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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS

Meeting of the Parliament

Vol 4, No 43

Thursday 16 January 2003

 
 

Note: (DT) signifies a decision taken at Decision Time.

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1. The Current International Situation: John Swinney moved S1M-3760—That the Parliament endorses United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441 on the basis that it provides a mandate for weapons inspection in Iraq; welcomes the legal opinion of Matrix Chambers on behalf of CND which concluded that Resolution 1441 does not provide an authorisation for military action in Iraq and that any such use of force would breach international law; believes that UN weapons inspectors must be afforded total freedom of access in Iraq and to all evidence in the possession of other states, together with sufficient time in order to produce a comprehensive report for the consideration of the Security Council on the state of Iraqi compliance with the resolution; believes that no commitment of UK forces should be made without a specific mandate for military action in Iraq in the form of a further Security Council resolution based on clear, published and compelling evidence provided by the UN inspectorate of a material breach of Resolution 1441, and expresses its deep and serious concern that Her Majesty's Government is currently pursuing an inevitable path to war.

Tom McCabe moved amendment S1M-3760.3 to motion S1M-3760—

Leave out from "endorses" to end and insert—

"notes the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441 as unanimously adopted by the Security Council; agrees that the Government of Iraq must comply fully with all the provisions of that resolution and that, if it fails to do so, the Security Council should meet in order to consider the situation and the need for full compliance; notes that a further material breach of Iraq’s obligations under Resolution 1441 will be reported to the Security Council for assessment; further notes that responsibility for policy on this matter lies with Her Majesty’s Government, and also notes the current support given to the Middle East peace process by Her Majesty’s Government."

Tavish Scott moved amendment S1M-3760.2 to motion S1M-3760—

Leave out from "endorses" to end and insert—

"recognises the reserved nature of issues relating to the current international situation and the public concerns that exist and therefore agrees to support UN Security Resolution 1441 as unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council; agrees that the Government of Iraq must fully comply with all the provisions of the resolution; agrees that, if it fails to do so, the UN Security Council should meet in order to consider the situation and the need for full compliance; believes that any decision that Iraq is in "material breach" of Resolution 1441 is for the UN Security Council as a whole to determine and that no military action to enforce Resolution 1441 should be taken against Iraq without a mandate from the UN Security Council, and further believes that no British forces should be committed to any military action against Iraq without a debate in the House of Commons and a substantive motion in favour."

The amendment was, with the leave of the Parliament, withdrawn.

Tommy Sheridan moved amendment S1M-3760.1 to motion S1M-3760—

leave out from second "believes" to end and insert—

"considers the Iraq inspections should be the first stage in comprehensive investigations of weapons of mass destruction possessed and being pursued by states throughout the world, including the USA, UK, Israel, Pakistan, India, North Korea, Russia and any others who must be persuaded to allow full and comprehensive assessments of nuclear, chemical, biological and other weapons of mass destruction, with a view of pursuing genuine and all-encompassing disarmament of such weapons throughout the world; believes that there is no moral, humanitarian or military reason to go to war with Iraq whether or not the UN gives its approval, and therefore calls on all MSPs to oppose the coming war by all means possible including civil disobedience."

The amendment was, with the leave of the Parliament, withdrawn.

Phil Gallie moved amendment S1M-3760.3.1 to amendment S1M-3760.3—

Insert at end—

"and extends its full support to our armed forces if, as a consequence of an Iraqi failure to comply, military action should prove necessary."

After debate, amendment S1M-3760.3.1 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 20, Against 3, Abstentions 98).

Tavish Scott moved amendment S1M-3760.3.3 to amendment S1M-3760.3—

leave out from "notes" to end and insert—

"recognises the reserved nature of issues relating to the current international situation and the public concerns that exist and therefore agrees to support UN Security Resolution 1441 as unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council; agrees that the Government of Iraq must fully comply with all the provisions of the resolution; agrees that, if it fails to do so, the UN Security Council should meet in order to consider the situation and the need for full compliance; believes that any decision that Iraq is in "material breach" of resolution 1441 is for the UN Security Council as a whole to determine and that no military action to enforce Resolution 1441 should be taken against Iraq without a mandate from the UN Security Council, and further believes that no British forces should be committed to any military action against Iraq without a debate in the House of Commons and a substantive motion in favour."

After debate, amendment S1M-3760.3.3 was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 51, Against 67, Abstentions 3).

Tommy Sheridan moved amendment S1M-3760.3.2 to amendment S1M-3760.3—

leave out from "notes" to end and insert—

"endorses United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441 on the basis that it provides a mandate for weapons inspection in Iraq; welcomes the legal opinion of Matrix Chambers on behalf of CND which concluded that Resolution 1441 does not provide an authorisation for military action in Iraq and that any such use of force would breach international law; believes that UN weapons inspectors must be afforded total freedom of access in Iraq and to all evidence in the possession of other states, together with sufficient time in order to produce a comprehensive report for the consideration of the Security Council on the state of Iraqi compliance with the resolution; considers the Iraq inspections should be the first stage in comprehensive investigations of weapons of mass destruction possessed and being pursued by states throughout the world, including the USA, UK, Israel, Pakistan, India, North Korea, Russia and any others who must be persuaded to allow full and comprehensive assessments of nuclear, chemical, biological and other weapons of mass destruction, with a view of pursuing genuine and all-encompassing disarmament of such weapons throughout the world; believes that there is no moral, humanitarian or military reason to go to war with Iraq whether or not the UN gives its approval, and therefore calls on all MSPs to oppose the coming war by all means possible including civil disobedience."

After debate, amendment S1M-3760.3.2 was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 6, Against 112, Abstentions 3).

Amendment S1M-3760.3 as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 66, Against 51, Abstentions 3).

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 67, Against 51, Abstentions 3).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441 as unanimously adopted by the Security Council; agrees that the Government of Iraq must comply fully with all the provisions of that resolution and that, if it fails to do so, the Security Council should meet in order to consider the situation and the need for full compliance; notes that a further material breach of Iraq’s obligations under Resolution 1441 will be reported to the Security Council for assessment; further notes that responsibility for policy on this matter lies with Her Majesty’s Government, and also notes the current support given to the Middle East peace process by Her Majesty’s Government and extends its full support to our armed forces if, as a consequence of an Iraqi failure to comply, military action should prove necessary.

2. Business Motion: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau moved S1M-3767— That the Parliament agrees—

(a) the following programme of business—

Wednesday 22 January 2003

2:30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Stage 3 Debate of Land Reform (Scotland) Bill

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5:00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business – debate on the subject of S1M-3430 Brian Adam: Safety Campaign on Diesel Spills

Thursday 23 January 2003

9:30 am Continuation of Stage 3 of Land Reform (Scotland) Bill

followed by Business Motion

2:30 pm Question Time

3:10 pm First Minister's Question Time

3:30 pm Continuation of Stage 3 of Land Reform (Scotland) Bill

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5:00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business – debate on the subject of S1M-3751 George Lyon: Rural Communities and Renewable Energy

Wednesday 29 January 2003

2:30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Stage 3 of Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Bill

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

7:00 pm Decision Time

Thursday 30 January 2003

9:30 am Green Party and Scottish Socialist Party Business

followed by Business Motion

followed by Members' Business

2:30 pm Question Time

3:10 pm First Minister's Question Time

3:30 pm Stage 1 debate on the Budget (Scotland) Bill

followed by Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body’s nomination for the Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner

followed by Standards Committee motion on changes to the Code of Conduct

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5:00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business

(b) that the Justice 1 Committee reports to the Justice 2 Committee by 20th January 2003 on the Act of Sederunt (Fees of Sheriff Officers) (No.2) 2002 and on the Act of Sederunt (Fees of Solicitors in the Sheriff Court) (Amendment No.4) 2002

and (c) that Stage 2 of the Law Society of Scotland Bill be completed by 28 February 2003.

The motion was agreed to.

3. Question Time: Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister and other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

4. Stage 1 – Dog Fouling Scotland: Keith Harding moved S1M-3241—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Dog Fouling (Scotland) Bill.

After debate, motion was agreed to (DT).

5. Approval of an SSI: Euan Robson moved, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, S1M-3770—That the Parliament agrees that the Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast) (No.16) (Scotland) Order 2002 (SSI 2002/544) be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

6. Establishment of a Committee: Euan Robson moved, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, S1M-3776—That the Parliament agrees to establish a committee of the Parliament as follows—

Name of Committee: Commissioner for Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill Committee

Remit: To consider the Commissioner for Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill

Duration: Until the Bill is passed, or falls or is otherwise no longer in progress

Convenership: The Convener will be a member of the Scottish National Party and the Deputy Convener a member of the Scottish Liberal Democrat Party

Membership: Jackie Baillie, Donald Gorrie, Irene McGugan, Jamie McGrigor, Kay Ullrich and Karen Whitefield.

The motion was agreed to (DT)

7. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 4, 5, and 6 as noted above.

8. Member’s Business: The Parliament debated S1M-3679 in the name of Johann Lamont—That the Parliament notes with concern the lack of regulation of the private rented housing sector, despite the capacity of that sector to receive public funding through housing benefit; further notes the stark contrast between the obligations placed on landlords in the social rented sector and landlords in the private rented sector; believes that private sector landlords who are in receipt of public funding should be expected to meet minimum standards and procedures in the way that their properties are managed, in order to protect the rights of private sector tenants and their neighbours and to ensure probity in the distribution of public funds, and considers that the Scottish Executive should address these serious matters as a matter of priority.

The meeting closed at 17.51 pm.

P E Grice

Clerk of the Parliament

16 January 2003

Appendix

(Note: this Appendix does not form part of the Minutes)


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