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Summary

  1. Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Jim Clark Rally and winter blood stocks are all raised during general questions
  2. Nicola Sturgeon is quizzed by opposition MSPs during First Minister's Questions
  3. Scottish Conservative MSP Brian Whittle leads this afternoon's members' debate on Doon Valley Boxing Club
  4. The Scottish government lead a debate on Scotland's disability delivery plan
  5. The Finance and Constitution Committee lead a debate on the written agreement between the Scottish Parliament and Scottish government

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Colin Bell

All times stated are UK

  1. Images and tweets from the Scottish Parliament on 8 December 2016

    MSPs and the Parliament pay tribute to the late Alex Johstone
    Image caption: MSPs and the Parliament pay tribute to the late Alex Johstone
    Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh signs the condolence book for the late Alex Johnstone.
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    Primary school pupils give evidence to Scottish parliament Committee on Human Rights
    Image caption: Primary school pupils give evidence to Scottish parliament Committee on Human Rights
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  2. The written agreement motion is agreed to unanimously

    The written agreement motion is agreed to unanimously.

    With that, the presiding officer adjourns.

    Written agreement motion
  3. The Scottish Government motion, as amended, is agreed to

    The Scottish Government motion is agreed to with 88 MSPs backing it and 30 against.

    Government motion
    Labour amendment
  4. The Scottish Labour amendment is agreed to

    The Scottish Labour amendment is agreed to with 87 MSPs backing it and 30 against.

    Labour amendment
  5. The Scottish Conservative amendment is not agreed

    The Scottish Conservative amendment is not agreed with 30 MSPs backing it and 88 against.

    Tory amendment
  6. Decision Time

    We now move to decision time. 

  7. Tory MSP pays tribute to 'friend and mentor' Alex Johnstone

    Finance and Constitution Committee deputy convener Adam Tomkins says he rises to make this speech with a heavy heart, not because it is unimportant but because he should not be making it.

    Adam Tomkins

    Mr Tomkins says he is the deputy convener, it is his friend and mentor Alex Johnstone who was the convener. 

    He says there will time to reflect properly but for now he knows "AJ" would want him to deliver this speech.

    The Tory MSP says the written agreement is an excellent piece of work and it is fitting that Alex Johnstone was the convener of the committee. 

  8. Relationship between Scottish Parliament and Scottish government is not one of equals

    Scottish Greens Co-convener Patrick Harvie
    Image caption: Scottish Greens Co-convener Patrick Harvie

    Scottish Greens Co-convener Patrick Harvie says whoever wrote this is being ambiguous. 

    Mr Harvie says the Smith Commission didn't have enough time to deal with any of the issues in any depth in his view.

    He says the relationship between Scottish Parliament and Scottish government is not a relationship of equals and the government is always answerable to Parliament. 

  9. Next week will see the budget with more financial powers devolved than ever before

    Scottish Labour MSP James Kelly says Holyrood are taking on more responsibility with the transfer of powers from Westminster.

    Scottish Labour MSP James Kelly
    Image caption: Scottish Labour MSP James Kelly

    Mr Kelly says it is a challenge when you have two different parties at the head of governments but both must work effectively together and this legislation is an important means to doing that. 

    He says next week will see the budget with more financial powers devolved than ever before.

  10. Concern raised over the information given by the Scottish government on the transfer of welfare powers

    Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser
    Image caption: Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser

    Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser says the key to this is transparency.

    Mr Fraser says concern has been raised over the information given by the Scottish government on the transfer of welfare powers. 

  11. Scottish government has entered discussions with the UK government on Brexit with the best intentions

    Finance Secretary Derek Mackay
    Image caption: Finance Secretary Derek Mackay

    Finance Secretary Derek Mackay says the Scottish government has entered discussions with the UK government on Brexit with the best intentions.

    Mr Mackay says discussions haven't moved as quickly as they had hoped.

    He says Scottish government officials are not being complacent and will keep liaising to ensure they are working effectively with the Scottish Parliament. 

  12. Government required to provide an annual report on intergovernmental relations

    SNP MSP Bruce Crawford says there needs to be work to ensure both the Scottish Parliament and UK government work well together.

    SNP MSP Bruce Crawford
    Image caption: SNP MSP Bruce Crawford

    Mr Crawford says the written agreement establishes three key principles:

    • transparency
    • accountability 
    • confidentiality

    He says the government will be required to provide an annual report on intergovernmental relations (IGR). 

  13. Here is the Scottish government's motion on the written agreement between the Scottish Parliament and Scottish government

    Finance and Constitution Committee Convener Bruce Crawford will now speak to his motion on the written agreement between the Scottish Parliament and Scottish government. 

    Government written agreement motion
  14. Background: Written Agreement: Inter-governmental relations

    Parliaments
    Image caption: Inter-governmental relations

    The Written Agreement represents the agreed position of the Scottish Parliament and Scottish government on the information that the Scottish government will, where appropriate , provide the Scottish Parliament with regard to its own participation in formal, ministerial-level inter-governmental meetings, concordats, agreements and memorandums of understanding.

  15. Written Agreement between the Scottish Parliament and Scottish government debate

    The Finance and Constitution Committee leads a debate on the Written Agreement between the Scottish Parliament and Scottish government.

  16. Minister says benefit top up powers are in the context of 10% cut to Scottish budget

    Green MSP Alison Johnstone says the new powers coming to Holyrood allow for benefits to be topped up and created.

    Ms Freeman says that is in the overall context of the Scottish budget which has been decreased by just under 10% in the last period.

    Green MSP Alison Johnstone and Jeane Freeman
    Image caption: Green MSP Alison Johnstone and Jeane Freeman

    She says disabled access to transport is very important.

    She praises Labour MSP Mark Griffin for introducing the British Sign Language Bill to the parliament.

    The social security minister concludes saying UK welfare reforms were deliberately intended to save money.

    It won't do to dismiss the UN report which says the UK government are guilty of grave and systematic violations of disabled people's rights.

    She commends the disability delivery plan to the parliament.

  17. Minister says MSPs should be champions of the Disability Delivery Plan.

    Ms Freeman says she agrees with Jeremy Balfour that there is a need to address the stigma around disabled people.

    Jeane Freeman

    The social security minister says she is grateful to Alex Rowley and the approach of the Labour benches to the A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People report.

    She says the cuts to local authorities are of the same proportion as the cut to the Scottish government's budget by Westminster.

    Ms Freeman also welcomes the support of the Scottish Green Party.

    She says MSPs should be champions of the Disability Delivery Plan.

  18. Minister welcomes individuals and organisations to the gallery

    Jeane Freeman
    Image caption: The social security minister thanks the individuals and organisations who are in the gallery today

    Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman thanks the individuals and organisations who are in the gallery today, including Inclusion Scotland, the Glasgow Disability Alliance and Disability Agenda Scotland.

  19. Rhetoric on sanctions and cuts is becoming redundant says Tory MSP

    Scottish Conservative MSP Annie Wells promoting the best opportunities in life for those with disabilities should not focus on welfare.

    Scottish Conservative MSP Annie Wells
    Image caption: Scottish Conservative MSP Annie Wells

    Ms Wells says one in four Scots suffering mental health issues and it is important to provide support.

    The Tory MSP says it is important to eradicate the myths around the UK government's work programme.

    She says the rhetoric on sanctions and cuts is becoming redundant.