On 21 and 22 March, MSPs debated a motion to give the Scottish Government a mandate ‘to take forward discussions with the UK Government on the details of an order under section 30 of the Scotland Act 1998 to ensure that the Scottish Parliament can legislate for a referendum’ on independence.
The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill received Royal Assent on 16 March.
The UK Government has announced its intention to trigger Article 50 on Wednesday 29 March 2017.
The number of people registered to vote in local government and all parliament elections in Scotland increased in 2016, according to statistics published by National Records of Scotland (NRS). At 1 December 2016, the number of registered local government and Scottish Parliament electors in Scotland stood at 4.1 million.
The Scottish Government have started to issue invitations to 18,000 people across Scotland who has recent or current experience of the social security system. Each will receive a Scottish Government invitation and registration form, which contains information on the Experience Panels being set up to shape the country’s new social security system.
The UK Parliament launched a new podcast series, 'Parliament Explained', presented by writer and comedian Meera Syal, and featuring Members and staff from both Houses. The series comprises six episodes, which will be released every Monday from 20 March 2017.
Joint committee meetings
The Scottish Parliament’s Social Security Committee and the Scottish Affairs Committee of the House of Commons held their second joint session on 20 March. They questioned the UK Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities.
Services for MPs
The Administration Committee of the House of Commons has published a report on election planning and post-election services for Members, drawing on lessons learned. It recommends a continued customer focus and increased use of digital tools.
The Scottish Parliament will be joining millions of people around the globe who will switch off for Earth Hour to shine a light on the need for climate action. Why not switch off on Saturday 24 March 20.30-21.30 local time too, and do your bit for climate change?