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Summary

  1. Transport Minister Humza Yousaf gives evidence to the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee
  2. This week the communities, social security and equalities ministers are in the hot seats during portfolio questions
  3. Brexit Negotiations Minister Mike Russell updates the chamber on actions following the outcome of the EU Referendum
  4. The government leads an enterprise and skills debate
  5. MSPs participate in a debate entitled 'Support for Campbeltown Airport as SpacePort'

Live Reporting

By Colin Bell and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from Holyrood Live today

    Holyrood

    That's all from us here at Holyrood Live, we're back tomorrow morning for another busy day in the Scottish Parliament.

    Until then, have a lovely, peaceful evening.

  2. Here's our moment of the day......

    The spaceport debate has come to an end and parliament has adjourned for the evening.

    Here's our highlight from today, as Brexit Negotiation Minister Mike Russell called for a Scotland coalition to protect it's place in the single market.

    Video content

    Video caption: EU Minister calls for Scotland coalition ahead of Brexit

    Mr Russell delivered an update statement on the actions of the government following the outcome of the EU Referendum..

  3. Scottish government backs both bids...... the Space Odyssey continues

    The Space Odyssey continues without a favoured bidder
    Image caption: The Space Odyssey continues without a favoured bidder

    The minister says the Scottish government is committed to both the Campbeltown and Prestwick bids.

  4. Minister declines to choose between Prestwick or Campbeltown for the spaceport

    Business and innovation Minister Paul Wheelhouse
    Image caption: Business and innovation Minister Paul Wheelhouse

    Business and innovation Minister Paul Wheelhouse is encouraged to pick between Campbeltown and Prestwick by the deputy presiding officer.

    Christine Grahame is echoing the calls from a number of MSPs during the debate.

    Mr Wheelhouse begins his speech, evading such an onerous task for the moment, by highlighting Scotland's small but dynamic and growing space sector.

    He says there will no longer be one winner in the race for the spaceport as a number of sites across the UK will be involved.

    The minister declines to back Prestwick at the urging of Tory MSP John Scott or indeed choose either choice.

  5. Tory MSP backs Prestwick Airport

    Scottish Conservative MSP John Scott says he is backing the bid for Prestwick Airport.

    Mr Scott says he does not wish to make this a contentious debate but he must disagree with the points made by several of his colleagues and that Cambeltown is not the airport of choice for the Spaceport. 

    Scottish Conservative MSP John Scott
    Image caption: Scottish Conservative MSP John Scott

    The Conservative MSP says there is nowhere else in Britain like Prestwick Airport. 

    He says good access is necessary for the Spaceport and Prestiwck provides this.

    Mr Scott says plans are well underway to make Prestwick AIrport Scotland's Spaceport and it has the full support of the people of Ayrshire and the councils. 

  6. Campbeltown spaceport a 'small step for this parliament and a giant leap for Machrihanish'

    Conservative MSP Donald Cameron
    Image caption: Conservative MSP Donald Cameron

    Conservative MSP Donald Cameron throws his weight behind the Discover Space bid to create the spaceport at Campbeltown Airport. 

    He says the government should back the bid as it would be "a small step for this parliament and a giant leap for Machrihanish"

  7. Green MSP also backs Machrihanish bid

    Green MSP John Finnie
    Image caption: Green MSP John Finnie also backs Machrihanish bid

    Green MSP John Finnie says the debate should be more informed than "our runway is bigger than your runway".

    Mr Finnie says thousands of specialist jobs will come with the award of a spaceport and he says these people will enjoy coming to the Kintyre peninsula.

    He says he backs the Campbeltown bid because it will benefit the surrounding communities.

    The Green MSP says his party recognises the benefits of satellite technology, but says it opposes the militarisation of space.

  8. Tory MSP backs Cambeltown bid

    Conservative MSP Edward Mountain says he backs the Cambeltown bid.

    Conservative MSP Edward Mountain
    Image caption: Conservative MSP Edward Mountain

    Mr Mountain says the airport is suitable and is far enough away from densely populated areas whilst still being accessible. 

    The Tory MSP says it will help boost tourism and employment.

  9. Background: Prestwick and Campbeltown keen to host UK spaceport

    Last year it emerged that two Scottish airports were actively bidding to host the UK's first spaceport.

    The then Infrastructure Secretary Keith Brown told MSPs that the operators of Prestwick Airport had a bid team in place.

    The owners of Campbeltown airfield were also interested in attracting the venture.

    Space rocket
    Image caption: The UK could have a spaceport by 2018

    Stornoway, Newquay and Llanbedr were also on a UK government shortlist of potential sites.

    RAF Leuchars was identified as a potential temporary facility.

    Ministers were keen to see the spaceport established by 2018. 

    It would be used to launch commercial flights and satellites into space.

  10. SNP MSP backs Prestwick spaceport bid

    SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson says he backs Prestwick over Campbeltown.

    Mr Gibson says Prestwick's close proximity to Glasgow is a bonus.

    SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson backs Prestwick
    Image caption: SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson backs Prestwick

    He says Prestwick is just half an hour from many companies involved in work related to space.

    Mr Gibson says: "The Scottish government must stop pussyfooting about on this."

    He calls on the minister to back the Prestwick bid.

  11. Mr Stewart argues Campbletown Airport fulfils spaceport requirements

    Mr Stewart higlights the following requirements he feels Campbeltown Airport fulfils:

    • having a 3,000 metre runway
    • excellent storage facilities for large quantities of fuel and hazardous materials
    • room to expand over a 1,000 acre site
    Virgin Galactic rocket
    Image caption: Can Campbeltown become the UK's spaceport?
    • being situated in an area away from congested airspace
    • the runway being a safe distance from conurbations
    • excellent air, road and sea transport links and with close proximity to areas of engineering expertise
  12. MSP says Campbeltown has facilities essential for space tourism

    Nasa space tourism poster citing Mars as a destination
    Image caption: Nasa space tourism poster citing Mars as a destination

    Labour MSP David Stewart says Campbeltown Airport had the longest runway in Europe during the Second World War.

    Mr Stewart says this led to facilities which are still in excellent working condition.

    He says these facilities will be essential for space tourism and both Virgin Galatic and Nasa have approved them.

  13. Cambeltown the only Scottish airport which reaches the length requirements for a Spaceport

    Scottish Labour MSP David Stewart
    Image caption: Scottish Labour MSP David Stewart

    Scottish Labour MSP David Stewart says the UK is the third country to launch a satellite behind the US and the old Soviet Union.

    Mr Stewart says there are now five shortlisted sites for the 2018 Spaceport. 

    He says Cambeltown is the only airport which reaches the length necessary to be a Spaceport. 

  14. Background: UK ministers issue spaceport shortlist

    The UK government issued a shortlist of aerodromes that could host a UK spaceport last March.

    The list reduces the number of runways first suggested as candidates when last year's consultation got under way.

    Still in are Campbeltown, Glasgow Prestwick, and Stornoway in Scotland; Newquay in England and Llanbedr in Wales. RAF Leuchars is confirmed as a potential temporary facility.

    Various rocket planes and air-launched satellite systems
    Image caption: Various rocket planes and air-launched satellite systems are currently in development

    Ministers are keen to see the spaceport established by 2018.

    To make that happen, they will also have to put in place the necessary regulatory and licensing arrangements.

    Potential Aerodromes
    Image caption: Shortlist of potential aerodromes

    The government has ruled out two airfields in the consultation: RAF Lossiemouth and Kinloss Barracks in Scotland.  

  15. Background: Discover Space bid

     As the owners of the Campbeltown Airport site, Machrihanish Airbase Community Company (MACC) have incorporated a new subsidiary company to lead the bid – Discover Space UK

    Discover Space website
  16. 'Support for Campbeltown Airport as SpacePort' debate motion

    'Support for Campbeltown Airport as SpacePort' debate motion
  17. 'Support for Campbeltown Airport as SpacePort' debate

    Space rocket

    Labour MSP David Stewart will now lead a member's debate entitled 'Support for Campbeltown Airport as SpacePort'.

    Mr Stewart will champion Campbeltown Airport as the site for the proposed spaceport;

  18. Decision time comes to a close

    MSPs unanimously agree to note the Report on the Memorandum of Understanding of Ofcom and agree to the legislative consent motion on the UK's legislation Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill.

  19. The Scottish government motion is agreed to

    The Scottish government motion is agreed to with 84 MSPs backing it and with 35 against and with 6 abstentions.

    Government motion