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Summary

  1. The Social Security Committee takes evidence on the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill
  2. Nicola Sturgeon is quizzed by opposition MSPs during first minister's questions
  3. The Scottish government lead a debate on defence basing reforms and their impact on Scotland

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Colin Bell

All times stated are UK

Goodnight from Holyrood Live

Holyrood night
BBC

That brings the coverage of the Scottish Parliament on the 20th April 2017 to a close.

We'll be back on Tuesday.

Have a good night. 

The Scotland Act 2016 - Standing Order Rule Changes are agreed to

The Scotland Act 2016 - Standing Order Rule Changes are agreed to.

The Scottish government motion as amended by Labour is agreed to

The Scottish government motion for the defence debate, as amended by Labour, is agreed to with 74 MSPs for and with 37 against.

Government motion
Scottish Parliament
Labour amendment
Scottish Parliament

The Scottish Labour amendment is agreed to

The Scottish Labour amendment is agreed to with 74 MSPs backing it and with 36 against.

Scottish Labour amendment
Scottish Parliament

The Scottish Conservative amendment to the defence debate is not agreed to

The Scottish Conservative amendment to the defence debate is not agreed to, with 31 MSPs for and with 80 against.

Tory amendment
Scottish Parliament

Scotland Act 2016 - Standing Order Rule Changes

Scotland Act 2016 - Standing Order Rule Changes
BBC

SNP MSP Clare Adamson speaks to the Scotland Act 2016 - Standing Order Rule Changes

Ms Adamson says a report sets out details of the changes being proposed in regard to votes on a Bill.

She moves the motion in her name. 

SNP MSP Clare Adamson
BBC
SNP MSP Clare Adamson

'There has been no engagement with the Scottish government'

Veterans Minister Keith Brown says the UK government has never worked together with the Scottish government.

Mr Brown says: "There has been no engagement with the Scottish government."

Tory MSP Edward Mountain asks if there is one barracks in Scotland that the minister would accept is not fit for purpose.

The veterans minister says the UK government should have made the case for the closures it has announced.

RAF base at Leuchars
bbc
The Duke of Edinburgh visited one of the new army battalions which took over the former RAF base at Leuchars in Fife in 2015

He says the Conservative position is that the SNP believe that all military personnel are dispensable which blows away the consenus about military personnel. 

Tory MSP Maurice Golden clearly in reference to the way the SNP are treating this issue and asks how many military personel will there be in an independent Scotland.

The minister says Mr Golden's comments were 'dispicable'.

That' brings the debate to a close.

'This is about communities and people'

Mr Brown says the Tory MSPs "cannot muster" opposition to the closures.

The economy secretary says "this is about communities and people."

Keith Brown and Mike Rumbles
BBC

He says he has been minister for veterans for the past seven years. 

Mr Brown says that Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles blamed the SNP for the closures which "makes no sense at all".

Mr Rumbles intevenes to say the minister is "deliberately" misunderstanding the point he was making which was that the Scottish and UK governments should work together. 

Minister says not one Tory MSP opposed military base closures in Scotland

Veterans Minister Keith Brown
bbc
Veterans Minister Keith Brown

Economy Secretary Keith Brown says these are far reaching defence cuts.

The minister for veterans asks why there is not a single Conservative MSP who will oppose a single closure, whereas Tories down south fell they can oppose closures in their constituencies.

Tory MSP Douglas Ross says he opposed the closure at Kinloss.

Mr Brown says his understanding of what Douglas Ross is saying is this was a closure that was never going to happen but he prevented it anyway, which is bizarre.

He says Conservative MSP Jackson Carlaw will regret referring to the bases to be closed as a "heritage tour" which the cabinet secretary says was "dripping with contempt".

'We must deliver' for armed forces in local communities

Douglas Ross
BBC

Mr Ross says he sees the impact of the armed forces in local communities and "we must deliver for them".

The Tory MSP says "we are all proud of the service personnel in Scotland" and he hopes that despite the political points made today that they are aware of this.

Background: SNP MP concerned for future of Kinloss Barracks in Moray

A Nimrod aircraft
BBC
A Nimrod aircraft at Kinloss before the planes were scrapped and site later closed as an air station

In August the SNP raised concerns about the future of Kinloss Barracks in Moray.

Moray MP Angus Robertson said he had been told by an "impeccable source" at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) the former air station could be closed.

The MoD carried out a review of its property portfolio and land no longer needed is being sold off and the money raised invested in the armed forces.

Kinloss is not among sites named in the review and the MoD said no decisions have been made about future ones.

Tory MSP accuses SNP MP Angus Robertson of 'shameful actions' over Kinloss base

Tory MSP Douglas Ross
bbc
Tory MSP Douglas Ross

Tory MSP Douglas Ross says his home in Moray sits between Kinloss Barracks and RAF Lossiemouth.

Mr Ross says he sees the UK government's investment in Moray day in and day out.

He criticises the "shameful actions" of SNP MP Angus Robertson, who he says quoted an "impeccable source" saying Kinloss Barracks was to close, causing unnessesary worry 

Economy Secretary Keith Brown says Mr Ross "deserted the battlefield" in the defence to retain Kinloss.

Mr Ross ask if the cabinet secretary is accepting the SNP made up the claims of the danger to Kinloss.

'Future capabilities must meet new threats'

Labour MSP David Stewart
BBC
Labour MSP David Stewart

Labour MSP David Stewart says there are several MSPs with military experience and were able to use that for a depth of views.

Mr Stewart says members have talked about closures in their own constituencies and the impact on local areas. 

The Labour MSP says it needs to be considered how closures will be mitigated. 

He says the "future capabilities must meet new threats." 

Mr Stewart says Tory MSP Edward Mountain's idea about setting up a working party is a good one and he would very much like to sign up to it. 

'It is quite disgraceful' Glencorse Barracks is on the MoD 'hitlist'

SNP  MSP Christine Grahame
bbc
SNP MSP Christine Grahame

SNP  MSP Christine Grahame says she will visit the communities affected by the closure of Glencorse barracks in her constituency.

The Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale MSP she finds the words about engagement of the UK government in the Tory amendment quite strange.

She says: "There was no engagement."

It is the decanting of families from which they are settled that is worrying, says the SNP MSP.

Ms Grahame says Glencorse is a part of the Midlothian community and "it is quite disgraceful it should be on a hit list".

'Up our way we hold our military personnel in high regard'

SNP MSP Graeme Dey
BBC
SNP MSP Graeme Dey

SNP MSP Graeme Dey says the MOD's approach to Condor is "haphazard".

Mr Dey says it is up to the MOD to make sure equipment is suitable for use and in a good state of repair and they have not been doing so.

"Up our way we hold our military personnel in high regard," he says

A 'once in a generation opportunity' to modernise military infrastructure

Tory MSP Edward Mountain
BBC
Tory MSP Edward Mountain

Tory MSP Edward Mountain says he was a soldier and his son still is.

Mr Mountain says the SNP are showing their true obsession and it has nothing to do with defence.

The Tory MSP says the Scottish government are showing indifference to military personnel. 

He says solders in Inverness need to travel to England for training. 

Mr Mountain asks if those who oppose the closures can honestly say that they are happy for military personnel to receive less training in favour of remaining at historic bases.

He says this is a once in a generation opportunity to modernise military infrastructure and, he says, he "means a generation". 

Communities across the country set to see their close ties with the military severed - Lib Dem MSP

Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles
BBC
Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles

Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles says many communities across the country are set to see their close ties with the military severed.

Mr Rumbles says the SNP government has failed to hold much influence over the UK government and he wonders what the SNP MPs can achieve in Westminster.

The Lib Dem MSP says he would like to see the SNP government and UK government working more closely together.

He says it makes good sense to have three main military centres in Scotland. 

Background: Defence review to see dozens of sites close

Defence secretary Michael Fallon
PA
Defence secretary Michael Fallon said new sites would be chosen because of 'employment opportunities in the community'

The UK government will sell off 56 more defence sites by 2040, the defence secretary told MPs last November..

Sir Michael Fallon said the sale of the sites - part of a review of Ministry of Defence land - was in addition to the sale of 35 MoD sites that had previously been announced.

Unions called the plans "brutal" and promised to fight the closures.

But Sir Michael said it would deliver better value for money and release enough land to build 55,000 homes.

It is estimated that about £140m will be saved over the next decade by selling off the sites, which Sir Michael said would be reinvested in creating "areas of military expertise" in locations across the country.

More than 32,000 acres of defence land will be released, including 10 surplus airfields and five golf courses.

Read more here.

There will be an impact on the local Stirling area says SNP MSP

SNP MSP Bruce Crawford
BBC
SNP MSP Bruce Crawford

SNP MSP Bruce Crawford says the Meadowforth Barracks are in his constituency. 

Mr Crawford says this site has been listed for closure but there is no clarity on where the personnel will go. 

He says the Forthside base is also in his constituency and this will move to Leuchars but, in his view, it is already in the right place.

The SNP MSP says, as a result of the loss of this workforce, there will be an impact on the Stirling area.

He says that these things do matter to people 

Opportunities to turn 'barracks into homes and swords into ploughshares'

Green MSP Mark Ruskell says he acknowledges the dialogue and consultation by the UK government has been pretty derisory.

Mr Ruskell says he does not really understand Westminster's logic about the way it is operating towards the Scottish government.

Green MSP Mark Ruskell
bbc
Green MSP Mark Ruskell

The Green MSP says people in Fife my be sad to see the Navy leave Rosyth, but there are opportunities for the site.

He says there are exciting opportunities with the closure of Forthside in Stirling.

The Green MSP says the Meadowforth Barracks is a brownfield site which ticks all of the boxes to create affordable housing.

He says there are opportunities to turn "barracks into homes and swords into plowshares".

'Dark hand of the UK Treasury'

SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson
bbc

SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson says today the threats the country faces are fewer from states they are now from non-state actors.

The Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP says nuclear weapons have not deterred a single person in ISIS or North Korea.

He warns against the "dark hand of the UK Treasury".

The SNP MSP says the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was so close to the coast of Banff he could see men walking on its deck.

Maritime threats must be addressed and navy bases maintained he says.

UK warship escorts Russian carrier

'Freedom does not come free'

Tory MSP Maurice Golden pays tribute to the men and women who serve across all branches of the military. 

"Freedom does not come free," he says.

Tory MSP Maurice Golden
BBC
Tory MSP Maurice Golden

Mr Golden says he is sad to see the closures but that the defence estate needs to be modernised. 

The Tory MSP says he wants to see British defence infrastructure investment continue in Scotland. 

He says direct employment at the Faslane base is currently 6,500.

Background: Scottish Army units face 'upheaval' under reforms

Army units in Scotland are to undergo significant change under a package of reforms announced by the government in December.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said the changes "sustain" the Army's footprint in the devolved nations.

But Scottish government minister Keith Brown expressed concern about the "upheaval" faced by soldiers and their families.

The plan involves at least three battalions of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

In April soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland marked the 10th anniversary of its creation
MARK OWENS/ARMY HQ SCOTLAND
In April soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland marked the 10th anniversary of its creation

The 4th battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland and the 1st battalion of the Scots Guards will become part of a new mechanised "strike brigade".

The 1st battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland (1 Scots) which is currently based in Belfast, is to be one of a new type of specialised infantry battalion.

Sir Michael revealed the changes in a written statement to parliament.

Other moves in the plan include the 3rd battalion The Rifles relocating from Edinburgh to Catterick in 2021.

The 3rd battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland will leave Fort George in 2032 but remain in Scotland, although their new base has yet to be confirmed.

SNP MSP says the UK government are slashing around a fifth of the defence footprint in Scotland

SNP MSP Gordon Macdonald
bbc
SNP MSP Gordon Macdonald

Pentlands MSP Gordon Macdonald says Redford Calvary Barracks and Redford Infantry Barracks, in his constituency, are set for closure.

The SNP MSP says the UK government are slashing around a fifth of the defence footprint in Scotland.

He says the UK government is willing to spend billions of pounds on weapons of mass destruction as it closes military bases.

'The loss of any military base is a blow to the local area'

David Stewart
BBC

Mr Stewart says Labour will be supporting the government motion and the party's amendment understands the importance of military bases in Scotland. 

The Labour MSP says the amendment calls on the UK government to halt closures until there is proper engagement on the plans. 

He says when military bases are scheduled to close, staff must be offered training and support.

"The loss of any military base is a blow to the local area," he says.

Labour MSP quotes Armistice Day epitaph

When you go home tell them of us and say for their tomorrow we gave our today."

John Maxwell EdmondsEnglish classicist, poet and dramatist

Fort George closure is huge blow to the defence footprint in Scotland and the Highlands

Labour MSP David Stewart s
bbc
Labour MSP David Stewart s

Labour MSP David Stewart says armed forces personnel have a social covenant with our country at times of peace and at times of war.

Mr Stewart says he has tremendous admiration for the army and veterans.

He says Fort George is minutes from his home and is scheduled to be closed.

The Labour MSP says the original decision to close Fort George led to a storm of protest led by the actor Hugh Grant.

He says the base closure is huge blow to the defence footprint in Scotland and the Highlands.

Labour MSP calls on the UK government to halt all and any base closures

Labour MSP David Stewart uses his amendment to highlight the crucial economic and social contribution of military bases in Scotland.

Mr Stewart calls on the UK government to halt all and any base closures until it has prepared and consulted on full economic assessment and employment diversification plans.

Here is the Labour amendment

Here is the Labour amendment.

Labour amendment
Scottish Parliament

'You whinge as a Scottish government while the UK government protects the nation'

Jackson Carlaw
BBC

Mr Carlaw says the base at Leuchars will be expanded and a contract for a new aircraft has been given to the Lossiemouth base which will create 100 jobs.

The Tory MSP says none of this would be possible in the "nightmare" of an independent Scotland. 

He says it is critical for Britain to keep trident due to international uncertainty. 

Mr Carlaw says Scotland is better served by remaining British. 

"You whinge as a Scottish government while the UK government protects the nation," he says. 

Defence estate review

Defence estate review
AFP

Tory MSP says the Scottish military base reduction is less than that of the UK as a whole

Conservative MSP Jackson Carlaw says the military state is financially unsustainable.

Mr Carlaw says some of the assets are too old.

The Tory MSP says everyone understands the concerns about communities around the eight bases.

He says the Scottish base reduction is less than that of the UK as a whole.

SNP MSP Bruce Crawford says the long term trend shows Scotland is facing a greater reduction in armed forces, but Mr Carlaw says he does not accept that.

The plans will ensure the UK's infrastructure is well equipped says Tory MSP

Tory MSP Jackson Carlaw
BBC
Tory MSP Jackson Carlaw

Tory MSP Jackson Carlaw says the plans will ensure the UK's infrastructure is well equipped.

Mr Carlaw says Kinloss Barracks will not be closed despite the claims of SNP MP Angus Robertson. 

The Tory MSP says the reductions are not only necessary but are unavoidable to make sure the defence estate is weill equipped for the future.

He says the defence estate is too large and needs to be reduced.

Independent Scotland would have a very limited military says Tory MSP

Tory MSP Jackson Carlaw uses his amendment to say that he understands that the Ministry of Defence’s Estate Optimisation Strategy has the sensible aims of updating the defence estate.

Mr Carlaw says this strategy is more capability focused and better suited to the needs of modern armed forces.

The Tory MSP says the UK government should continue to engage fully with the Scottish government, local authorities and local communities on the review.

The Duke of Edinburgh officially opened the new Highlanders' museum at Fort George in 2013
bbc
The Duke of Edinburgh officially opened the new Highlanders' museum at Fort George in 2013

He says the defence estate in Scotland will still remain considerable.

Mr carlaw acknowledges that the UK government has made wider investment in defence in Scotland supporting thousands of jobs.

He says that an independent Scotland would have a very limited military, which would weaken the defence of the nation and damage its proud military traditions.

Here is the Tory amendment

Here is the Tory amendment.

Tory amendment
Scottish Parliament

'We must make our case and have our voices heard'

Mr Brown says there is still a chance of overturning "bad decisions".

"We must make our case and have our voices heard," he says.

Minister says elected representatives have been cut out of the loop by the MoD

The minister says the closure of Redford Barracks is of great concern and will impact on the surrounding community in Edinburgh.

Mr Brown says there are concerns about the closure of MoD Caledonia which sadly ends the presence of the Navy in Fife.

The economy secretary says elected representatives have been cut out of the loop by the MoD.