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Summary

  1. MPs put questions to the Home Office team; then heard a statement from Prime Minister David Cameron on European Council negotiations.
  2. MPs debated the Northern Ireland Bill at second reading.
  3. Peers meet at 2.30pm for oral questions; then examined the Scotland Bill at committee stage.

Live Reporting

By Sam Francis and Chris Davies

All times stated are UK

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  1. End of business

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The Earl of Kinnoull withdraws his amendments and the bill passes its committee stage.

    Peers then adjourn for the evening. They will re-convene at 1430 tomorrow when the main business of the day will be the committee stage of the Trade Union Bill.

  2. Government rejects amendments

    Scotland Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Dunlop answers the debate for the government. He says the amendments are "against the spirit" of devolution.

    He argues that if devolution is to be meaningful, the UK government cannot "tie the hand" of the Scottish government.

  3. Exercising new powers

    Scotland Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    The Earl of Kinnoull
    Image caption: The Earl of Kinnoull

    The Earl of Kinnoull is introducing a group of amendments which would prevent any powers being devolved to Scotland until the UK government had confirmed that suitable arrangements were in place for the relevant Scottish authorities to exercise the new powers properly.

  4. End of Business

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    And with that business in the House of Commons is brought to an end. MPs will be back tomorrow at 11.30am for questions to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

  5. Government will amend Bill

    Scotland Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Minister Lord Dunlop says the the government will bring forward amendments at report stage to address the concerns raised by peers about the ability of the government to amend the Bill without primary legislation.

    Lord Hope agrees to withdraw his amendments, but says he will raise the issue again at report stage.

  6. Funding extended

    Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Transport Minister Robert Goodwill announces his department will extend the current funding for tug boats in the Shetland Islands "until 30 September this year."

    The funding will be paid for by "any underspend in the department budgets." 

  7. Government response

    Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Transport Minister Robert Goodwill argues there has not been a major environmental incident since the Braer ran aground over 20 years ago.

    Given the increases in ship safety the need for commercial tugs have decreased. It is therefore right to consider whether it is appropriate for the UK taxpayer to continue to fund these tug boats "given there has been no pollution and [the retained tug boat] has only been used four times" since in 2011, he argues.

    The government still supports the findings of the Lord Donaldson report, which suggested that the tug boat services should be a "privately financed" project and the "cost of potential pollution should be met by potential polluters, Mr Goodwill adds.

    Transport Minister Robert Goodwill
  8. 'Criminally irresponsible'

    Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Former Scotland Secretary Alistair Carmichael says it would be "criminally irresponsible for the government to allow the contract [for the two tugs hired by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency] to elapse without a proper impact assessment" - which he argues has not yet been carried out.

    He says he does not see how "it can possibly be fixed" between now and 31 March, when the contract for the tug vessels will expire, and so calls for a temporary extension of the contract to allow a " little bit more breathing space."

    Former Scotland Secretary Alistair Carmichael
  9. UK tug boat fleet

    Following the 1994 Lord Donaldson report following the Braer disaster, in which nearly 85,000 tonnes of crude oil were spilled off the Shetland Islands, five salvage tugs were made available to high-risk areas around UK coasts.

    In 2010, the Government announced as part of the Department for Transport's share of cuts in the Comprehensive Spending Review, that the fleet would be no longer be funded from September 2011, saving £32.5m over the Spending Review period. 

    Two tug boats operating in the Minch, in north-west Scotland, and the Shetland Islands received a moratorium with an interim funding by the United Kingdom's government.

  10. Amendments withdrawn

    Scotland Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Hope of Craighead
    Image caption: Lord Hope of Craighead

    Amendment 78 is withdrawn and peers move on to debate a new group of amendments moved by Crossbench peer Lord Hope of Craighead.

    These amendments would remove provisions which would allow the Government to amend the Bill without primary legislation.  

  11. 'Compromising safety means compromising legitimacy'

    Adjournment debate

    The final full time emergency tug boat operating on the west coast of Scotland is set to be removed next month.

    SNP MP Ian Blackford, who has led this debate says "a desire for safety cannot come from a penny pinching government walking away form its responsibilities."

    "If it compromises safety it compromises its legitimacy to govern" he adds.

    SNP MP Ian Blackford
  12. Government says joint committee not needed

    Scotland Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Speaking for the government Lord Dunlop says that a joint committee is unnecessary because the UK and Scottish governments already cooperate effectively.

    He argues that officials responsible for welfare provision are already held to account by the Scottish parliament.

  13. Tug Vessels in West Scotland

    Adjournment debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs now move to the day's final business in the House of Commons, the adjournment debate - today on the provision of emergency tug vessels in the West Coast of Scotland led by Ian Blackford, the SNP MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber.

  14. Bill passed

    Northern Ireland Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    MPs pass the Northern Ireland (Stormont Agreement and Implementation Plan) Bill at second reading without a vote.

    At the same time MPs also agree to the Bill's Programme Motion, which sets out the bills progress through the Houses of Parliament, and the Money Resolution, which allows the bill to spend public money.

  15. National security

    Northern Ireland Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Northern Ireland Minister Ben Wallace is now responding to the debate for the government. 

    He says that "throughout the troubles informers, neighbours, work mates and ordinary citizens helped the security forces against those who intimated their own communities."

    We have a duty to protect those people" he argues "because without them we would not have reached the end of the troubles."

    He criticises those who use "national security" to lightly to win arguments and block on progress.  

    "When people use national security as some throwaway line it is, at the heart of it, about protecting these people and we shouldn't forget the role they played."

    Northern Ireland Minister Ben Wallace
  16. Labour calls for joint committee

    Scotland Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord McAvoy
    Image caption: Lord McAvoy

    The group of amendments concerning welfare benefits are withdrawn and peers move on to debate amendment 78.

    This amendment would establish a Joint Committee on Welfare Devolution to oversee the devolution of welfare powers.

    Shadow Scotland spokesperson Lord McAvoy argues the complexity of welfare devolution makes this body necessary. 

  17. 'Theme of optimism'

    Northern Ireland Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Shadow Northern Ireland minsiter Stephen Pound, responding to the debate for Labour, says he has noticed "a theme of optimism" running through today's debate.

    Though it's been a "serious and sober debate but at every stage there is that chink of light, a chance of hope and commitment to the future."  

    Shadow Northern Ireland minsiter Stephen Pound
  18. Bill allows Scotland to set welfare agenda

    Scotland Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Dunlop
    Image caption: Lord Dunlop

    Scotland Office Minister Lord Dunlop says the Scottish government would be free to set its own welfare agenda if the Bill is passed.

    He adds that the Scottish government would not require permission from the UK government to make top-up payments to welfare recipients.

  19. Condolences offered

    Northern Ireland Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Independent MP Dame Sylvia Hermon intervenes on Mark Durkan's speech to offer her condolences to Mr Durkan and his sister, whose husband was killed in a motor accident last night.

  20. Disability benefits

    Scotland Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Davidson
    Image caption: Lord Davidson

    Peers have moved on to debate a group of amendments concerning welfare benefits.

    If passed the Bill would give the Scottish government extensive new powers over welfare.

    Shadow Scotland spokesperson Lord Davidson of Glen Clova is speaking to amendments concerning benefits paid to disabled people.

    He asks for confirmation that the Scottish government would be able to make top-up payments to people who have been sanctioned under the UK government's welfare policies.