
membership of the Parliament—

(a) section 1, except in relation to—

(i) financing the Electoral Commission,

(ii) 20preparation, laying and publication by the Commission
of reports about the performance of its functions, and

(iii) provision by the Commission of copies of regulations
made by it or notice of the alteration or revocation of
such regulations,

(b) 25sections 2 to 4, 6(1)(e) and (f) (and (g) to the extent that it relates
to the law mentioned in those paragraphs),

(c) sections 12, 21 to 33, 35 to 37, 39 to 57, 58 to 67, 69, 71, 71F, 71G,
71H to 71Y and 140A,

(d) section 149 (except in relation to the register kept under section
3089),

(e) sections 157 and 159 to 163, and

(f) sections 145 to 148 and 150 to 154 as they apply for the purposes
of a provision mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (e), so far as the
subject matter of that provision is reserved by those paragraphs.

35Interpretation

Paragraph 5(1) of Part 3 of this Schedule does not apply to the subject-
matter of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000; and
references to the subject-matter of that Act are to be read as at the day
on which the Scotland Act 2015 received Royal Assent.”

4 40Power to make provision about elections

(1) For sections 12 and 12A of the Scotland Act 1998 (power of Scottish Ministers
and Secretary of State to make provision about elections) substitute—

12 Power of the Scottish Ministers to make provision about elections

(1) The Scottish Ministers may by order make any provision that would be
45within the legislative competence of the Parliament, if included in an
Act of the Scottish Parliament, as to—

(a) the conduct of elections for membership of the Parliament,

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(b) the questioning of such an election and the consequences of
irregularities, and

(c) the return of members of the Parliament otherwise than at an
election.

(2) 5The provision that may be made under subsection (1)(a) includes, in
particular, provision—

(a) about the registration of electors,

(b) for disregarding alterations in a register of electors,

(c) about the limitation of the election expenses of candidates,

(d) 10for the combination of polls,

(e) for modifying the application of section 7(1) where the poll at an
election for the return of a constituency member is abandoned
(or notice of it is countermanded), and

(f) for modifying section 8(7) to ensure the allocation of the correct
15number of seats for the region.

(3) The provision that may be made under subsection (1)(c) includes, in
particular, provision modifying section 10(4) to (5A).

(4) The provision that may be made under subsection (2)(a) does not
include provision about any digital service provided by a Minister of
20the Crown for the registration of electors.

(5) An order under subsection (1) may—

(a) apply, with or without modifications or exceptions, any
provision made by or under the Representation of the People
Acts or the European Parliamentary Elections Act 2002 or by
25any other enactment relating to parliamentary elections,
European Parliamentary elections or local government
elections, and

(b) so far as may be necessary in consequence of any provision
made by an order under subsection (1), modify any provision
30made by any enactment relating to the registration of
parliamentary electors or local government electors.

(6) The return of a member of the Parliament at an election may be
questioned only under Part 3 of the Representation of the People Act
1983 as applied by an order under subsection (1).

(7) 35For the purposes of this Act, the regional returning officer for any
region is the person designated as such in accordance with an order
made by the Scottish Ministers under this subsection.

12A Power of the Secretary of State to make provision about the
combination of polls

(1) 40The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision for—

(a) the combination of polls at ordinary general elections for
membership of the Parliament with polls at the elections listed
in subsection (2), and

(b) the combination of polls at extraordinary general elections for
45membership of the Parliament, and by-elections for
membership of the Parliament, with polls at the elections listed
in subsections (2) and (3).

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(2) The elections are—

(a) early parliamentary general elections,

(b) parliamentary by-elections, and

(c) European parliamentary by-elections.

(3) 5The elections are—

(a) parliamentary general elections, and

(b) European parliamentary general elections.

(4) The Secretary of State may not make regulations under this section
without the agreement of the Scottish Ministers.

(5) 10Regulations under subsection (1) may—

(a) apply, with or without modifications or exceptions, any
provision made by or under the Representation of the People
Acts or the European Parliamentary Elections Act 2002 or by
any other enactment relating to parliamentary elections,
15European Parliamentary elections or local government
elections, and

(b) modify any form contained in, or in regulations or rules made
under, the Representation of the People Acts so far as may be
necessary to enable it to be used both for the original purpose
20and in relation to elections for membership of the Parliament.”

(2) In section 15 of the Representation of the People Act 1985 (combination of
polls) after subsection (5B) insert—

(5C) Before making provision under subsection (5) in connection with the
combination of polls where one of the elections is a local government
25election in Scotland, the Secretary of State must consult the Scottish
Ministers.”

5 Timing of elections

(1) Section 2 of the Scotland Act 1998 (ordinary general elections) is amended as
follows.

(2) 30In subsection (2) from the words “the day” to the end substitute—

(a) subsection (2A) prevents the poll being held on that day, or

(b) the day of the poll is determined by a proclamation under
subsection (5).”

(3)
After subsection (2) insert—

(2A) 35The poll shall not be held on the same date as the date of the poll at—

(a) a parliamentary general election (other than an early
parliamentary general election), or

(b) a European parliamentary general election.

(2B) Where subsection (2A) prevents the poll being held on the day
40specified in subsection (2), the poll shall be held on such day, subject to
subsection (2A), as the Scottish Ministers may by order specify, unless
the day of the poll is determined by a proclamation under subsection
(5) as modified by subsection (5ZA).”

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(4) In subsection (3) after “May” insert “, or on the day specified by an order under
subsection (2B)”.

(5) In subsection (5) at the beginning insert “Subject to subsection (2A),”.

(6) After subsection (5) insert—

(5ZA) 5Where a day is specified by order under subsection (2B), subsection (5)
applies as if the reference to the first Thursday in May were a reference
to that day.”

(7) In paragraph 1(2) of Schedule 7 (procedure for subordinate legislation) in the
appropriate place insert—

“Section 2(2B) 10Type L”

(8) Section 43 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 (day of ordinary local
elections in Scotland, and other timing provisions) is amended as follows.

(9) In subsection (1) at the beginning insert “Subject to subsection (1ZA),”.

(10) After subsection (1) insert—

(1ZA) 15The poll shall not be held on the date specified by subsection (1) where
that date is the same date as the poll at an ordinary general election for
membership of the Scottish Parliament.

(1ZB) Subsection (1ZA) does not apply to elections to fill a casual vacancy.

(1ZC) The Scottish Ministers may by order specify an alternative date for the
20poll at an ordinary local election where the date of the poll would, by
virtue of subsection (1), be the same date as the poll at an ordinary
general election for membership of the Scottish Parliament.

(1ZD) An order made under subsection (1ZC) is subject to the affirmative
procedure.”

6 25Electoral registration: the digital service

(1) The Representation of the People Act 1983 is amended as follows.

(2) In section 10ZC (registration of electors in Great Britain) at the end insert—

(4) The power to make regulations under this section, so far as it is
exercisable by a Minister of the Crown to make provision about a UK
30digital service in relation to elections in Scotland, is exercisable by the
Scottish Ministers concurrently with that Minister.

(5) The power of the Scottish Ministers to make regulations by virtue of
subsection (4) is exercisable in the same ways and subject to the same
provisions as their power to make other regulations under this section,
35except that—

(a) the power is not exercisable without the agreement of a Minister
of the Crown, and

(b) regulations made in exercise of the power are subject to the
negative procedure.

(6) 40In this section—

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  • “election in Scotland” means—

    (a)

    an election for membership of the Scottish Parliament,
    or

    (b)

    a local government election in Scotland;

  • 5UK digital service” means a digital service provided by a
    Minister of the Crown for the registration of electors.

(3) In section 10ZD (registration of electors in Great Britain: alterations) at the end
insert—

(4) The power to make regulations under this section, so far as it is
10exercisable by a Minister of the Crown to make provision about a UK
digital service in relation to elections in Scotland, is exercisable by the
Scottish Ministers concurrently with that Minister.

(5) The power of the Scottish Ministers to make regulations by virtue of
subsection (4) is exercisable in the same ways and subject to the same
15provisions as their power to make other regulations under this section,
except that—

(a) the power is not exercisable without the agreement of a Minister
of the Crown, and

(b) regulations made in exercise of the power are subject to the
20negative procedure.

(6) In this section “election in Scotland” and “UK digital service” have the
same meaning as in section 10ZC.

(4) In section 53 (power to make regulations about registration etc) at the end
insert—

(9) 25The power to make regulations under this section, so far as it is
exercisable by a Minister of the Crown to make provision about a UK
digital service in relation to elections in Scotland, is exercisable by the
Scottish Ministers concurrently with that Minister.

(10) The power of the Scottish Ministers to make regulations by virtue of
30subsection (9) is exercisable in the same ways and subject to the same
provisions as their power to make other regulations under this section,
except that—

(a) the power is not exercisable without the agreement of a Minister
of the Crown, and

(b) 35regulations made in exercise of the power are subject to the
negative procedure.

(11) In subsection (9)—

  • “election in Scotland” means—

    (a)

    an election for membership of the Scottish Parliament,
    40or

    (b)

    a local government election in Scotland;

  • UK digital service” means a digital service provided by a
    Minister of the Crown for the registration of electors.”

7 Expenditure in connection with elections

(1) 45The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 is amended as
follows.

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(2) After section 72 (campaign expenditure) insert—

72A Campaign expenditure: power of Scottish Ministers

(1) The powers under the following provisions of Schedule 8 are
exercisable by the Scottish Ministers instead of the Secretary of State, so
5far as they relate to polls at elections for membership of the Scottish
Parliament—

(a) paragraph 3(3) (power to approve a draft code of practice
prepared by the Electoral Commission),

(b) paragraph 3(7) (power to appoint day when code comes into
10force), and

(c) paragraph 4(1) (power to amend Part 1 of Schedule 8).

(2) For the purposes of the exercise by the Scottish Ministers of the powers
mentioned in subsection (1), paragraphs 3 and 4 of Schedule 8 apply—

(a) as if any reference to the Secretary of State were a reference to
15the Scottish Ministers,

(b) as if any reference to “each House of Parliament”, “each House”,
“either House”, “both Houses” or “Parliament” were a reference
to the Scottish Parliament,

(c) as if in paragraph 3(9) for the words from “means—” to the end
20there were substituted “means the period of 40 days beginning
with the day on which the draft is laid before the Scottish
Parliament.”

(3) Subsection (1) does not apply to a power so far as it relates to
circumstances where a limit applies to expenditure in relation to a
25period determined by reference both to the date of the poll for an
election for membership of the Scottish Parliament and to the date of
any other election.”

(3) After section 85 (controlled expenditure of third parties) insert—

85A Controlled expenditure of third parties: power of Scottish Ministers

(1) 30The powers under the following provisions of Schedule 8A are
exercisable by the Scottish Ministers instead of the Secretary of State, so
far as they relate to polls at elections for membership of the Scottish
Parliament—

(a) paragraph 3(3) (power to approve a draft code of practice
35prepared by the Electoral Commission),

(b) paragraph 3(7) (power to appoint day when code comes into
force), and

(c) paragraph 4(1) (power to amend Part 1 of Schedule 8A).

(2) For the purposes of the exercise by the Scottish Ministers of the powers
40mentioned in subsection (1), paragraphs 3 and 4 of Schedule 8A
apply—

(a) as if any reference to the Secretary of State were a reference to
the Scottish Ministers,

(b) as if any reference to “each House of Parliament”, “each House”,
45“either House”, “both Houses” or “Parliament” were a reference
to the Scottish Parliament,

(c) as if in paragraph 3(9) for the words from “means—” to the end
there were substituted “means the period of 40 days beginning

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with the day on which the draft is laid before the Scottish
Parliament.”

(3) Subsection (1) does not apply to a power so far as it relates to
circumstances where a limit applies to expenditure in relation to a
5period determined by reference both to the date of the poll for an
election for membership of the Scottish Parliament and to the date of
any other election.”

(4) After section 95 (control of donations to recognised third parties) insert—

95ZA Control of donation to recognised third parties: power of Scottish
10Ministers

(1) The powers under the following provisions of Schedule 11 are
exercisable by the Scottish Ministers instead of the Secretary of State, so
far as they relate to polls at elections for membership of the Scottish
Parliament—

(a) 15paragraph 3(4) (power to change meaning of defined expenses
and sponsorship),

(b) paragraph 6A(6) (power to make regulations about how the
value of a benefit is calculated), and

(c) paragraph 6B(4) (power to make regulations about the retention
20of declarations).

(2) For the purposes of the exercise by the Scottish Ministers of the powers
mentioned in subsection (1), paragraphs 3, 6A and 6B of Schedule 11
apply as if any reference to the Secretary of State was a reference to the
Scottish Ministers.

(3) 25Subsection (1) does not apply to a power so far as it relates to
circumstances where a limit applies to expenditure in relation to a
period determined by reference both to the date of the poll for an
election for membership of the Scottish Parliament and to the date of
any other election.”

(5) 30Section 95ZA inserted by subsection (4) has effect—

(a) until the coming into force of paragraph 1(2) of Schedule 3 to the
Political Parties and Elections Act 2009, with the omission of subsection
(1)(b) and “6A” in subsection (2);

(b) until the coming into force of paragraph 4(2) of Schedule 4 to that Act,
35with the omission of subsection (1)(c) and “and 6B” in subsection (2).

(6) Section 155 (power to vary specified sums or percentages) is amended as
follows.

(7) In subsection (1) at the beginning insert “Except where subsection (1A)
applies,”.

(8) 40After subsection (1) insert—

(1A) The Scottish Ministers may by order vary any sum for the time being
specified in Part 5 or 6 so far as that sum applies in relation to an
election the conduct of which is within the legislative competence of the
Scottish Parliament.”

(9) 45In subsection (2)—