The proposed agreement between the UK and Scottish Governments over devolving the Crown Estate was discussed in the Scottish Parliament today. Shetland MSP Tavish Scott, who is a member of the Devolution (More Powers) Committee pushed that the transfer of powers from London to Edinburgh cannot stop in the Scottish capital. He wants control and management of the seabed around Shetland to be passed to the Islands. The cross party Smith Commission recommended that responsibility for the management of the seabed be further devolved to Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles.
Speaking after this morning’s committee meeting in Holyrood Tavish Scott said,
“The proposed agreement between Edinburgh and London on devolving the seabed within Scotland is not explicit. The document currently says, should there be further devolution. This is going to happen. I agreed this in the all-party Smith Commission with Deputy First Minister John Swinney. So I expect the document that will govern this matter to be explicit that further devolution will happen.
“I am concerned that Scottish Minister have not been clear in their support for this key recommendation. I trust that the SIC will use the opportunity of the Islands Bill consultation to make the case for the seabed being managed locally. That means that both the SIC and Lerwick Port Authority as the guardian of Lerwick harbour should assume these management responsibilities and any revenues once the Crown Estate is transferred to Scotland.
“I will continue to make this case in Parliament as the transfer of powers moves from discussion to reality under the Scotland Bill currently being debated at Westminster.”