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Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Carol Duncan

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    That concludes our coverage of Holyrood on this historic day, 17 September 2015, the day when the British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill was passed unanimously by MSPs.

    The gallery celebrates

    You can watch the full debate on the bill and other highlights from this week at Holyrood, at BBC Scotland's Democracy Live website.

  2. Parliament is adjourned

    PO

    Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick takes the unprecedented step of thanking Mark Griffin, the parliamentary staff and all the interpreters for their fantastic work.

    Mark Griffin
  3. British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill unanimously passed

    MSPs pass the British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill unanimously, to warm applause from all in the gallery and the chamber.

    Public gallery
  4. Renewable debate motion passed

    The Scottish government motion from the renewables is passed by MSPs, with 63 MSPs backing it.

  5. Decision time is being signed

    Shorna Dickson is signing decision time.

    Shorna Dickson
  6. Debate concludes

    Mr Griffin concludes the debate and we now move to decision time, where it is expected the bill will be unanimously passed.

    First though MSPs will vote on the motion and amendments from the renewables debate.

  7. Interpreters needed

    Mr Griffin says more registered BSL interpreters are desperately needed. He says there are 80 in Scotland compared to 750 in Finland.

    Mark Griffin

    He hopes that the bill will pass.

  8. 'BSL Marginalised and misunderstood'

    Mr Griffin refers to his two grandparents who were deaf blind.

    Gallery

    Although he never met them, it inspired him to joing the deaf cross-party group.

    The Labour MSP says BSL is still marginalised and misunderstood.

  9. Educational attainment gap

    Mr Griffin says it is not difficult to see why there is an educational attainment gap in deaf children, when they may have better BSL skills than their teacher.

    He says the unemployment rate of young deaf people was 49%, as opposed to 19% in hearing young people.

    The Labour MSP says we are missing out on what deaf and deaf-blind people can offer and we can no longer afford to do so.

  10. Thanks to the interpreters

    Labour MSP Mark Griffin thanks the organisations outside the chamber who have provided briefings for the bill and thanks the interpreters in the gallery, particularly the hands on tactile BSL interpreters who must be tired.

    Mark Griffin

    Mr Griffin says it is estimated that 120 children a year are born with a hearing loss, the majority of whom are born to hearing parents.

  11. Participation levels

    Learning Minister Alasdair Allan says he will do his best to ensure the levels of participation is sustained on implementation.

    The minister thanks the deaf and the deaf blind community for their work and efforts to improve the bill and engage.

  12. Cross-party support

    Learning Minister Alasdair Allan says the bill has had strong cross-party support from the beginning, saying the Parliament's work in this area has been commended.

    Alasdair Allan

    He says schools can offer BSL in their language learning plans in the same way as spoken languages.

  13. Consensual debate

    Public gallery

    This debate has been completely consensual and has been avidly followed by a packed gallery.

    Public gallery
  14. 'Giving a voice to deaf people'

    Labour MSP Siobhan McMahon congratulates Mark Griffin for the bill and "giving a voice to deaf people".

    Ms Siobhan says the legislation marks a historic moment for deaf and deaf-blind people in Scotland.

    Siobhan McMahon

    She draws attention to the educational attainment gap suffered by deaf children.

    The Labour MSP says employers lack of understanding are creating barriers to deaf people getting into work.

  15. Support for families

    Mary Scanlon closes for the Scottish Conservatives saying that the bill is about the expectations of those in deaf community and those in Holyrood's Education Committee.

    Mary Scanlon

    She says her party welcomes the setting up of a board to oversee the implementation of the bill.

    Ms Scanlon says 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents and would like more to be done to help all those families to communicate with their children, regardless of where they live, at the point of diagnosis and not as late as when the child starts school.

  16. 'Tremendous achievement'

    Education Committee convener Stewart Maxwell praises the efforts of Mark Griffin for getting his bill to this stage, which is a "tremendous achievement".

    Stewart Maxwell

    Mr Maxwell says as many people as possible from the deaf and deaf-blind communities were able to communicate with the committee.

  17. 'Record attendance'

    Scottish Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur says when the BSL bill came before the Education Committee there were record attendances and he welcomes many of the people here today again.

    Mr McArthur says the way in which national and local authority plans will be produced was improved at the committee stage.

    Liam McArthur

    The Lib Dem MSP says BSL must be promoted in educational settings and promote its use in the workforce.

    He says the deaf-blind community have specific needs and he is delighted that is addressed, thanks the efforts of Mark Griffin and Dennis Robertson.

  18. Gentle rebuke

    Scottish Labour MSP Cara Hilton says the bill is an opportunity to change the culture of Scotland.

    Cara Hilton

    She is then interrupted by Dennis Robertson who reminds her that interpreters need time to sign what is being said.

    Ms Hilton acknowledges the gentle rebuke by saying: "I speak very fast, it must be a Grangemouth thing".

  19. 'The same as everyone else'

    Guide dogs

    Mr Robertson, who is blind, says: "People in the deaf community just want to be the same as everyone else they want to be able to communicate and be understood."

  20. 'Tactile BSL'

    SNP MSP Dennis Robertson welcomes all the guests to the gallery and to those in the overspill room.

    Dennis Robertson

    Mr Robertson says Mark Griffin should have a sense of pride wen the bill is passed.

    He says the deaf-blind community wishes to have the same equality as everyone else and to have tactile BSL included in the bill will be most welcome.

  21. 'Inspiring'

    Scottish Conservative MSP Mary Scanlon says her party back the bill and says they will vote for it 100%, at decision time.

    Ms Scanlon says accurate figures for the number of interpreters are necessary to allow progress.

    Mary Scanlon

    Ms Scanlon says Dingwall Academy has inspired her, as it provides 16 hours of BSL training for pupils in first year.

  22. 'Highly valued in society'

    Scottish Labour's Rhoda Grant says that passing the bill will send a strong message to those in the deaf community and the deaf-blind community that they are highly valued in society.

    Labour MSP Rhoda Grant
    Image caption: Labour MSP Rhoda Grant

    Like any other language, it needs to be preserved and promoted as it also makes an important cultural contribution to wider society, she says.

    Ms Grant says that deaf young people should be encouraged at school in order to close the attainment gap with hearing students.

  23. Minister commends the bill to the parliament

    Interpreter

    The minister concludes by commending the BSL bill to the parliament.

  24. 'Real tangible difference'

    Learning and Languages Minister Alasdair Allan begins by signing: "Thank you and welcome to the Scottish parliament" to the many visitors in the public gallery.

    The minister congratulates Mark Griffin and the many deaf and deaf-blind people who have played their part in getting this bill to this stage.

    Alasdair Allan

    Mr Allan says the legislation will make a "real tangible difference to the lives of those who use BSL".

    He says a BSL National Advisory Group, including many deaf and deaf-blind people, will be created.

    The minister says the Scottish government recognises deafness as a culture and BSL as a language.

  25. Very engaged

    Mr Griffin says the deaf and deaf-blind community have been very engaged and mobilised about this legislation.

    Hands signing

    He says the bill is now in good shape to benefit BSL users and he calls on MSPs to back the bill.

  26. 'Naming and shaming'

    Mr Griffin outlines the details for the proposed British Sign Language National Plan for Scotland.

    The Labour MSP, who had two grandparents who were deaf-blind, says the bill will lead to the naming and shaming of local authorities who are falling short.

  27. 'Cultural and linguistic minority'

    Mr Griffin says many users of BSL are in a "cultural and linguistic minority" and many cannot learn English.

    British Sign Language
  28. Cross-party group on deafness

    Mr Griffin thanks all those that have helped him get the British Sign Language Bill to this final stage and hopefully to be passed at decision time.

    Public gallery

    He says he wants to thank the cross-party group on deafness, many of whom are in the gallery today, who have spent ten years to get to this stage.

    This is applauded warmly in the chamber.

  29. British Sign Language Bill debate

    Labour MSP Mark Griffin says it is with great, great pleasure that he opens this debate on his British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill.

    Mark Griffin
  30. Government amendments passed

    Scottish government amendments to the BSL Bill are passed unanimously.

    Interpreters
    Image caption: There are a number of interpreters in the gallery to translate for deaf visitors.
  31. BACKGROUND: Key points of the BSL bill

    • The central purpose of the bill is to promote the use of BSL principally by requiring BSL plans to be prepared and published by the Scottish ministers and the 116 public authorities listed at Schedule 2 of the Bill.
    • The national plan and listed authority plans are required to be reviewed and new plans published on a four year timeline.
    • This approach is intended to increase the profile of the language and, with this, its use in delivery of services.
    Someone using sign language
    • The Bill does not go as far as imposing an explicit statutory requirement on authorities to provide British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters or translation services, nor does it require listed authorities to deliver specific services to BSL users or those wishing to learn BSL.
    • The Bill also does not extend to other minority languages, or to other forms of communication that may be required by people with deafness or hearing difficulties.
    • The view is that legislation is required to give the Scottish government an opportunity to act on its commitment to recognise and support BSL as a minority language.
  32. BSL is a language

    Labour MSP Mark Griffin says BSL should be considered as a language in its own right, which is why he wishes to remove the word "sign" from the bill.

    Learning and Languages Minister Alasdair Allan agrees saying the government regards the BSL as a language.

    Mark Griffin

    The amendment is duly passed unanimously.

  33. Interpreters

    Deputy Presiding Officer Elaine Smith says there are interpreters in the afternoon so she calls on MSPs to speak more slowly than usual.

    Elaine Smith
  34. British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill Stage 3 amendments

    The amendment stage of this debate on the British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill will not last too long as there are very few amendments.

    The bill, which will promote the use of sign language and the publication of a British Sign Language National Plan for Scotland, was introduced in the Scottish Parliament on 29 October 2014 by Labour Mark Griffin MSP.

  35. 'Scottish consensus on energy policy'

    Energy Minister Fergus Ewing says to Labour that it "behoves us to work together" in this area of renewables.

    Mr Ewing says he will work with the Lib Dems and the Scottish Greens to meet renewables targets.

    Fergus Ewing

    The minister says: "The Scottish consensus on energy policy does not appear to match the London agenda".

  36. Strong role needed

    Lewis Macdonald closes for Scottish Labour saying the Scottish government should play a strong role with the UK department of energy in deciding which projects receive a subsidy.

    Solar power investment in projects has been put at risk because of decisions taken at Westminster in determining energy priorities.

    Mr Macdonald says the deployment of solar panels on public buildings and social housing could be pursued by the Scottish government.

    There are, he says, further opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and consumer bills.

  37. 'Begging bowl mentality'

    Scottish Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone says the minister has a "begging bowl mentality".

    Mr Johnstone says onshore renewables is expensive and the removal of the subsidies by the UK government had been flagged up well in advance.

    Alex Johnstone

    He says the resources must be targeted against newer technologies.

    The Tory MSP says the Scottish government is "obsessed" onshore wind.

  38. Scottish Greens

    Green MSP Patrick Harvie says today he is on the same side of this debate as Fergus Ewing, "what a rare pleasure".

    Patrick Harvie

    Mr Harvie says the UK government is pulling the rug from under the renewables industry.

  39. Scottish Liberal Democrats

    Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Liam McArthur welcomes the progress that has been made in meeting targets to decarbonise the energy system.

    Scottish Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur
    Image caption: Scottish Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur

    Scottish Lib Dem's energy spokesperson says the current UK government has adopted "a cavalier" attitude to renewable energy.

    Challenges facing the wave sector are significant, but that lack of infrastructure is hampering Orkney and other islands from reaching their maximum capacity in the renewable sector.

  40. BACKGROUND: Onshore wind energy

    Investment in onshore wind energy is already being hit by the early withdrawal of government subsidies, according to a survey of lenders.

    In June, UK ministers said new onshore wind farms would be excluded from a subsidy scheme from 1 April 2016.

    Sun setting over wind turbines

    Research for industry body Scottish Renewables suggests investors are now less willing to lend to projects.

    The UK government said it was taking urgent action to address the projected overspend on subsidies.

    It has previously said there are already enough subsidised wind energy projects in the pipeline.

    The announcement that the Renewables Obligation (RO) - funded by levies added to household bills - would be withdrawn a year earlier than expected has been criticised by Scottish Renewables.

    Wind farm in Scotland

    A survey, carried out on its behalf by EY, asked 10 major lenders about their willingness to provide investment.

    Of the seven who responded, more than half said they were not prepared to lend until the UK Energy Bill had received Royal Assent, which is not expected until next year.

  41. 'Can do ethic'

    Mr Fraser says it is time to "muster up a positive can do ethic not plead for years more subsidy as the minister is doing".

    He says the success of the UK solar energy sector should be praised more widely, as should the work of the UK government which is: "taking the right decisions to protect consumers and should be commended for doing so".

  42. Cost ineffective

    Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser says there are many good examples of renewable energy in Scotland but he says these projects are not as cost effective as they should be.

    He quotes economist Tony MacKay who says that renewable energy projects cost between 2.5 and 3 times more than need be, meaning that developers are making bigger profits at the cost of bill payers.

  43. BACKGROUND: 2020 Routemap for Renewable Energy in Scotland

    In 19 December 2013 the Scottish government published the second annual update to our 2020 Routemap for Renewable Energy in Scotland.

    solar panels on roof of house
    Image caption: Solar PV panels

    This further update published today provides a progress report on developments across the sector and towards the government's targets, as well as considering the further collective actions needed to unlock Scotland's full renewable energy potential.

  44. Conservative view

    Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser uses his amendment to says there is a need for a balanced energy policy for Scotland in which renewable energy is a component.

    Scottish government energy spokesperson

    Mr Fraser says with projects constructed, under construction or with consent, the Scottish government's target of generating an equivalent of 100% of Scotland's electricity demand from renewable sources will be met by 2020.

    The Scottish Conservative Energy spokesperson welcomes steps by the UK government to relieve pressure on consumer bills by reducing subsidies to mature technologies such as onshore wind power, and believes that renewable energy in all its forms will continue to have a healthy future across the UK.

  45. 'Stretching targets'

    Ms Boyack considers that a new, more stretching target should be set for community renewables delivered through stronger planning policy support, for example on permitted development rights.

    She calls on the UK government to reconsider its current proposals on Feed-in Tariff and support for small-scale and community renewables in light of the benefits that have been demonstrated in terms of energy supply, job creation and emission reductions across Scotland from community-led projects

  46. Unacceptable

    Ms Boyack agrees with the Scottish government's anger with the UK government for dropping subsidies to some renewables projects.

    Sarah Boyack
  47. Renewables Obligation

    Ms Boyack says the Scottish government should also use the powers that it retains under the Renewables Obligation.

    She saysthere is much more that should be done by the Scottish government to integrate its renewables and energy efficiency strategies to tackle fuel poverty, create jobs and reduce emissions.

    Wind turbines
    Image caption: Wind farms in Scotland saw a 20% rise in output last year

    The Labour MSP says it should include the promotion of marine renewables, community, cooperative and householder renewables and community heat and transport networks in this integration.

  48. Scottish Labour

    Labour MSP Sarah Boyack uses her amendment to say there has been growth in onshore wind energy in Scotland, which has been enabled due to investment by consumers across the UK.

    Scottish Labour's spokesperson for environmental justice calls for a UK energy summit with the UK and devolved administrations to deliver urgent and constructive dialogue to secure the progress of projects under the Renewables Obligation.

  49. BACKGROUND: £2.3m to develop water source heat pump schemes

    Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has announced a new Challenge Fund to encourage the development of large scale water source heat pump schemes in Scotland.

    Water source heat pump technology extracts heat from water even on the coldest days and uses the heat stored in water sources from rivers, canals, and lochs to supply low carbon heat efficiently.

    The Water Source Heat Pumps Challenge Fund, which is part of the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme, will support the development of large scale projects which need assistance to attract further investment. £375,000 is being made available to help with the development of investment grade business proposals.

  50. Uncertain UK policy

    The energy minister says he waits to see if David Cameron will connect the Northern and Western Isles to the mainland National grid.

    Mr Ewing says uncertainty over UK energy policy has led him to seek other ways of ensuring adequate energy supply for Scotland.

  51. More powers needed

    The minister says the further powers in the Scotland Bill cannot deliver Scotland's energy ambitions, and agrees that the UK Government must engage with Scotland and the other devolved administrations on energy policy.

    Energy Minister Fergus Ewing
    Image caption: Energy Minister Fergus Ewing
  52. BACKGROUND: Renewables

    Nearly half of Scotland's energy consumption came from renewable sources last year, according to official data.

    Figures released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) showed 49.6% of gross electricity consumption came from renewable sources last year.

    The figure was up from a total of 44.4% in 2013.

    The Scottish government said Scotland had almost met its 50% renewable electricity target, a year ahead of schedule.

    Electricity pylon and wind turbines

    Renewable electricity generation rose last year by 11.7% and is now estimated at 18,959 gigawatt-hours (GWh).

    This is roughly enough electricity to power the equivalent of an additional 430,000 Scottish households for a year, compared with 2013.

    The total included an increase in hydro, bioenergy and wind generation, with hydro generation at a record high level - up 26% from 2013 to 5,503 GWh.

    There was another record year for wind output, which was up 4% from 2013 to 11,592 GWh.

  53. Target met

    Mr Ewing says the Scottish government has surpassed its target for community and locally owned renewables with nearly 12,000 installations across Scotland.

    He says there are now 45 examples of shared ownership, an almost three-fold increase of 12 from 2014.

  54. And the debate begins

    Energy Minister Fergus Ewing will lead a debate on the future of renewables in Scotland's energy policy.

    In his motion, Mr Ewing says he welcomes that the updated 2020 Routemap for Renewable Energy in Scotland, published by the Scottish government, records a significant increase in the generation of electricity from renewable sources.

    Mr Ewing says UK government policy prevents Scotland from achieving its full renewable and low-carbon energy potential, and is damaging to investor confidence, employment, energy security, consumers' energy bills and emission reduction.

  55. Point of order

    Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur raises a point of order in relation to the motion from Energy Minister Fergus Ewing.

    Liam McArthur

    Mr McArthur says the updated 2020 Routemap for Renewable Energy in Scotland was only made ready this morning.

    Energy Minister Fergus Ewing says the document was circulated later than it should have been and he apologises.

    Deputy Presiding Officer John Scott says that was not a point of order but thanks the minister for his apology.

  56. First up this afternoon.......the future of renewables

    Tidal turbine
    Image caption: Scottish Renewables said the wave and tidal energy sector could become a key player in Scotland's economy

    Energy Minister Fergus Ewing leads a debate on the future of renewables in Scotland's energy policy.

  57. That's lunch .......... but come back at 2.30pm for...........

    Wind farm

    That's lunch but we will be back this afternoon in the chamber for the Scottish government debate on the future of renewables in Scotland's energy policy.

    Then the British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill will be debated for the final time, before almost certainly passing it at decision time.

    Students in a sign language class
    Image caption: MSPs will debate the British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill for the last time before passing the legislation
  58. Behaviour change

    Mr Mackay says: "It is about infrastructure and behaviour change" for all road users.

    A cyclist

    He welcomes the extension of route 78 through the Great Glen and the Highlands. This is one example of how, he says, of how cycling and active travel has been placed centrally across all transport policies.

    The national cycle network has transformed transport across Scotland.

  59. Millions of trips taken

    The transport minister says it's not just cyclists that use the network, but runners too.

    Cyclists on beach

    Mr Mackay says 120 million trips are taken on the network each year.

  60. Ministerial closing

    Transport Minister Derek Mackay says the celebration of the National Cycling Network and its 20th anniversary are welcome.

    Derek Mackay

    Mr Mackay says the 2,000 miles of the network are also welcome.

    He says all MSPs must challenge local authorities to make sure the network is well maintained.

  61. BACKGROUND:

    Scotland's walking and cycling paths are to be extended by 500 miles over the next five years in a bid to get people more active.

    Thirty new long-distance routes are to be added to the network of trails and cycleways across Scotland.

    Cool pic of cyclist

    Some existing paths will also be extended and repaired.

    The current network covers more than 4,000 miles, including the West Highland Way and the Clyde and Forth Canal.

  62. And we're back with text, technical issues resolved

    The technical difficulties with text on this live page have been resolved and we're back for the end of the National Cycle Network debate.

    SNP MSP Jim Eadie led this debate on the 20th anniversary of the National Cycle Network in Scotland.

    Mark Cavendish crosses the finish line in the third leg of the Tour of Britain

    In his motion Mr Eadie says that the network runs for over 2,500 miles across Scotland providing important community links that encourage everyday journeys to be made more sustainably.

    Mr Eadie says that in 2014 the network hosted over 120 million trips on foot or by bike and says that the network is a huge asset for Scotland, with the health benefits of network journeys and the economic value of leisure and tourism cycling valued at hundreds of millions of pounds.

    He believes that as the network continues to grow in the years ahead so too will the benefits.

  63. Technical difficulties

    We apologise that due to technical difficulties we cannot bring you text updates on the live page for the moment.

    The video of general questions and then first minister's questions can be watched above.

  64. Central Scotland capital projects

    Labour MSP Mark Griffin asks the Scottish government what the impact is of EU rule changes on capital projects in Central Scotland.

  65. Coming up in the chamber......

    General questions will be followed by our extensive coverage of first minister's questions, with social media reaction to the political jousting.

    Will Kezia adopt a "Corbynite approach to FMQs and have the general public pick her angle of attack? You never know.

    What we do know is that backbench MSPs will raise the following issues, fracking; the UK government's Trade Union Bill; the Scottish Fiscal Commission and the UN Sustainable Development Summit 2015

    SNP MSP Jim Eadie will then lead a debate celebrating the 20th anniversary of the National Cycle Network in Scotland.

    In the afternoon session in the chamber the Scottish government will lead a debate on the future of renewables in Scotland's energy policy.

    Then the British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill will be debated for the final time, before almost certainly passing it at decision time.

  66. Private session

    The Devolution Committee is now going into private session.

    Private session
  67. External input

    On the subject of arbitration, Ken Thomson says: "these are essentially matters of politics and politicians are good at working agreement out".

    The Edinburgh Agreement was reached by negotiation between the UK and Scottish governments.

    Mr Thomson says discussions on the fiscal agreement are in the same manner and are not, currently, subject to arbitration.

    Philip Rycroft says that this daily interaction is part of the work of governments.

  68. Fiscal resolution

    Mr Rycroft says in looking at dispute resolution we allow politicians to find solutions.

    Labour MSP Malcolm Chisholm raises the issue of the fiscal framework.

    Officials

    The fiscal framework falls very squarely in the bilateral space between Holyrood and Westminster and clearly there needs to be an ongoing relationship between the Treasury and the Scottish government, which gets more complicated with further devolution.

  69. 'New ways of working'

    Mr Rycroft says in the main inter-governmental relations in the UK have worked well with only four complaints in the last few years, which have been resolved.

    He says it will ultimately be for ministers to decide the new ways of working, if they choose too.

  70. Scrutiny already exists

    Ken Thomson, director general for strategy & external affairs, from the Scottish government office, says opportunity to scrutinise the daily work of inter-governmental contact already exists as ministers are accountable to Parliament through committees such as this one.

    Ken Thomson

    He says nature of the scrutiny could change in line with the devolution settlement.

  71. Advise politicians

    The UK government cabinet official goes on to say it would not be appropriate to have negotiations in public space.

    Mr Rycroft says it is his job only to advise politicians on how to take forward the JMC, the decision on its future is for the JMC itself.

  72. Parliamentarian involvement

    It is not just two governments, it is four government's with Wales and Northern Ireland also involved in the JMC says Mr Rycroft.

    Mr McNeil says there is a concern that there has been no consideration of how to involve parliamentarians in the talks going on about the future of the JMC.

    Committee convener Duncan McNeil
    Image caption: Committee convener Duncan McNeil

    The Labour MSP says Mr Rycroft has not made any indication how parliamentarians will be involved.

    Mr Rycroft says there has been a "good deal of input from parliamentary committees".

  73. JMC

    Mr Rycroft says in order for effective scrutiny to take place parliament and the wider public need to know what is happening in inter-governmental relations.

    He says the Joint Ministerial Committee is a the heart of this.

  74. Inter-governmental relations

    Philip Rycroft from the UK government's Cabinet Office says inter-governmental relations in the UK are coming to a major juncture, with the Scotland Bill coming down the track.

    Philip Rycroft

    Mr Rycroft says the review is underway and it marks a moment of change in the devolution settlements and a very appropriate time to review inter-governmental relations.

  75. And we're off.....

    Devolution Committee convener Duncan McNeil introduces the witnesses.

    Devolution (Further Powers) Committee

    Mr McNeil then asks Mr Rycroft, the UK government's official responsible for the review of the memorandum of understanding, how the review is processing.

  76. Now its time to look at the reform of inter-governmental relations in the UK

    The committee will now take evidence on reform of inter-governmental relations in the UK from Philip Rycroft, the Second Permanent Secretary and Head of UK Governance Group from the Cabinet Office and Ken Thomson, director general for strategy & external affairs, from the Scottish government office.

    Holyrood and Westminster
  77. First evidence session ends

    That concludes the first evidence session on inter-governmental relations with Professor Julie Simmons from the University of Guelph; Professor Nathalie Behnke from the University of Konstanz; Dr Sean Mueller from the University of Berne and Professor Bart Maddens from the University of Leuven.

    That concludes the first session on inter-governmental relations
  78. Inter-governmental relations in the UK

    Holyrood and Westminster

    The committee will shortly take evidence on reform of inter-governmental relations in the UK from Philip Rycroft, the Second Permanent Secretary and Head of UK Governance Group from the Cabinet Office and Ken Thomson, director general for strategy & external affairs, from the Scottish government office.

  79. Devolution (Further Powers) Committee is back!

    We're back, after some technical difficulties have been resolved.

    The Devolution (Further Powers) Committee takes evidence on inter-governmental relations from Professor Julie Simmons from the University of Guelph; Professor Nathalie Behnke from the University of Konstanz; Dr Sean Mueller from the University of Berne and Professor Bart Maddens from the University of Leuven.

    The committee will then take evidence on reform of inter-governmental relations in the UK from Philip Rycroft, the Second Permanent Secretary and Head of UK Governance Group from the Cabinet Office and Ken Thomson, director general for strategy & external affairs, from the Scottish government office.

  80. Good morning and welcome

    Good morning and welcome to BBC Scotland's Democracy Live coverage of the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 17 September 2015.

    Holyrood

    Coming up today:

    • The Devolution (Further Powers) Committee takes evidence on intergovernmental relations from international academics
    • General questions
    • Extensive coverage of first minister's questions
    FMQs
    • 20th Anniversary of the National Cycle Network debate
    • 2.30pm: The Future of Renewables in Scotland's Energy Policy debate
    • 3.30pm: British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill Stage 3 debate
    Students in a sign language class
    Image caption: MSPs will debate the British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill for the last time before passing the legislation