Oil Leak 166 Parliamentary Questions continued….

Another from our short series on recent questions posed in the Scottish Parliament by Green MSP, Mark Ruskell. That same old answer  – STS is reserved and the habitats regs don’t apply to reserved matters. However, it would appear that Mark asked the wrong question. If he had asked the same question with regards to the  Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010, it is clear that this 9(6) states:

This regulation applies, in relation to Scotland, only in relation to functions which relate to reserved matters (within the meaning of Schedule 5 to the Scotland Act 1998(14) (reserved matters)). Hmm…that’ll be STS then, as it is a reserved matter!

The 2010 regulations amend the 1994 regulation, however, generally not in Scotland unless it is a reserved matter. The explanatory notes state:

“They revoke the 1994 Regulations except (generally) as they extend to Scotland. In addition, in respect of reserved matters, these Regulations replace the 1994 Regulations as they extend to Scotland.” Therefore the 1994 regulations DO NOT APPLY TO RESERVED MATTERS IN SCOTLAND.  They are replaced by the 2010 regulations. That’s the one thing we’ve noticed in this whole sorry mess – if you don’t ask the right question, you don’t get the right answer – of course if you don’t know you are asking the wrong question then you are not going to get far!

Question S5W-08388: Mark Ruskell, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 24/03/2017

To ask the Scottish Government under what circumstances (a) the Scottish Ministers and (b) another Scottish authority might be considered a competent authority for ship-to-ship transfers for the purposes of Regulation 48A of the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994.

Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (27/04/2017): All matters relating to ship-to-ship transfers are reserved to the UK Government, and the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 (as amended) do not apply to reserved matters. The Scottish Government has requested on a number of occasions for these powers to be devolved, or at the least for the Secretary of State for Transport to name the Scottish Government as a formal consultation body under Section 2 of the Merchant Shipping (Ship to Ship) Regulations 2010.
Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 27/04/2017