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Summary

  1. The Europe committee takes evidence on Scotland's preparations for leaving the EU
  2. Extensive coverage of first minister's questions
  3. An SNP MSP marks St Andrews Day in a member's debate
  4. MSPs debate ending homelessness
  5. The Europe and constitution committees jointly grill UK minister David Lidington on Brexit

Live Reporting

By Louise Wilson, Craig Hutchison and Darren McCullins

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from Holyrood Live!

    Lidington

    That's it from the Holyrood Live team on Thursday 29 November 2018.

    UK Cabinet Office minister David Lidington said MPs must back the Brexit agreement or face no deal at all.

    Speaking to a joint committee session at the Scottish parliament, he told MSPs there was no appetite from the EU to reopen negotiations.

    He said this in response to a question from Tory MSP Adam Tomkins, who was highlighting the Scottish government's position that other options were possible.

    Next week, MSPs are set to vote against the Brexit deal in a symbolic vote as the SNP, Labour, Greens and Lib Dems have called for alternatives to be explored.

  2. MSPs back the amended motion from the homelessness debate

    MSPs

    MSPs unanimously back the Labour and Tory amendments from the homelessness debate, but the Green amendment is rejected.

    The government motion, as amended, is passed.

  3. Minister praises action group for the 'incredible pace' of their work

    Housing Minister Kevin Stewart
    Image caption: Housing Minister Kevin Stewart

    Housing Minister Kevin Stewart stresses the Ending Homelessness Together action plan came from both the Scottish government and COSLA.

    Mr Stewart thanks the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group for the "incredible pace" with which they produced these well informed recommendations.

    Labour MSP Kezia Dugdale says there are systemic failures in the system of temporary accommodation and calls for improvements before 2023.

    Mr Stewart commits to having the guidance situation dealt with bey next year.

    Tory MSP Maurice Corry asks about the urgent need that veterans have for accommodation.

    The minister replies that the government has met with veterans bodies recently and calls on the MOD to do more.

  4. Back to the homelessness debate with Michelle Ballantyne closing for the Tories

    Tory MSP Michelle Ballantyne
    Image caption: Tory MSP Michelle Ballantyne

    Tory MSP Michelle Ballantyne criticises temporary accommodation that is not livable in and she welcomes the minister pledging to address issues.

    She insists it is important that a mother with children is able to move to safe and secure accommodation.

    SNP MSP Ruth Maguire calls for split payments to be introduced to address financial coercion.

    While accepting that finance is used as a source of coercion, Ms Ballantyne argues that if there is automatic splits the partner will know about it anyway.

    Ms Ballantyne concludes telling the chamber her party can't back the Green amendment.

  5. SNP MSP: Why do you want to make my country worse off?

    Mr Lidington

    SNP MSP Annabelle Ewing says it is in Scotland's best interest to remain in the single market and customs union.

    Why do you want to make my country worse off, she asks.

    The Cabinet Office minister points to the free trade agreement provided for in the political declaration.

    "Your Brexit deal is going down and the UK government has no plan B in place as we speak," replies Ms Ewing.

    There is no proposition that is likely to be negotiable or better in terms of outcomes than the one that is on the table, Mr Lidington says.

    We are starting from a position of complete alignment with the EU and that is why I am optimistic about the short time scale needed to negotiate a trade deal.

    Ms Ewing suggests this is a "fantasy position".

    Constitution committee convener Bruce Crawford thanks the minister for attending this afternoon and duly closes the session.

  6. 'No deal is not something that anyone should contemplate lightly' - Lidington

    Committee

    Mr Lidington tells the committee no deal would mean that at the end of March, meat and livestock exports would be subject to WTO tariffs and designated inspection posts on borders would have to be instigated.

    The automotive industry will face a tariff of 10% not just on the cars, but also on widgets that go back and forth from the UK to the EU, adds the minister.

    "No deal is not something that anyone should contemplate lightly."

  7. Will economic impact lead to a reduction in the Scottish budget, asks Labour MSP

    James Kelly

    Labour MSP James Kelly says a consequence of this agreement will be the UK economy being smaller.

    This will end up with a reduction to the Scottish budget, won't it, he asks.

    Mr Lidington says all analyses show the economy will continue growing whatever happens.

    But it also indicated the withdrawal agreement will result in more growth than no deal he says.

    People took account of the economic arguments in coming to their decision in 2016 the minister argues.

  8. Background: Sturgeon: Brexit deal 'will make Scotland poorer'

    Video content

    Video caption: Sturgeon says Scottish government 'can't accept brexit deal'

    The UK government's draft Brexit deal "will make us poorer", First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.

    Prime Minister Theresa May has won backing for her draft Brexit deal from European leaders, but faces a battle to get it through a vote in the Commons.

    The SNP's 35 MPs will vote against the withdrawal agreement, with Ms Sturgeon saying it is "quite simply a bad deal".

    She was speaking as she unveiled an analysis paper setting out her government's opposition to the deal.

    The UK government insists that the withdrawal agreement is the only one on the table, and that the only alternative would be for the UK to leave the EU without a deal.

    And Scottish Conservative interim leader Jackson Carlaw said the deal is "backed by businesses in Scotland, delivers an orderly departure from the EU and it provides many of things the SNP demanded - like rights for EU citizens living here and a lengthy transition period."

  9. What impact will migration changes have on the Scottish economy asks SNP MSP

    SNP MSP Angela Constance
    Image caption: SNP MSP Angela Constance

    SNP MSP Angela Constance says this parliament has not asked for the end of freedom of movement, which will be delivered by this deal.

    Mr Lidington argues there will be a white paper on future migration policy and EU citizens will be considered on their skills.

    Ms Constance asks about the impact of stopping free movement of people from the EU will have on the Scottish economy.

    UK Cabinet Office minister David Lidington insists the ending free movement was one of the main reasons that people voted for Brexit in 2016.

  10. Brexit: Theresa May insists deal with EU is 'good for Scotland'

    Video content

    Video caption: Theresa May: 'Brexit deal good for Scotland'

    The prime minister has insisted her Brexit agreement is a "good deal for Scotland" that will protect jobs and provide new opportunities for business.

    Theresa May was speaking as she met factory workers in Renfrewshire as she seeks to build support for the plan.

    Her proposals have faced strong criticism from opposition parties - as well as from many of her own MPs.

    But she says the country is facing a straight choice between her deal, or leaving the EU without any deal.

    Ahead of Mrs May's visit to Scotland, the UK government published analysis which suggested the country's economy could be up to 3.9% smaller after 15 years under her Brexit plan, compared with staying in the EU - but that a no-deal Brexit could deliver a 9.3% hit.

    The Bank of England subsequently warned that a no-deal Brexit would send the pound plunging and trigger a worse recession than the financial crisis.

  11. Will Scotland's businesses be disadvantaged by the Northern Ireland backstop?

    Tory MSP Murdo Fraser

    Tory MSP Murdo Fraser asks whether Scotland will be economically disadvantaged by the Northern Ireland backstop.

    Mr Lidington says it is hoped the backstop will not be used, but if it is, it only covers quite specific rules.

    In practical terms, the degree of difference between businesses in Scotland and Northern Ireland will be marginal he argues.

    Northern Irish business might have a slight edge within the island of Ireland the minister says.

    What is the Northern Ireland backstop? Read our Q&A here.

  12. Why are fisheries included in the transitional period?

    Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott
    Image caption: Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott

    Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott asks why fisheries was included in the transitional period.

    Mr Lidington says it was one of the outcomes of the negotiation and was necessary to ensure access to markets in the EU.

    The UK government minister believes this deal was a reasonable outcome.

    Mr Scott argues the fishing industry will be unable to influence fishing quotas during the transition period.

    There is one year when we won't be members and there is an obligation on the EU thereafter to act in good faith.

  13. Harvie: Scotland gets 'neither what it needs nor what it wants'

    Scottish Green co-convener Patrick Harvie

    Scottish Green co-convener Patrick Harvie says Scotland remains the only one of the four nations that gets "neither what it needs nor what it wants".

    If you want to keep the union, "you're going a funny way about it" he says.

    Mr Lidington says there is a "real yearning" for Brexit to be sorted to businesses can plan.

    Pivoting to the environment, Mr Harvie notes mention in the withdrawal agreement of linking a UK emissions trading system with the EU's. When will this be established, he asks.

    This will be part of the negotiations, the Cabinet Office minister responds.

    There are UK wide statutory obligations on climate change he adds.

  14. UK government will put forward substantive motion which can be amended says minister

    Mr Lidington

    Mr Findlay says what we have here is a deal that looks as though the wheels are going to fall of very quickly.

    The Labour MSP asks if the minister agrees a motion could be tabled at Westminster that was neither no deal or the PM's deal.

    The motion that the government puts forward will be a substantive motion on the deal which can be amended.

    There is already one amendments and I'm confident there will be more says Mr Lidington.

    The cabinet office minister says no rival proposition has provided any evidence that the EU 27 would accept it.

  15. Withdrawal agreement 'going absolutely nowhere' says Labour MSP

    Labour MSP Neil Findlay
    Image caption: Labour MSP Neil Findlay

    Labour MSP Neil Findlay insists this deal seems to "be going absolutely nowhere", meaning we are heading to a no deal in the eyes of the UK government.

    "Do you seriously think that the British people are going to accept that?"

    A no deal would be seriously damaging to the UK economy and interests, and it is not part of the government's plan replies Mr Lidington.

    MPs must confront a very serious choice he says.

    He reiterates his belief that there is no appetite in the EU to renegotiate and therefore no deal planning is necessary.