Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Defence and foreign affairs. But what about the other two?

Remember what we were promised: the modern equivalent of Home Rule, as close to federalism as is possible consistent with being in the UK. "Let's call it devo-max". The maximum possible devolution.

So. We shouldn't really be expecting the Smith Commission to list powers that are to be devolved. That would be an insanely ponderous way to proceed. It will simply give us the (much smaller) list of the powers to be retained, presumably.

It'll be quite exciting. Things like broadcasting, welfare, corporation tax, income tax, vat, national insurance, alcohol tobacco and fuel duties, climate change levy, insurance premium tax, vehicle excise duty, inheritance tax, capital gains tax, tax on oil receipts, immigration, consumer protection, regulation of the professions, financial services, regulation and funding of political parties, public borrowing and lending, anti-money laundering regulation, control of drugs, data protection, regulation of elections, regulation of firearms, entertainment and film classification, betting gaming and lotteries, freedom of information, lieutenancies, provision for business insolvency, competition, intellectual property, import and export control, sea fishing, product standards and safety, weights and measures, telecommunications and wireless telegraphy, posts, research councils, assisted areas, electricity, oil and gas, coal, nuclear energy, energy conservation, road transport, rail transport, marine transport, air transport, social security, child support, occupational and personal pensions, war pensions, employment and industrial relations, health and safety, job search and support, abortion, xenotransplantation, medicines medical supplies and poisons, public lending right, government indemnity schemes, judicial remuneration, equal opportunities, control of weapons and timescales and time zones are amongst the currently reserved matters which will most obviously be devolved from Westminster to Holyrood. No-one could claim doing otherwise would be "impossible". They are clearly within the competence of a parliament in control of all affairs within its territory: "home rule". Equally, we have to accept, defence and foreign affairs will remain reserved.

No. The two exciting ones, the only ones about which there is any real doubt, are ordnance survey and outer space. Only two but what a dilemma! Which way will the Smith Commission jump? It must have been a fascinating tussle back and forward between the two sides. What a debate there must have been. I think we'll get outer space (counterintuitive, but it's about launching into it from here, not owning it) but they'll keep ordnance survey.

Anyway. Only one more sleep till we know.

*Source: Scotland Act 1998, Schedule 5 for the list of "reserved matters":

The Constitution
  • the Crown, including succession to the Crown and a regency, the Union of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England, the Parliament of the United Kingdom, the continued existence of the High Court of Justiciary as a criminal court of first instance and of appeal, the continued existence of the Court of Session as a civil court of first instance and of appeal, the hereditary revenues of the Crown, other than revenues from bona vacantia, ultimus haeres and treasure trove, the royal arms and standard, the compulsory acquisition of property held or used by a Minister of the Crown or government department,
Political parties
  • the registration and funding of political parties.
Foreign affairs etc.
  • international relations, including relations with territories outside the United Kingdom, the European Union (and their institutions) and other international organisations, regulation of international trade, and international development assistance and co-operation.
Public Service
  • The Civil Service.
  • the defence of the realm, the naval, military or air forces of the Crown, including reserve forces, visiting forces, international headquarters and defence organisations, trading with the enemy and enemy property.
  • treason felony and misprision of treason.
Financial and Economic Matters:
  • fiscal, economic and monetary policy (including the issue and circulation of money, taxes and excise duties, government borrowing and lending, control over United Kingdom public expenditure, the exchange rate and the Bank of England);
  • currency (coinage, legal tender and bank notes);
  • financial services (including investment business, banking and deposit-taking, collective investment schemes and insurance);
  • financial markets (including listing and public offers of securities and investments, transfer of securities and insider dealing);
  • money laundering (the subject-matter of the Money Laundering Regulations 1993, but in relation to any type of business).
Home Affairs:
  • misuse of drugs (the subject-matter of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, sections 12 to 14 of the Criminal Justice (International Co-operation) Act 1990 (substances useful for manufacture of controlled drugs), and Part V of the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995 (drug trafficking) and, so far as relating to drug trafficking, the Proceeds of Crime (Scotland) Act 1995);
  • data protection (the subject-matter of the Data Protection Act 1998, and Council Directive 95/46/EC (protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data);
  • elections (elections for membership of the House of Commons, the European Parliament and the Scottish Parliament, including the subject-matter of the European Parliamentary Elections Act 2002, the Representation of the People Act 1983 and the Representation of the People Act 1985, and the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986, the franchise at local government elections);
  • firearms (the subject-matter of the Firearms Acts 1968 to 1997);
  • entertainment (the subject-matter of the Video Recordings Act 1984, and sections 1 to 3 and 5 to 16 of the Cinemas Act 1985 (control of exhibitions), the classification of films for public exhibition by reference to their suitability for viewing by persons generally or above a particular age, with or without any advice as to the desirability of parental guidance);
  • immigration and nationality (nationality, immigration, including asylum and the status and capacity of persons in the United Kingdom who are not British citizens, free movement of persons within the European Economic Area; issue of travel documents);
  • scientific procedures on live animals (the subject-matter of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986);
  • national security (including interception of communications, official secrets and terrorism (the interception of communications; the subject-matter of the Official Secrets Acts 1911 and 1920, and the Official Secrets Act 1989, except so far as relating to any information, document or other article protected against disclosure by section 4(2) (crime) and not by any other provision of sections 1 to 4, special powers, and other special provisions, for dealing with terrorism);
  • betting, gaming and lotteries;
  • emergency powers;
  • extradition;
  • lieutenancies (the subject-matter of the Lieutenancies Act 1997);
  • access to information (public access to information held by public bodies or holders of public offices (including government departments and persons acting on behalf of the Crown)).
Trade and Industry
  • business associations (the creation, operation, regulation and dissolution of types of business association);
  • insolvency (in relation to business associations, the modes of, the grounds for and the general legal effect of winding up, and the persons who may initiate winding up, liability to contribute to assets on winding up, powers of courts in relation to proceedings for winding up, other than the power to sist proceedings, arrangements with creditors, and procedures giving protection from creditors, preferred or preferential debts for the purposes of the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 1985, the Insolvency Act 1986, and any other enactment relating to the sequestration of the estate of any person or to the winding up of business associations, the preference of such debts against other such debts and the extent of their preference over other types of debt, regulation of insolvency practitioners, co-operation of insolvency courts);
  • competition (regulation of anti-competitive practices and agreements; abuse of dominant position; monopolies and mergers);
  • intellectual property (including copyright, design right, trade marks, patents);
  • import and export control (the subject-matter of the Import, Export and Customs Powers (Defence) Act 1939, prohibition and regulation of the import and export of endangered species of animals and plants);
  • sea fishing (regulation of sea fishing outside the Scottish zone (except in relation to Scottish fishing boats));
  • consumer protection (regulation of the sale and supply of goods and services to consumers, guarantees in relation to such goods and services, hire-purchase, including the subject-matter of Part III of the Hire-Purchase Act 1964, trade descriptions, except in relation to food, misleading and comparative advertising, except regulation specifically in relation to food, tobacco and tobacco products, price indications, trading stamps, auctions and mock auctions of goods and services, and hallmarking and gun barrel proofing. Safety of, and liability for, services supplied to consumers, the subject-matter of the Hearing Aid Council Act 1968, the Unsolicited Goods and Services Acts 1971 and 1975, Parts I to III and XI of the Fair Trading Act 1973, the Consumer Credit Act 1974, the Estate Agents Act 1979, the Timeshare Act 1992, the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992, and the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993);
  • product standards, safety and liability (technical standards and requirements in relation to products in pursuance of an obligation under [F16EU] law, the national accreditation body and the accreditation of bodies which certify or assess conformity to technical standards in relation to products or environmental management systems, product safety and liability, product labelling);
  • weights and measures (units and standards of weight and measurement, regulation of trade so far as involving weighing, measuring and quantities);
  • telecommunications and wireless telegraphy (including internet services, electronic encryption, the subject-matter of Part II of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 (electromagnetic disturbance));
  • posts (the subject matter of the Postal Services Act 2000);
  • Research Councils (Research Councils within the meaning of the Science and Technology Act 1965, the subject-matter of section 5 of that Act (funding of scientific research) so far as relating to Research Councils, The Arts and Humanities Research Council within the meaning of Part 1 of the Higher Education Act 2004, the subject-matter of section 10 of that Act (research in arts and humanities) so far as relating to that Council);
  • designation of assisted areas (the subject-matter of section 1 of the Industrial Development Act 1982);
  • Industrial Development Advisory Board;
  • protection of trading and economic interests (the subject-matter of section 2 of the Emergency Laws (Re-enactments and Repeals) Act 1964 (Treasury power in relation to action damaging to economic position of United Kingdom, Part II of the Industry Act 1975 (powers in relation to transfer of control of important manufacturing undertakings), and the Protection of Trading Interests Act 1980).
  • electricity (the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity, the subject-matter of Part II of the Electricity Act 1989);
  • oil and gas (including the ownership of, exploration for and exploitation of deposits of oil and natural gas, the subject-matter of section 1 of the Mineral Exploration and Investment Grants Act 1972 (contributions in connection with mineral exploration) so far as relating to exploration for oil and gas, offshore installations and pipelines, the subject-matter of the Pipe-lines Act 1962 (including section 5 (deemed planning permission)) so far as relating to pipelines within the meaning of section 65 of that Act, the application of Scots law and the jurisdiction of the Scottish courts in relation to offshore activities, pollution relating to oil and gas exploration and exploitation, but only outside controlled waters (within the meaning of section 30A(1) of the Control of Pollution Act 1974), the subject-matter of Part II of the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985 so far as relating to oil and gas exploration and exploitation, but only in relation to activities outside such controlled waters, restrictions on navigation, fishing and other activities in connection with offshore activities, liquefaction of natural gas, and the conveyance, shipping and supply of gas through pipes);
  • coal (including its ownership and exploitation, deep and opencast coal mining and coal mining subsidence);
  • nuclear energy (nuclear energy and nuclear installations, including nuclear safety, security and safeguards, and liability for nuclear occurrences);
  • energy conservation (the subject-matter of the Energy Act 1976, other than section 9).
  • road transport (the subject-matter of the Motor Vehicles (International Circulation) Act 1952, the Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981 and the Transport Act 1985, so far as relating to public service vehicle operator licensing, section 17 (traffic regulation on special roads), section 25 (pedestrian crossings), Part V (traffic signs) and Part VI (speed limits) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988, the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994, the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995, and the Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act 1995, regulation of proper hours or periods of work by persons engaged in the carriage of passengers or goods by road, the conditions under which international road transport services for passengers or goods may be undertaken, regulation of the instruction of drivers of motor vehicles);
  • rail transport (the provision and regulation of railway services, excluding the promotion and construction of railways which start, end and remain in Scotland, rail transport security, the subject-matter of the Channel Tunnel Act 1987, the subject-matter of the Railway Heritage Act 1996);
  • marine transport (the subject-matter of the Coastguard Act 1925, the Hovercraft Act 1968, except so far as relating to the regulation of noise and vibration caused by hovercraft, the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1971, section 2 of the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 (prohibition on approaching dangerous wrecks), the Merchant Shipping (Liner Conferences) Act 1982, the Dangerous Vessels Act 1985, the Aviation and Maritime Security Act 1990, other than Part I (aviation security), the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1992, the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, the Shipping and Trading Interests (Protection) Act 1995, and sections 24 (implementation of international agreements relating to protection of wrecks), 26 (piracy) and 27 and 28 (international bodies concerned with maritime matters) of the Merchant Shipping and Maritime Security Act 1997, navigational rights and freedoms, financial assistance for shipping services which start or finish or both outside Scotland);
  • air transport (the regulation of aviation and air transport, including the subject-matter of the Carriage by Air Act 1961, the Carriage by Air (Supplementary Provisions) Act 1962, the Carriage by Air and Road Act 1979 so far as relating to carriage by air, the Civil Aviation Act 1982, the Aviation Security Act 1982, the Airports Act 1986, and sections 1 (endangering safety at aerodromes) and 48 (powers in relation to certain aircraft) of the Aviation and Maritime Security Act 1990, and arrangements to compensate or repatriate passengers in the event of an air transport operator’s insolvency);
  • other matters (the transport of radioactive material. technical specifications for public passenger transport for disabled persons, including the subject-matter of section 125(7) and (8) of the Transport Act 1985 (Secretary of State’s guidance and consultation with the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee), and Part V of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (public transport), regulation of the carriage of dangerous goods);
Social Security
  • social security schemes (schemes supported from central or local funds which provide assistance for social security purposes to or in respect of individuals by way of benefits requiring persons to establish and administer schemes providing assistance for social security purposes to or in respect of individuals, or make payments to or in respect of such schemes, and to keep records and supply information in connection with such schemes, the circumstances in which a person is liable to maintain himself or another for the purposes of the enactments relating to social security and the Child Support Acts 1991 and 1995, the subject-matter of the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme, National Insurance, Social Fund, administration and funding of housing benefit and council tax benefit, recovery of benefits for accident, injury or disease from persons paying damages, deductions from benefits for the purpose of meeting an individual’s debts, sharing information between government departments for the purposes of the enactments relating to social security, making decisions for the purposes of schemes mentioned in the reservation and appeals against such decisions);
  • child support (the subject-matter of the Child Support Acts 1991 and 1995);
  • occupational and personal pensions (the regulation of occupational pension schemes and personal pension schemes, including the obligations of the trustees or managers of such schemes, provision about pensions payable in relation to a Scottish public authority with mixed functions or no reserved functions, or persons who are or have been a member of the public body, the holder of the public office, or a member of the staff of the body, holder or office, the subject-matter of the Pensions (Increase) Act 1971, where pension payable to or in respect of any class of persons under a public service pension scheme is covered by this reservation, so is making provision in their case for compensation for loss of office or employment, for their office or employment being affected by constitutional changes, or circumstances arising from such changes, in any territory or territories or for loss or diminution of emoluments, or for benefits in respect of death or incapacity resulting from injury or disease);
  • war pensions (schemes for the payment of pensions for or in respect of persons who have a disablement or have died in consequence of service as members of the armed forces of the Crown, the subject-matter of any scheme under the Personal Injuries (Emergency Provisions) Act 1939, sections 3 to 5 and 7 of the Pensions (Navy, Army, Air Force and Mercantile Marine) Act 1939 or section 1 of the Polish Resettlement Act 1947, the provision of pensions under the Naval, Military and Air Forces Etc. (Disablement and Death) Service Pensions Order 1983.
Regulation of the Professions
  • architects (regulation of the profession of architect);
  • health professions (regulation of the health professions governed by the Pharmacy Act 1954, the Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act 1960, the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966, the Medical Act 1983, the Dentists Act 1984, the Opticians Act 1989, the Osteopaths Act 1993, the Chiropractors Act 1994, and the Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1997);
  • auditors (regulation of the profession of auditor).
  • employment and industrial relations (employment rights and duties and industrial relations, including the subject-matter of the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969, the Employment Agencies Act 1973, the Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979, the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981, the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, the Employment Tribunals Act 1996], the Employment Rights Act 1996, and the National Minimum Wage Act 1998);
  • health and safety (the subject-matter of Part I of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, the Health and Safety Commission, the Health and Safety Executive and the Employment Medical Advisory Service);
  • job search and support (the subject-matter of the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act 1944, and the Employment and Training Act 1973, except so far as relating to training for employment).
Health and Medicines
  • abortion;
  • xenotransplantation;
  • embryology, surrogacy and genetics (surrogacy arrangements, within the meaning of the Surrogacy Arrangements Act 1985, including the subject-matter of that Act, the subject-matter of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, human genetics);
  • medicines, medical supplies and poisons (the subject-matter of the Medicines Act 1968, the Marketing Authorisations for Veterinary Medicinal Products Regulations 1994 and the Medicines for Human Use (Marketing Authorisations Etc.) Regulations 1994, the Poisons Act 1972, and the Biological Standards Act 1975, regulation of prices charged for medical supplies or medicinal products which (in either case) are supplied for the purposes of the health service established under section 1 of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978);
  • welfare foods (schemes made by regulations under section 13 of the Social Security Act 1988 (schemes for distribution of welfare foods).
Media and Culture
  • broadcasting (the subject-matter of the Broadcasting Act 1990 and the Broadcasting Act 1996, the British Broadcasting Corporation);
  • public lending right (the subject-matter of the Public Lending Right Act 1979);
  • Government Indemnity Scheme (the subject-matter of sections 16 and 16A of the National Heritage Act 1980 (public indemnities for objects on loan to museums, art galleries, etc.));
  • property accepted in satisfaction of tax (the subject-matter of sections 8 and 9 of the National Heritage Act 1980 (payments to Inland Revenue in respect of property accepted in satisfaction of tax, and disposal of such property).
  • judicial remuneration (determination of the remuneration of judges of the Court of Session, sheriffs principal and sheriffs, members of the Lands Tribunal for Scotland, and the Chairman of the Scottish Land Court);
  • equal opportunities (including the subject-matter of the Equal Pay Act 1970, the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations Act 1976, and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995);
  • control of weapons (control of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and other weapons of mass destruction);
  • ordnance survey (the subject-matter of the Ordnance Survey Act 1841);
  • time (timescales, time zones and the subject-matter of the Summer Time Act 1972, the calendar; units of time; the date of Easter);
  • outer space (regulation of activities in outer space).