Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture Committee
The UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Act 2021 (‘the Continuity Act’) provides Scottish Ministers with a power to help meet the Scottish Government’s commitment to align with future developments in EU law, where appropriate.
The Continuity Act requires Scottish Ministers to lay before Parliament a Policy Statement and an Annual Report on the use and intended use of the ‘keeping pace’ power, including a draft for consultation. The Act allows the Parliament 28 days to consider the draft report, and after the final version is laid, a further 28 days.
On 27 October 2022, the Scottish Government laid a draft Annual Report on its use and considered use of the power for the reporting period of 1 September 2021 to 31 August 2022, and the intended future use of the power in the upcoming reporting period of 1 September 2022 to 31 August 2023.
The Committee took evidence from the Cabinet Secretary on the draft Annual Report at its meeting on 17 November 2022.
In a letter to the Scottish Government on 24 November 2022, the Committee reported on its views on the draft Annual Report.
The Committee received three responses to its call for views on the draft Policy Statement and draft Annual Report. The Committee also received a briefing paper from its advisers, and then took evidence on 18 November 2021, on the draft documents.
In a letter to the Scottish Government on 25 November 2021, the Committee reported on its views on the draft documents.
On 10 May 2022, the Scottish Government laid a revised Policy Statement and Annual Report, in addition to a document setting out how the Scottish Government has considered the representations received regarding the drafts laid.