16.47: Joan McAlpine, SNP, asks for some more details about reintroducing the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
16.44: Not sure if Tavish Scott pledges Scottish LibDems support or not but he does deplore the lack of an agreement emerging from talks with Westminster.
16.49: Bruce Crawford’s heartfelt reaffirmation of the basis of devolution as set up when Holyrood was reestablished in 1998 and his request for a statement that there will be no agreement to any diminution of Holyrood’s powers. Mike Russell does not hesitate in giving him that assurance.
16.52: Mairi Gougeon, SNP, asks how Mike Russell will work with the other devolved administrations to ensure no diminishing of devolved powers. Russell speaks about the identical interests of the Welsh and Scottish Governments and regrets that no Northern Irish voice is now present at the Joint Ministerial talks in the absence of a Stormont Adminstration.
16.54: Donald Cameron Scottish Tory asks something. Can’t be bothered to listen again to find out but don’t want to be accused of not including Conservative opinion.
16.56: Richard Lochhead states his support for the Brexit Secretary but asked him to play close attention to any special Border arrangements that may be made for the Republic of Ireland that could leave Scottish economy at a disadvantage in international trade if we are not also part of that.
17.00: Two questions from SNP members Christine McElvie and Ivan McKee which give Mike Russell a chance to spell out the difference between a UK single market which he says does not exist and a UK uniform market which is what we have at the moment which has different powers in the four UK countries as required. He takes minimum alcohol pricing as an example of how Scotland in some instances diverges from UK and hence needs its own arrangements. Another example would be fracking.
17.03: And finally Alex Neil, SNP, asks for a guarantee that the Scottish Government will fight tooth and nail any challenge by the UK Government to this Bill in the light of the Presiding Officer’s view of its lack of legal constitutional competency.