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Letter to Michael Gove to clarify UK Gov spending proposals that would bypass Scottish Parliament

10 May 2019

Michael Gove MP

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Seacole Building

2 Marsham Street



Dear Michael,

I am writing to you to ask for clarification on your recent proposal that would see the UK Government choosing to bypass the Scottish Parliament and dictate spending in devolved areas.

As a Member of the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee, I know that making decisions about Scotland, in Scotland, has seen great strides made in improving our police services with extra officers, reducing crime to a 41-year low, improving community-based alternatives to short-term prison sentences, and passing legislation to create specific offences to tackle domestic abuse and human trafficking.

As we celebrate 20 years of the Scottish Parliament, few would question the fact that devolution has been positive for Scotland. I am extremely worried that your plans to roll back on these devolved powers could set our improvements in Justice policy backwards.

For this argument to be used by a UK government minister, who well understands how devolution works, is little short of outrageous. It’s an unambiguous attack on the powers of the Scottish Parliament.

Control over devolved spending should be a matter for Holyrood, not imposed by a UK government at Westminster who have recently shown little regard for Scotland. It is vital that powers over Justice remain in the hands of the Scottish Parliament.

Will you explicitly rule out any plans to diminish the devolution process and offer assurances that the UK government will not seek to seize control of devolved spending in Scotland?

I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

Rona Mackay MSP

MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden constituency

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