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Live Reporting

By Louise Wilson and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from Holyrood Live!

    Lord Advocate James Wolffe
    Image caption: Lord Advocate James Wolffe addressed the chamber on Thursday afternoon

    That's all from Holyrood Live on Thursday 13 December 2018.

    Brexit Secretary Michael Russell is to hold cross-party talks regarding the future of the Scottish Brexit bill, following a ruling by the Supreme Court, Lord Advocate James Wolffe has said.

    Supreme Court judges said the bill "as a whole" was within Holyrood's competence, but that MSPs had acted outwith their powers in relation to one section.

    MSPs could potentially bring the continuity bill back for reconsideration at Holyrood, provided they take action on the areas highlighted by the Supreme Court.

    Members including Green co-convener Patrick Harvie and Labour's Neil Findlay pressed ministers to do so, while Scottish Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins said what was left after the court had "eviscerated" the bill would just replicate the provisions of the UK legislation.

  2. MSPs unanimously pass Pow of Inchaffray Drainage Commission (Scotland) Bill

    Maurice of Inchaffray blessing the troops at Bannockburn
    Image caption: Maurice of Inchaffray blessing the troops at Bannockburn

    MSPs unanimously pass the Pow of Inchaffray Drainage Commission (Scotland) Bill.

    Prior to that MSPs back the Tory and Lib Dem amendments from the human rights debate, but reject the Labour amendment. The amended motion is then passed, with 89 MSPs backing it and 24 abstentions.

  3. Wrapping up the Pow Bill debate........

    Tory MSP Alison Harris
    Image caption: Tory MSP Alison Harris

    Tory MSP Alison Harris admits she knew nothing about the Pow of Inchaffray before this bill came to parliament.

    Because of outdated plans, some people who benefit from the Pow but do not contribute to its upkeep, she explains.

    She welcomes the fact the committee was able to resolve the objections raised.

  4. Bill is a balancing act that will not always be agreeable to both parties

    Green MSP Andy Wightman
    Image caption: Green MSP Andy Wightman

    Green MSP Andy Wightman pays tribute to our colleague Philip Sim for his work in illuminating this type of work that the parliament undertakes.

    Mr Wightman says at one level the story of the Pow is a fascinating story and the bill is a balancing act that will not always be agreeable to both parties.

    The Green MSP thanks the committee for their work and says he hopes there is no need for the promoters to come back to Holyrood for another 150 years.

  5. 'Fascinating and challenging experience'

    Labour MSP Mary Fee
    Image caption: Labour MSP Mary Fee

    Labour MSP Mary Fee begins by thanking everyone involved in considering this bill.

    She insists it was a "fascinating and challenging experience".

    Ms Fee commends the drainage commission for its efforts in listening to concerns and taking them on board.

    The commission needs, and will need in the future, dedicated commissioners generous with their time and efforts, she adds.

  6. Background: What does the bill do?

    Philip Sim

    BBC Scotland political reporter

    Old bill

    To briefly get technical, the Pow of Inchaffray Drainage Commission (Scotland) Bill is a private bill - one not proposed by the government or even an opposition MSP, but by the drainage commissioners themselves.

    It sets out procedures for the appointment of commissioners, identifies the land benefitting from the drainage, sets out how much money has to be collected, and from whom, and gives the commissioners powers to recover debts via the courts.

    The bill has had some key questions to answer. How should the costs of maintaining the pow be shared out? Who should have to pay, and how much? And should something be done about some pesky beavers?

  7. Dull as ditchwater? Inside Holyrood's forgotten committee

    Philip Sim

    BBC Scotland political reporter

    A stretch of water which has a historical pedigree dating back to the 13th century
    Image caption: A stretch of water which has a historical pedigree dating back to the 13th century

    What is the Pow of Inchaffray?

    Well, it's a ditch. Quite a long drainage ditch, which channels groundwater from a patch of Perthshire into the River Earn.

    Its tributaries run for a total of 13.7 miles, and drain 2,047 acres of land. Which, to use the standardised unit of measurement, is about 965 football pitches.

    The history of this pow - a versatile Scots word, in this case meaning artificial ditch - runs right back into the Dark Ages.

    The bill currently being considered by this obscure Holyrood committee repeals a 172-year-old piece of legislation, which itself superseded a 322-year-old Act of the old Scottish Parliament.

    The people bringing forward the new legislation say the land cleared by the pow is "among the most fertile agricultural acreage in Scotland", and say it is "vitally important that the pow is maintained to prevent flooding in this area".

    There is a sub-row about what the pow is actually for - involving the technical difference between groundwater drainage and flood prevention - but the Scottish Environment Protection Agency's map of flood risk areas, below, underlines that parts of the local area could, in the wrong circumstances, more or less be a lake.

    Read more here.

  8. This issue has never been dull insists SNP MSP

    SNP MSP Tom Arthur,
    Image caption: SNP MSP Tom Arthur,

    SNP MSP Tom Arthur, the convener of the Pow of Inchaffray Drainage Commission Bill (Scotland) Bill, says anyone who read Philip Sim's recent article "Dull as ditchwater? Inside Holyrood's forgotten committee", would realise this issue has never been dull.

    Mr Arthur says the focus of the committee remained consistent throughout, is the bill proportionate to the commission and heritors.

    He says another key part is about who actually benefits from the drainage.

    There was a great deal to wrestle with and resolve, he explains.

  9. Amendments are minor and technical

    Almost empty chamber
    Image caption: Not exactly a full chamber for this debate...

    Pow of Inchaffray Drainage Commission (Scotland) Bill Committee convener Tom Arthur explains all four amendments are minor and technical.

    No one else wants to speak to the amendments, and all are agreed unanimously.

  10. Here are all the Stage 3 amendments..........

    Here are the amendments
    Image caption: Here are the amendments
  11. Pow of Inchaffray Drainage Commission (Scotland) Bill final proceedings

    Maurice of Inchaffray blessing the troops at Bannockburn
    Image caption: Maurice of Inchaffray blessing the troops at Bannockburn

    MSPs will debate the Pow of Inchaffray Drainage Commission (Scotland) Bill.

    There will be a brief discussion on four amendments to the bill before the final debate.

  12. Post update

    Quote Message: "Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home -- so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. [...] Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world." from Eleanor Roosevelt American political figure, diplomat and activist
    Eleanor RooseveltAmerican political figure, diplomat and activist
  13. Background: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70

    From: UN.Org:

    Let's stand up for equality, justice and human dignity

    Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December – the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    This year, Human Rights Day marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being -- regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. It is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages.

    Universal Declaration of Human Rights
    Image caption: Universal Declaration of Human Rights

    #StandUp4HumanRights

    • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights empowers us all.
    • Human rights are relevant to all of us, every day.
    • Our shared humanity is rooted in these universal values.
    • Equality, justice and freedom prevent violence and sustain peace.
    • Whenever and wherever humanity's values are abandoned, we all are at greater risk.
    • We need to stand up for our rights and those of others.
  14. Green MSP welcomes international focus

    Green MSP John Finnie
    Image caption: Green MSP John Finnie

    Green MSP John Finnie agrees there is a need to have an international as well as domestic focus on human rights.

    He supports boycotts, divestment and sanctions with regard to the Israel/Ghaza situation, leading Tory MSP Oliver Mundell to argue that preventing trade is not the right way to build links.

    Mr Finnie goes on to criticise the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia, which has a poor record on human rights.

    Let's practice what we preach, he concludes.