Scotland politics

Week at Holyrood: Scottish government will respond to meaningful vote

Union flag, Saltire and EU flag Image copyright AFP

It is crunch time for Theresa May and her Brexit deal this week as the Commons votes on Tuesday - and the Scottish government will give its reaction at Holyrood on Wednesday.

The substance of that statement will of course depend on how MPs vote - at this point it still seems likely that Mrs May's deal will not be agreed.

Come mid-week - should the deal be rejected - we may be looking at leaving the EU without a deal, renegotiation, a general election, another referendum or a vote of no confidence.

The SNP has already expressed support for another referendum and urged Labour to table a motion of no confidence.

But for now, uncertainty reigns.

What else is happening in the Scottish parliament this week?

Tuesday - Kaiam and climate change

Image caption About 300 people work at the Kaiam plant in Livingston

Budget scrutiny continues for committees, with the economy, environment and health committees all due to discuss the topic with relevant ministers on Tuesday morning.

Holyrood Live will follow the economy committee with Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse - and after that, MSPs will be quizzing Scottish Enterprise about the support it has provided to computer factory Kaiam.

Over 300 people were laid off from the Kaiam plant in Livingston on Christmas eve, with many going unpaid.

Back in 2014, Kaiam received a grant from Scottish Enterprise in order to expand its Livingston site.

Questions have now been raised about how Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish government dealt with the firm's financial troubles, which were known in November.

Image copyright Getty Images

After topical questions in the afternoon, the Scottish government will lead a debate on transitioning to a carbon-neutral economy.

The government's climate change targets have recently been subject to some criticism for not aiming for a 100% cut to emissions - the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Bill instead sets a 90% reduction target by 2050.

The Scottish government has insisted it cannot put a 100% target on the statute books until technology allows it to do so.

But others argue this indicates a lack of ambition.

Ending the day will be SNP MSP George Adam celebrating Paisley receiving the Great Town Award at the Academy of Urbanism Awards.

Wednesday - budget scrutiny

After the meaningful vote statement, the rest of Wednesday afternoon will be dominated by a Scottish Labour debate titled "Scotland's Future".

It will be preceded by portfolio questions on the environment and the rural economy, and followed by SNP MSP Gail Ross highlighting the recent Highland youth survey.

Image copyright Getty Images

Once again the budget will be the focus of the morning committees - Holyrood Live will be watching as Finance Secretary Derek Mackay appears before the finance committee.

The focus here will largely be on tax so expect some disagreements around whether the Scottish government should be following the UK government's lead on income tax or not.

Thursday - credit unions

First minister's questions will be followed by Tory MSP Edward Mountain leading a member's debate on TV charges in hospitals.

He is calling for bedside television to be "proportionate and affordable" and last week Health Secretary Jeane Freeman confirmed hospitals were looking into establishing free bedside entertainment via Wi-Fi.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The number of credit union members has risen by 250% since 2010

The rest of the afternoon will be given to a debate on credit unions.

Credit unions are locally-based organisations, where members pool their savings to lend to one another.

Figures revealed at the start of the year said that more credit unions were failing but membership of them was growing.

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