Professional Qualifications Bill must have safeguard to protect devolved powers - Chamberlain

In a parliamentary question and answer session today, North East Fife MP Wendy Chamberlain called on ministers to add safeguards to the Professional Qualifications Bill to protect devolved powers and allow devolved administrations to revoke the measures if necessary.

The UK Government's Professional Qualifications Bill will have an impact on the ability of devolved nations to regulate professional qualifications, although these powers are presently devolved to the Scottish and Welsh Governments.

Ms Chamberlain commented: 

"This Bill allows UK Government Ministers to legislate on areas that would normally be under the authority of devolved administrations. But as it stands there is no protection in place to allow the Scottish and Welsh governments to revoke or amend these measures if needed. 

"The entire reason we have devolved powers is to allow ministers to make bespoke decisions that better reflect the needs of the local people and economy. The Minister’s statement that the purpose of the bill is to ensure qualified professionals within the UK can work anywhere within the four nations clearly undermines the devolution settlement. We saw it with the Internal Market Act and we see it again here.  

"Without the appropriate safeguards, this Bill further erodes both the powers we have in place in Scotland and the trust between our governments."



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