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UEFA European Championship Scotland Bill

Overview

This Bill gives powers to let Glasgow host the UEFA European Football Championship. Glasgow is one of 12 European cities hosting the championships in 2020.

The Bill will ban: 

  • the unauthorised sale of Championship tickets for more than the face value or to make a profit 
  • unauthorised street trading within an event zone when the zone is in operation
  • unauthorised advertising within an event zone when the zone is in operation

The Bill will also: 

  • create criminal offences for ticket touting, and for unauthorised street trading and advertising 
  • allow officers to enforce advertising, street trading and ticket touting offences
  • create criminal offences of obstructing officers in their duties, such as not giving information when asked to
  • ensure Glasgow City Council publishes guidance on restrictions for affected street traders

You can find out more in the Explanatory Notes document. that explains the Bill.

Why the Bill was created

The European Football Championships will take place in 12 European cities in 2020. This includes Glasgow. 

The Bill was introduced by the Scottish Government as it wants the championships to be a success. 

The purpose of the Bill is to:  

  • help the Government meet its commitments to UEFA in relation to commercial rights of sponsors
  • ban ticket touting

You can find out more in the Policy Memorandum document that explains the Bill.

Where do laws come from?

The Scottish Parliament can make decisions about many things like:

  • agriculture and fisheries
  • education and training
  • environment
  • health and social services
  • housing
  • justice and policing
  • local government
  • some aspects of tax and social security

These are 'devolved matters'.

Laws that are decided by the Scottish Parliament come from:

Becomes an Act

UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill passed by a vote of 110 for, 0 against and 0 abstentions. The Bill became Law on 23 January 2020.

Introduced

The Scottish Government sends the Bill and related documents to the Parliament.

UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill as introduced

Scottish Parliament research on the Bill 

Stage 1 - General principles

Committees examine the Bill. Then MSPs vote on whether it should continue to Stage 2.

Have your say

The deadline for sharing your views on this Bill has passed. Read the views that were given.

Committees involved in this Bill

Who examined the Bill

Each Bill is examined by a 'lead committee'. This is the committee that has the subject of the Bill in its remit.

It looks at everything to do with the Bill.

Other committees may look at certain parts of the Bill if it covers subjects they deal with.

Who spoke to the lead committee about the Bill

Video Thumbnail Preview PNG

First meeting transcript

The Convener (Joan McAlpine)

Good morning, and welcome to the committee’s 23rd meeting in 2019. I remind members and the public to turn off mobile phones; any electronic devices that are being used to access committee papers should please be turned to silent.

We have received apologies from Kenneth Gibson and I again welcome Emma Harper, who is attending as a substitute member.

Members will be aware that we had been due to take evidence on Brexit this morning from the United Kingdom Government minister James Duddridge MP. Unfortunately, yesterday morning, Mr Duddridge withdrew from appearing before the committee. I regard it as discourteous to the committee and to the Scottish Parliament that we have not heard from a UK Brexit minister at this critical juncture in the Brexit process. We have not heard from a UK Brexit minister this year. It is imperative that the committee hears from a UK Government Brexit minister before the deadline of 31 October.

Agenda item 1 is consideration of the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill at stage 1. I welcome to the committee the Scottish Government’s bill team: Lucy Carmichael, bill team leader, Derek Bearhop, head of events strategy and delivery, and Kirsten Simonnet-Lefevre, principal legal officer.

I invite Lucy Carmichael to make a brief opening statement of one to two minutes.

Derek Bearhop (Scottish Government)

If I may, I will make that statement.

The Convener

That is fine.

Derek Bearhop

The Scottish Government is proud that Glasgow has been selected as one of the 12 cities to co-host the UEFA European football championships next summer—one of the largest sporting events in the world. Glasgow and Scotland have a strong record of successfully delivering major global sporting events, which bring significant benefits for our economy and international reputation.

Since Glasgow’s bid to be part of Euro 2020 was successful, a local organising committee has been created to aid delivery of the championship as a whole. It includes the Scottish Football Association, the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, Hampden Park Ltd, VisitScotland and Police Scotland. The organisers have been making good progress, and the Union of European Football Associations has confirmed that it is satisfied that planning is well on track.

The Scottish Government did not initially expect that additional legislation would be required in order to deliver the event. However, as UEFA’s requirements became clearer, it was evident that primary legislation would be necessary to provide the level of protection that UEFA sought, and to ensure that our arrangements were consistent with those for the other venues around Europe. Formal confirmation that additional legislation would be required was received from UEFA in April 2019. Since then, the Scottish Government has been working swiftly to develop the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill. UEFA indicated that many of the provisions in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Act 2008 are appropriate and, in preparing the new bill, we have sought to learn from the 2008 act, which is the most recent piece of legislation for a major event in Scotland.

The bill was introduced on 24 September. It aims to help ensure the successful delivery of the event by putting in place protections for commercial rights in relation to ticket touting, street trading and advertising. The bill also contains measures on enforcement. Subject to parliamentary approval, the Scottish Government proposes that the bill completes its parliamentary process more quickly than usual, so that the secondary legislation can be laid early in 2020, in order to give affected businesses as much time as possible to prepare.

Because the requirement for the bill was confirmed only recently, there has not been time for a formal public consultation on it, so the Scottish Government has undertaken targeted engagement with businesses and other bodies with an interest, so that they understand what is being proposed and can provide their views.

The Scottish Government, in liaison with Glasgow City Council, in order to raise awareness among businesses and the public, intends to continue to publicise the restrictions on advertising, street trading and ticket touting in the run-up to the event.

The bill provides for three event zones in Glasgow and, earlier this week, the Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development shared draft maps of the proposed Hampden park and George Square zones with this committee, along with proposed dates of operation for the zones. The Scottish Government expects to share the map and dates of the third proposed zone, in Glasgow’s merchant city, soon.

The preparation of illustrative regulations is also under way, so that the Scottish Government can indicate to Parliament how it expects to use the powers that are included in the bill.

In light of the expedited timescale, the Scottish Government is grateful to the committee for undertaking consideration of the bill swiftly, and we are happy to answer any questions that the committee has about the bill.

The Convener

I think that everyone in the committee understands the importance of the championships in general, and their importance to Glasgow and Scotland in terms of the economic benefits that they will bring. It is important that we get the approach right not only for these championships but for future events. However, I am a little perplexed about why it has taken this length of time to bring the legislation to Parliament. Page 5 of the policy memorandum says that

“Scots law restricts ticket touting through section 55 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982”,

but it also says that that does not specifically criminalise the touting of tickets. Clearly, there is a gap in Scots law when it comes to ticket touting, which is why the bill has been introduced. The Glasgow Commonwealth Games Act 2008 dealt with similar issues, but I note that it was passed within a year of us winning the bid for the games, which was well ahead of the event. I understand that we knew in 2014 that Glasgow would be hosting these championships. Why has it taken us until now to introduce legislation to cover a failing in Scots law that we presumably always knew existed?

Lucy Carmichael (Scottish Government)

Since we found out that the bid was successful, there have been detailed discussions with UEFA and other partners organising the event. Those discussions have covered a range of areas.

You are correct in saying that we have been aware of the issue with ticket touting for some time and that we took action on it for the Commonwealth games. I am not sure that a single-issue bill would be considered to be the best use of parliamentary time, so we were working with UEFA and other partners to see what we could do with our existing powers on ticket touting, along with the measures that you have mentioned already. We have also been doing work on the other commercial rights protection that UEFA was looking to put in place around street trading and advertising, and we have been going through the existing provisions in detail to see what they permit us to do at present.

We viewed the introduction of primary legislation as a last resort, because of our desire to make best use of parliamentary time. As Derek Bearhop said, it did not become clear until 1 April that a bill would definitely be required. Since then, we have been working as swiftly as possible to undertake engagement with people who we think will be affected and to prepare the bill. As Derek Bearhop said, we are sorry that the bill has come forward so late and we are grateful to the committee for agreeing to work with us to a swifter timescale than usual.

The Convener

Thank you. How many of the countries that are hosting these matches are required to pass primary legislation?

Lucy Carmichael

UEFA provided me with an update on that issue yesterday. Scotland, Russia, Italy, Azerbaijan and Ireland have introduced primary legislation, and other countries, including England, will introduce secondary legislation. The remaining six hosts will reach the required levels of protection via other means. There is a range of activity across the 12 host cities.

Donald Cameron (Highlands and Islands) (Con)

On the point about primary legislation, can you ever foresee a major sporting event not requiring primary legislation?

Lucy Carmichael

I think that there have been previous events that have not required primary legislation. I suppose that it depends on what you class as a major event. No additional protections were required in relation to the UEFA cup final in 2007, and I do not believe that we had any legislation in relation to the European championships that took place in Glasgow last year.

09:15  



Derek Bearhop

That is right. There are only a handful of rights holders that tend to insist on the sort of rights protection that UEFA has asked for. As Lucy Carmichael said, we had the European championships in Glasgow last year, which did not require legislation. We have just had the Solheim cup, for which the Ladies Professional Golf Association did not require rights protection. It tends to be the International Olympic Committee, FIFA, the Commonwealth Games Federation and UEFA that require such protection. In my experience, it does not go much beyond that.

Donald Cameron

So you are slightly at the mercy of the organisations that run the events, and it is unpredictable—you do not really know whether primary or secondary legislation will be needed.

Derek Bearhop

I would not use the term “at the mercy”. We actively bid for the events, and we do so in the knowledge of what might be expected of us. In this instance, it was not totally clear whether primary legislation was necessarily the solution or whether we could have secondary legislation or another adaptive solution. Ultimately, as the convener said at the outset, major events are beneficial, so we are competitive in seeking to host them in Scotland.

Donald Cameron

I do not dispute that at all—that is clearly the case.

Stuart McMillan (Greenock and Inverclyde) (SNP)

For clarification, when Hampden hosted the champions league final a few years ago, there was no primary legislation for the event, but was any secondary legislation required for it?

Lucy Carmichael

No, not that I am aware of, but I can double-check and come back to you if that is not the case. I am certainly not aware of any such legislation.

Claire Baker (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)

The bill is similar to the legislation for the 2014 Commonwealth games in relation to ticket touting offences and fan zones. Have you evaluated the operation of that legislation and, if so, has that influenced the bill in any way?

Lucy Carmichael

There was no formal evaluation of how that legislation operated in practice. Since the requirement for the bill has been confirmed, we have been working with partners—in particular, Glasgow City Council and its enforcement officers who were in place at the time—to see whether there was any learning from that event that would require changes to be made to the bill. In engaging with other stakeholders who had experience of the provisions that were in place for the Commonwealth games, we have asked about their experience and learning from that.

Claire Baker

Is that process of engaging with traders and the council with experience of the previous legislation happening at the pace that we are having to deal with the bill? Are the timescales quite short?

Lucy Carmichael

They are shorter than usual. We are trying to do as much consultation and engagement as possible, but the timescales for that are limited.

Claire Baker

Have any issues been identified as problematic with that previous legislation, or does everybody seem content with how it operated?

Lucy Carmichael

The people we have spoken to so far have broadly been content with how that legislation operated.

Claire Baker

As the convener said, there appears to be a gap in Scottish legislation around ticket touting. That is obviously a concern in relation to not just sporting events but music and other events. I have previously asked the Government why the provisions on ticket touting that were put in place for the Commonwealth games could not be extended and made a permanent feature in Scotland. Why has that not happened, and what are the challenges with that?

Lucy Carmichael

The bill will create a specific criminal offence of ticket touting for the UEFA event only. There are differences in how tickets are sold for events. For this particular event, UEFA is the only authorised seller of tickets and it controls the secondary ticketing market. UEFA is the only body that sells the tickets, so there is no effect on other businesses that might be involved in ticketing. The bill therefore does not affect the rights or obligations of people buying or selling tickets or the existing law relating to secondary ticketing, and it therefore does not fall under consumer protection legislation, which is generally reserved to Westminster.

Kirsten Simonnet-Lefevre may want to add something on the legal position.

Kirsten Simonnet-Lefevre (Scottish Government)

No, I think that that has covered all the points. Consumer protection is reserved. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 has specific provisions that apply to the whole of the United Kingdom in relation to secondary ticketing.

Claire Baker

Why does what is in the bill not come under consumer protection? Is it because it is linked to a major event?

Lucy Carmichael

The bill creates a criminal offence that is linked to rights protection, and UEFA is the only authorised seller of the tickets.

Kirsten Simonnet-Lefevre

The ban is to stop the offence of touting. The bill makes no provision in relation to the contractual relationship between the purchaser and the seller of the tickets. It will protect the branding and integrity of the championship, because the tickets are sold only by UEFA and not by any other ticketing agents. UEFA also resells tickets that people are not able to use, because the tickets are not transferable; they are only for the person who purchases them.

Claire Baker

Mike Rumbles has raised questions about UEFA’s position on ticket touting, so I will hand over to him.

Mike Rumbles (North East Scotland) (LD)

I am very pleased that the bill includes provisions on ticket touting. I understand that there is a reserve of tickets for UEFA to sell and that you want to protect the branding, but I am puzzled why section 2(4) says:

“The touting offence does not apply in relation to acts done by UEFA.”

UEFA can get involved in ticket touting, but it will be banned for everybody else. That is very odd.

Lucy Carmichael

That is not the intent of the provision.

Mike Rumbles

That is what it says.

Lucy Carmichael

The intent is to be clear that UEFA is not capable of committing a ticket touting offence, because it is the rights holder. I think that the bill has similar provisions in relation to advertising and trading offences.

Mike Rumbles

Hang on. Nobody else can ticket tout, but you are allowing UEFA to sell tickets to people above the original price.

Lucy Carmichael

UEFA sets the price at which the tickets are sold.

Mike Rumbles

It sets the original price. Forgive me if I am misunderstanding this, but ticket touting is ticket touting. If the price of a ticket has been published, and if the bill bans ticket touting, why does the bill say that the ban does not apply to UEFA?

Lucy Carmichael

UEFA will operate a secondary resale site. I am not aware that there would be any difference—

Mike Rumbles

It could increase the prices.

Lucy Carmichael

It could, but that would not be considered touting. I am not aware that UEFA has any intention of increasing the prices, but it is the rights holder and can set the price of a ticket.

Mike Rumbles

The bill allows UEFA to do that. If the provision relating to UEFA was not included, you would be banning ticket touting.

Lucy Carmichael

I might be misunderstanding the point, but UEFA is able to set the price of tickets.

The Convener

You said that UEFA is the rights holder. My understanding from reading the bill is that, if a member of the public has bought tickets for a match but his companion does not turn up, he is able to sell the ticket without committing an offence as long as he does not make a profit. Is that correct?

Lucy Carmichael

It is certainly correct that face-value exchanges are not captured by the criminal offence. Such exchanges would not be in line with UEFA’s terms and conditions of the ticket sale, but that is a separate matter. If the person who had bought the ticket was not present, people might be refused entry to the stadium, but we certainly did not want to criminalise someone who might not be able to attend.

The Convener

Thanks very much.

Mike Rumbles

Section 16 is on enforcement officers. When I read the bill, I was alarmed by the powers that seem to be given to individuals. That was before I read the submission that I received last night from the Scottish Police Federation. I have no problem with Glasgow City Council designating weights and measures officers as enforcement officers; that seems perfectly logical. However, section 16(2)(b) says that someone may also be designated if they meet

“such other criteria as may be specified by the Scottish Ministers in regulations.”

When I read that, I thought that the provision will give carte blanche to ministers to apply any, or no, qualifications to the people who are appointed. As you know, our job is to make sure that we have decent legislation going through Parliament. We can amend the bill, but we cannot amend regulations when they are introduced. Could you therefore please address the point that the Scottish Police Federation made to us? It said:

“The SPF is strongly of the view that in order to safeguard the rights of the public ... Ministers ought to be obligated to set specific criteria for the appointment of Enforcement Officers (including qualifying and limiting provisions)”.

I would say that such a provision needs to be on the face of the bill. Do you have any comments on that?

Lucy Carmichael

I will place on record that we welcome feedback on the provisions from the Scottish Police Federation, so we are grateful for its submission and we are happy to consider it in more detail.

The enforcement provisions in the bill very closely replicate what was put in place for the Commonwealth games and I understand that there was a lot of discussion of the issue when the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Bill was passing through Parliament. On the question of what we expect to be included in the regulations, we have been preparing illustrative regulations and we are happy to share them with Parliament as soon as we can.

Mike Rumbles

That would be helpful. If the committee at least knows what the Government is going to put in the regulations, I will be happy with that.

Lucy Carmichael

The illustrative regulations could then inform further discussion on the issue.

Mike Rumbles

We should see them before the bill goes through.

Lucy Carmichael

Yes, absolutely.

Mike Rumbles

Section 17(4) says:

“An enforcement officer may be assisted by any other person as may be reasonably required for the purposes of taking action under this section.”

I have written on my copy of the bill, “Can anybody do this?” The Scottish Police Federation says:

“This creates the possibility of Enforcement Officers (appointed potentially by as simple an act as an ad-hoc designation)”.

In other words, they could be appointed by you. The SPF continues:

“whose activities in seeking assistance in safeguarding”—

I will cut to the chase. The SPF says:

“We have grave reservations about both principle and practice on this issue. If it is envisaged that 17(4) could see persons other than police officers being relied upon to assist, this creates a potential for a free for all with random citizens (subjected to potentially zero validation) able to exercise powers of entry and search, and seizure and destruction.”

Lucy Carmichael

I will try to clarify. That is absolutely not the intention of the provisions.

Mike Rumbles

Oh, good.

Lucy Carmichael

The Scottish Government agrees that enforcement officers should have appropriate skills and experience to carry out the role and, in the first instance, we would expect those officers to be drawn from Glasgow City Council. Our financial memorandum sets out a little bit more detail about the experience of the officers in Glasgow City Council. For instance, most of the officers in the trading standards section worked on the Olympics and the Commonwealth games, for which similar legislation was in place. The council also intends to provide training on the bill.

We are not expecting that enforcement officers would be recruited from private companies. My recollection is that the example that was discussed previously of when an enforcement officer might require assistance was of a locksmith, if the issue was gaining access to a building. The provision is not intended to be so broad that anyone can get involved.

Mike Rumbles

That is great, and I am really pleased that that is the case, but the intention is not stated in the bill. If the Government could think about amending the bill to make that position clear, I am sure that we would be happy to see that—I certainly would.

Section 19(2) contains the following provision:

“An enforcement officer may take to a place entered by virtue of this section any other person, or any equipment”.

When I read the committee papers last night, I saw that the Scottish Police Federation also commented on section 19(2). It said:

“The SPF also finds the provisions of section 19(2) to be extraordinary.”

The SPF is basically saying that the bill would give to individuals powers that the police do not have. The police can enter premises without a warrant only in specific circumstances. The provision in section 19(2) gives a very wide-ranging power to individuals, and we do not know who those individuals will be.

Lucy Carmichael

My answer would be the same as my answer to the previous question: we can certainly look at that.

Mike Rumbles

It would be great if the Government could look at it and lodge some amendments—I would be happy with that. If I may say so, I think that the problem has arisen due to there not having been time to properly consult across the board. We can leave it there.

09:30  



Annabelle Ewing (Cowdenbeath) (SNP)

Staying on the issue of enforcement, I am not sure whether you have had an opportunity to reflect on the Scottish Police Federation’s submission to the committee, dated yesterday, which raises a number of points. When the federation’s representative is before us later today I intend to ask him about the position that it took on the arrangements for the Commonwealth games in 2014. Could you confirm my understanding, which is that, by and large, the enforcement arrangements are effectively the same as they were in 2014, except for the addition of the power of entry that Mike Rumbles talked about? Were the other offences, in relation to ticket touting, street trading and advertising, created at the time of the 2014 games?

Lucy Carmichael

Yes. I thought that the powers in relation to enforcement were almost identical to those for the 2014 games, but I can certainly double-check that.

Kirsten Simonnet-Lefevre

We can check that and come back to the committee.

Annabelle Ewing

Okay. It seems to me that obstructing an enforcement officer is the new offence, and that that is the difference from the position in 2014. If that is the key substantive difference, I am wondering what view the SPF took on obstruction in 2014.

Lucy Carmichael

I will double-check that, because I thought that there was an offence of obstruction previously.

Annabelle Ewing

It is an important point to check. In the fifth paragraph of its submission, the SPF talks about its concerns and says:

“This is particularly evident with proposed powers on the use of force, entry and search, and seizure and destruction.”

That use of the word “particularly” is important. If there are other differences, we would want to have clarity on those.

I have a further general question, which might be seen as coming from the left field. Why should you have an arrangement whereby you use trading standards officers and not the police?

Lucy Carmichael

Trading standards officers already have a role in enforcing restrictions on counterfeit goods and exercising similar powers. It makes sense to extend that to cover trading and advertising offences, as that is akin to the role that they are already performing. From a practical perspective, it should also reduce additional resourcing requirements on Police Scotland during the period of the championships. We looked at whether it would make sense to give the powers solely to Police Scotland, which would be different from what happened for the Commonwealth games. However, that would have created an additional burden for Police Scotland, and we thought that it would be possible for trading standards officers to carry out that role in an appropriate way.

Annabelle Ewing

It appears that one of the reasons for taking that approach, rather than simply giving the police responsibility for enforcement without reference to trading standards officers, was concern about the potential impact on the police. The information that we have had thus far about Glasgow City Council’s manpower is that it has a trading standards team consisting of 22 members of staff, most of whom were designated enforcement officers for the 2012 Olympics and the 2014 Commonwealth games. However, the council feels that it might require additional manpower, which it might seek from other local authorities. What is the total number of officers that we are talking about here—22 plus what?

Lucy Carmichael

We are planning for a range of scenarios. Glasgow City Council’s latest position is that it will aim to operate within its existing trading standards team. However, the draw for the championships will have an impact on that. We are not yet sure which matches will be played at Hampden. That will become slightly clearer later this year, but it will not be fully clear until after the UEFA nations league competition takes place next year. Because we are planning for a range of options, a range of costs is included in the financial memorandum.

Annabelle Ewing

If Scotland were to qualify—as we all hope that it will—that would be the biggest draw, so what would be the top end of the scale? I just want to have an idea of that. If the argument is that we have to go down that route in order not to overburden the police at a busy time, among other things, what is the total manpower that we would be talking about?

Lucy Carmichael

I would want to double-check with Glasgow City Council what its upper estimate would be in those circumstances. It would certainly be at the upper end of the potential costs that are set out in the financial memorandum.

Annabelle Ewing

We will obviously ask the SPF to give us further clarity on its position. Are the police suggesting that they should do enforcement, rather than trading standards?

Lucy Carmichael

I would not want to speak for the Scottish Police Federation.

Annabelle Ewing

Has the issue been considered in the on-going discussions of the committee that has been set up, or has the concern suddenly come out of nowhere?

Lucy Carmichael

Police Scotland is a member of the local organising committee and it has not indicated that it has any concerns about the way in which things are set out in the bill. It is content with what we have got in it.

Annabelle Ewing

I have further questions on a slightly different area. Would you like me to hold fire, convener?

The Convener

Yes, I will try to come back to you later. Ross Greer has questions about enforcement.

Ross Greer (West Scotland) (Green)

My question follows on directly from Annabelle Ewing’s point about the enforcement power to search. I understand the argument that extending the power to enforcement officers would reduce the burden on the police, but I believe that such searches can take place only in the presence of a police officer. If so, how is that a significant reduction in the burden on the police?

Lucy Carmichael

Enforcement officers will undertake a range of enforcement activities, including patrolling around the event zones and speaking to people. If someone was breaching one of the restrictions, the officers’ first step would be to explain what the offence is and ask that person to move on if they were not supposed to be in the zone. There are other powers in relation to being able to search and confiscate property.

Ross Greer

To be clear, if a search of someone’s property is to take place, it can only take place in the presence of a police officer. Why give that power to enforcement officers at all? Why not leave that power with the police officer, who needs to be present anyway? There is provision for searching without a warrant in certain circumstances, but a police officer would need to be present for that. Would it not be better for the search power to remain with police officers, who, in limited circumstances, already have the power to search without a warrant?

Derek Bearhop

Our starting point was the provisions in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Act 2008—that is what is replicated in the bill. Our understanding was that, after dialogue, the police were comfortable with what eventually ended up in the 2008 act.

Ross Greer

I understand that. I was not here in 2008, but I am here scrutinising this piece of legislation, now. I need to know—as does the committee—why it is felt appropriate, in these circumstances, to give search powers to enforcement officers when they can search only in the presence of a police officer and police officers already have the ability to search. Why not just keep that power with the police?

There is an accountability issue here. The accountability for police officers is very clear. It is the subject of substantial scrutiny in the Parliament. There may be issues with it, but people understand the line of accountability if, for example, they wish to make a complaint about a police officer. I am confused as to why it is necessary to give the power to someone else, when a police officer has to be present anyway. If you would like to write to the committee with an answer on that, that would be fine.

I have one more question, if that is okay, convener.

The Convener

We are supposed to finish by 10 o’clock to be ready for the next panel, so please be succinct.

Ross Greer

I will be brief. Sticking with the enforcement powers, are the requirements set out by UEFA, or are they the Scottish Government’s understanding of the best way in which to meet the UEFA requirements? Would UEFA object if enforcement officers did not have the powers to search and destroy?

Lucy Carmichael

Our starting point for the enforcement provision was what was in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Act 2008, and ensuring that the bill was closely aligned to that, because we understood that that had worked reasonably well in practice. Having spoken to stakeholders about the 2008 act, we have not had any feedback saying that its provisions had not worked in practice. I have not discussed whether the particular powers that Mr Greer refers to are acceptable to UEFA.

Ross Greer

So, UEFA did not ask for them. I want to be clear. Are you saying that UEFA did not come to the Scottish Government and say, “As a requirement of hosting this tournament, we require that enforcement officers are given the ability to X, Y and Z.”?

Lucy Carmichael

The discussions that we have had have not been at that level of detail. We want to take time to look carefully at the Scottish Police Federation’s response, and we would like to meet the SPF to discuss the points that it has raised in more detail. It has identified a number of detailed points, which is why I am flicking back and forth to find the appropriate bits of the bill.

Emma Harper (South Scotland) (SNP)

To pick up on Ross Greer’s question, if such searches can take place only in the presence of a police officer, we need to know what that means. Does it mean that the police officer must be in the same room, in the same place or 20 feet away? Does it mean that two people will be able to inspect somebody’s bag while a police officer is observing?

Lucy Carmichael

I think that it was section 20 that was being referred to, which is on “Use of reasonable force”. It talks about the officer being “accompanied by a constable”, so I assume that those two people would have to be together.

Stuart McMillan

Were similar concerns raised about enforcement officers when the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Bill was going through the parliamentary process? How were the enforcement officers deployed during the Commonwealth games? Were any issues relating to their conduct raised during the period of the games?

Lucy Carmichael

I will address your second point first. We are certainly not aware of any concerns about specific incidents relating to the operation of the enforcement provisions during the Commonwealth games. We would like to discuss with the SPF any specific examples that it is aware of that we in the bill team are unaware of relating to things that happened during the Commonwealth games. We want to find out about any such incidents, but we are not aware of any at the moment.

Stuart McMillan

How were the enforcement officers selected? Were they mainly employees of Glasgow City Council, or were employees of other local authorities brought in for specific purposes?

Lucy Carmichael

A broader range of local authorities would have been involved in the Commonwealth games, because it spanned a number of different local authority areas.

Donald Cameron

According to the policy memorandum, you are content that the bill is compliant with the European convention on human rights, but the Scottish Police Federation has questioned whether section 19(2)—which Mike Rumbles mentioned—is compliant with article 6 of the ECHR. Could you look at that again to make sure that you are content that it is compliant with the convention? In my view, many of the issues around enforcement officers in general and the provisions of section 19(2) specifically raise questions to do with the convention. You might want to reflect on that, or you might want to comment now.

Lucy Carmichael

We are confident that the bill is compliant with the ECHR. The bill will allow enforcement officers to gain entry to search a house or other property, but we think that those powers are subject to safeguards. For example, the power to enter a house can be exercised only with the permission of the occupier “at reasonable times” or when a warrant has been granted. The granting of a warrant would provide an oversight process.

Mike Rumbles

But section 19(1) says:

“An enforcement officer may, without warrant, enter any place and may search any place”.

That contradicts what you have just said. The SPF says that that power is “extraordinary”.

Lucy Carmichael

I am sorry. I will come back to you in writing on that. There are further restrictions on entering houses later in the bill. Section 21 says:

“An enforcement officer may take action under section 17 or 19 ... only if—

(a) an individual who habitually resides in the house permits the enforcement officer to do so, or

(b) the sheriff grants a warrant for such an action.”

Mike Rumbles

So section 21(1)(b) says that an enforcement officer can enter a house if the sheriff grants a warrant, but section 19 says that they may enter without a warrant. Which is it? The two provisions are completely contradictory.

Lucy Carmichael

We can certainly look at whether there is an inconsistency there.

09:45  



Alexander Stewart (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)

I want to go back to the offences in the bill, which include unauthorised advertising, ticket touting and street trading. Those are all broadly similar to what was in the legislation when Scotland hosted the Commonwealth games in 2014. Are you aware of any such offences that were committed in 2014? We could then compare them with what we might anticipate as a result of the bill.

Lucy Carmichael

We have spoken to our partners about that, and our understanding is that there were no prosecutions for any of the offences in the 2008 act.

Alexander Stewart

There were no prosecutions.

Lucy Carmichael

Enforcement officers engaged with people who had breached the restrictions, but no prosecutions were taken forward as a result of the 2008 act. That is certainly my understanding.

Alexander Stewart

Did that engagement entail contacting a small number or a reasonably large number of individuals? Do we have any statistics on that?

Lucy Carmichael

Not that I am aware of, but I can certainly check with partner organisations.

Alexander Stewart

So nothing was registered or kept on record—they were only given a slap on the wrist.

Lucy Carmichael

I can provide you with more details in writing around the enforcement action that might have been taken—for example, whether any property was confiscated or anything like that.

Alexander Stewart

Okay. Without having that information, it is quite difficult for us to ascertain what is expected under the bill. We could see something similar, or the numbers might be much larger or more inflated depending on the location. The zones that you are proposing are quite extensive.

Lucy Carmichael

The Hampden park zone is the same size as it was in 2014. The George Square zone is slightly larger and includes some additional approach routes. In 2014, there were a range of other zones because there were a number of different locations for games taking place at different times across a range of cities. Overall, the zones are probably less extensive because the focus is on only three locations in the centre of Glasgow rather than a broader range.

As our engagement so far has indicated, we expect that most businesses would want to comply with the restrictions. As I mentioned, our first step would be to ensure that people who are affected are aware of the new offences. There is a provision in the bill that requires Glasgow City Council to publish guidance on the trading and advertising restrictions to try to help with that process.

Alexander Stewart

How extensive has the consultation with all these different individuals been? You will provide some kind of structure, and rules and regulations that they will have to adhere to. How have you consulted the trading organisations, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and whoever else may be affected by the process?

Lucy Carmichael

We held two drop-in sessions for affected businesses. In addition, Glasgow City Council invited along all street traders with licences in the Hampden park zone, as well as all businesses in the proposed zones and some from outwith the zones whom we thought would want to be aware.

The Scottish Government contacted the FSB—it was definitely invited, and its representatives came along to one of the sessions, so a conversation has taken place with the FSB. The Glasgow Chamber of Commerce was also invited along.

Alexander Stewart

How well attended were those sessions?

Lucy Carmichael

Only two street traders attended. For comparison, I think that only one street trader attended a similar event in 2007. My team has had a number of telephone calls with street traders and other businesses that could not attend on those two particular days to try to broaden out the consultation. I also went to Hampden park before one of the Scotland matches last month to walk around and speak to traders in the general area to try to raise awareness.

As Derek Bearhop set out in our statement, we are conscious that there has been limited time for engagement and that we have not carried out a formal public consultation. We are trying to do as much as we can to address the issues and speak to people whom we think will be affected, but I am sure that there are always other things that we could do to try to help.

The Convener

Presumably Glasgow City Council licenses street traders, so it will have the names and addresses of all those traders and can inform them.

Lucy Carmichael

It does—it wrote to all the traders whom it thought would be affected.

The Convener

Stuart McMillan has a supplementary question.

Stuart McMillan

When do you anticipate that the final regulations will be produced and issued to all the traders?

Lucy Carmichael

As I said, in the next couple of weeks we hope to share illustrative regulations with the committee. Assuming that the bill completes its parliamentary process early in the new year, we are looking at how soon we can lay regulations. We need to balance getting them into force with allowing time to raise awareness of new criminal offences, which is also important. We are working as swiftly as we can.

Stuart McMillan

You are perhaps looking at the end of January to get that information out there.

Lucy Carmichael

I do not want to commit to that date now, but we are looking to do it as quickly as we can.

Stuart McMillan

Thank you.

Annabelle Ewing

I have a brief point in relation to our previous conversation on entering and searching, with regard to the power to

“enter any place and ... search any place”.

Lucy Carmichael subsequently referred to restrictions that relate to

“a house or a place that can be entered only through a house”.

Therefore, the applicable restrictions are not erga omnes but apply only to a subset of possibilities. Obviously, you will write to the committee with further information on that.

In relation to advertising and the cohort of people that might be impacted, I was puzzled by the information that we have. Restrictions on advertising in the fan zones would be on things such as billboards or the handing out of free T-shirts, which everybody can understand. However, it also appears that the restrictions would affect businesses that have external advertising, such as restaurants and bars. Can you provide clarification on the extent of that?

Lucy Carmichael

Yes. In the merchant city, for example, bars and restaurants have external seating. They have temporary windshields around them, which are often branded with products, for which there might be a competing UEFA sponsor. In preparing the illustrative advertising and trading regulations, we are looking at the exceptions that we can make to the restrictions, so that they are proportionate and fewer businesses are affected. We have looked at the restrictions that were put in place for the Commonwealth games and we will incorporate those where we can.

Annabelle Ewing

The championships will be held at a time of year when people in Glasgow could be sitting outside, which is not always the case. If a restaurant has an outside seating area and, in order to separate the outside area of the restaurant from the edge of the pavement, it has a windshield, on which there is branding for a product that is in the same generic group as a sponsor of the UEFA championships but is not the product that is sponsoring UEFA, what will that restaurant do? Presumably, it must have a windshield for licensing purposes.

Lucy Carmichael

It has to delineate the external seating area.

Annabelle Ewing

What would the restaurant have to do? If it would have to make an alternative arrangement, what thought has been given to the cost of that and the impact on running the business?

Lucy Carmichael

It depends on the form of barrier. On some barriers, one can unhook the branded bit of advertising and still have the external part of the barrier. On other barriers, the branded bit is etched in, so that might require to be covered. We are working with UEFA and sponsors to see whether it would be possible to provide alternative branding merchandise, such as something to do with the championships, which the businesses could use instead. We are looking at giving them a replacement.

Annabelle Ewing

I presume that you will not force them to have the brand that UEFA is being sponsored by.

Lucy Carmichael

No. If we can provide something consistent with championship branding for the event, that will be on offer. Whether they want to do that will be a decision for the businesses.

Annabelle Ewing

That is helpful. Thank you for that clarification.

The Convener

Would the restrictions cover advertising the pizzas on a restaurant menu?

Lucy Carmichael

No. Anything internal and things like a list of pizzas—

The Convener

If there was a hoarding outside saying what people can eat inside, would that be covered by the restrictions?

Lucy Carmichael

No, I do not think that it would be.

The Convener

Another couple of groups will be covered. One is charities, and you say that there might be some exceptions for them. Will that be covered in the illustrative regulations?

Lucy Carmichael

Yes.

The Convener

Obviously, a charity might have its big day of action and collecting during the period, so I assume that you anticipate that some charities will be given exceptions.

Lucy Carmichael

Yes.

The Convener

The legislation will be in force until the end of the year, so it would cover poppy day, for example.

Lucy Carmichael

The act will not be repealed until 31 December, but it sets out that the championships period, during which time the zones can be in operation, is between—

The Convener

So, it is only the championships period that is covered—that is fine. However, charities could be affected during that period.

Section 6(2)(d) says that people

“providing public entertainment for gain or reward”

are covered. You might or might not know that Glasgow has a lively busking scene—I note that Emeli Sandé, the pop star, is currently presenting a programme called “Street Symphony” in which she is looking for Scotland’s best buskers. I assume that some of those young people would be covered by the provisions.

Lucy Carmichael

Certainly, that would be classed as trading. We are discussing with UEFA the issue of what exceptions it might be possible to make for that.

The Convener

Have you reached out to some of those young people? You mentioned that you had gone out and pounded the pavements. It is quite a lively scene.

Lucy Carmichael

We have not done that specifically, but we plan to do further engagement in the zones. We can look at doing what you suggest—we would be happy to do that.

The Convener

If there are no further questions, we will wrap things up there. The committee would appreciate it if we could receive the illustrative regulations before we consider our stage 1 report on 31 October. That would be extremely helpful. Will that be possible?

Lucy Carmichael

Yes.

The Convener

Thank you. I suspend the meeting to allow a changeover of witnesses.

09:57 Meeting suspended.  



10:02 On resuming—  



The Convener

We move on to our evidence session with the second panel of witnesses on the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill. I welcome David Henderson, who is the public affairs manager of the Advertising Association, and Calum Steele, who is the general secretary of the Scottish Police Federation.

I thank Calum Steele for his letter to the committee, which was extensive. For the benefit of anyone who has not had the opportunity to read the letter, will you summarise the concerns that you have laid out?

Calum Steele (Scottish Police Federation)

I would be astonished if people had not read letters from the Scottish Police Federation, which are usually very informative.

The SPF thinks that it is very important to maintain the distinction between police officers and others who might be afforded a distinct form of police-like powers—not least because of the unique role that police officers hold in society and the standards to which they are held to account.

We recognise that our submission is somewhat blind, in that we do not know specifically what the subsequent regulations will contain. We have some concerns that fairly extensive powers will be afforded to non-warranted individuals—powers that, in effect, demand the support and assistance of police officers. If the bill is passed, enforcement officers could carry out actions to a different set of accountability standards from those to which police officers who perform exactly the same actions are held. Police officers are, of course, answerable to the courts.

It is important to say that we have no objection to safeguarding of commercial imagery, but we wonder whether it is desirable to impose criminal sanctions on what are, in effect, civil disputes, although we recognise that that has happened in the past in relation to the Commonwealth games and the Olympics.

The Convener

The organising committee for the championship includes representatives from Police Scotland. We asked the Government bill team whether Police Scotland had raised similar concerns to those of the SPF during the organising committee’s discussions, but it said that Police Scotland had not. How do you respond to that?

Calum Steele

It is not unusual for the Police Service of Scotland and the Scottish Police Federation to look at the same issue from completely different ends of the spectrum. I suspect that when the service has had time to review our submission, it will have fairly similar concerns. I see no reason why, unless the police service had been specifically pointed to the issues that the SPF raised, it would necessarily have come to the same conclusions off its own bat.

This has not been the case exclusively, but my experience of the police service is that it tends to look at new legislation through the prisms of costs to the service and demands on officer time and often does not go far beyond those. We must be sanguine and accept that the bill has been subjected to only a very short period of consultation. I am sure that organisations, including the SPF, will take longer to deliberate prior to subsequent stages, and will make more detailed submissions. Our concerns might have passed Police Scotland by in its initial scan of the bill in the time that was available. The issues that the SPF has highlighted are not wholly different from those that were highlighted at the time of the Commonwealth games.

The Convener

The bill’s policy memorandum says that the police cannot do the work, because they will be pretty busy policing football games and ensuring that the public are safe during the tournament.

The SPF’s letter states that

“The SPF has a longstanding opposition to the extending of pseudo police powers to non-police officers, as this risks delegitimising the clear and distinct role society expects its police officers to perform”.

That is fair enough and clear. Should police officers have the enforcement role, in this case?

Calum Steele

If I may be so bold, I will say that we should go back one step. Ultimately, it comes down to the fundamental question whether it is appropriate to introduce specific legislation to criminalise what are, in effect, civil disputes. If Parliament desires that, there is a real question about who should enforce the criminal law. In general, it is police officers who enforce criminal law.

The Convener

That is very clear.

Claire Baker

Calum Steele said that the bill is similar to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Act 2008. I understand that the role of enforcement officers is similar in it and the bill—unless you have identified differences. Did any issues arise from the 2014 Commonwealth games in terms of how the relationship between the police and enforcement officers worked?

Calum Steele

They were not insurmountable, but there were issues. Again, I give the heavy caveat that I have not had an awful lot of time to undertake research with officers who were heavily involved in activities in 2014 or in the Olympics, when broadly comparable restrictions were in place. However, even in the short time that I had, we identified instances of conflict, particularly in relation to enforcement officers’ expectations of what police officers should do.

For example, it was highlighted to me that there was some kind of guerrilla or ambush advertising by a gambling company. I would need to check the veracity of the example to see whether it went to this extent, but I was told that the police service was expected, and asked, to pull together specialist assets to remove banners from high buildings. That was one element that caused the police to reprioritise its expectations and demands in order to service the asks from enforcement officers.

There were points of conflict even on practical and mundane matters such as feeding police officers who were working at events. The police service provided officers with food and refreshments from a well-known high street bakery that was not part of the advertising and sponsorship of the Commonwealth games, which led to significant conflict in trying to get police officers fed and refreshed. We can all safely assume that a fairly hefty diplomatic incident was avoided—without being too unkind, it was probably achieved through brute force and powers of persuasion—but that shows that there can be points of conflict at levels that would not necessarily be thought about in considering enforcement of legislation.

Claire Baker

The bill team have said that they are only now speaking to partners who were involved in the 2014 Commonwealth games. Perhaps it was not anticipated that we would need such legislation again, but there seems to have been little investigation of how such legislation operated previously.

I have a question for Mr Henderson about the experience from the 2014 Commonwealth games. Can lessons be learned from what happened in 2014 in relation to advertising?

David Henderson (Advertising Association)

I was not involved then, so I am looking at the issue retrospectively. However, the Advertising Association had no objections. We had good engagement with the Scottish Government throughout the process leading up to the 2014 Commonwealth games, and we were happy with the protections that were put in place.

We are still engaging with stakeholders on whether the same framework should be used for what is a slightly different type of championship competition. We are considering whether the framework for an Olympic or Commonwealth games model of event—based in a specific country over a longer period—can be applied to something in which maybe only four matches are happening as part of a Europe-wide championship. However, to answer your question, there were no specific issues at the time of the Commonwealth games.

Claire Baker

You suggest that there is a difference between events such as the Commonwealth games and the Olympics and the UEFA championships. The bill team explained to us that, within the zones there will be restrictions so that only the sponsors can be highlighted or promoted, and we have heard that that will present challenges for some businesses. Has UEFA announced who the sponsors are yet?

David Henderson

As far as I know, the sponsors have been appointed. I cannot say with certainty who they are, but they will obviously be massive multinational corporations. A balance needs to be struck between supporting investment by the sponsors and supporting smaller businesses in specific locations. In theory, those businesses should be able to take advantage of the good will and celebratory nature of the competition. Perhaps “take advantage of” is not the right expression but, particularly in Glasgow, I am sure that there are lots of businesses that will want to get into the spirit of the games and achieve the commercial benefit that can come from being a smaller enterprise in that situation. It is about striking the correct balance between protecting the sponsors and letting everyone else get into the feel of things.

Ross Greer

I have questions for the Scottish Police Federation on enforcement and on some of the useful points that Calum Steele raised in his letter. My understanding of the bill is that enforcement officers will have the power to carry out a search of a person’s home and a search that requires force to gain entry, but only in the presence of a police officer. That was the substantial point on which we engaged with the bill team in the earlier evidence session. A second set of searches including of vehicles and containers do not require police presence. Will you comment on the distinction between the two sets of criteria for conduct of searches by enforcement officers?

Calum Steele

There is also a third set of search criteria relating to premises that are not a home. As I read the bill, the requirement for a police officer presence relates only to the search of a home. The argument is going to return time and again to the point that I made early on about the significant power to effect a search of people’s belongings—whether that is a vehicle, a vessel, a commercial premises, or another form of premises that are owned by an individual but do not amount to a home.

Ultimately, the ludicrousness of the situation—if I may be so bold—is that it appears that although enforcement officers will have the power to secure a warrant, they will be able to act on it only in the presence of a police officer. Unless there is to be a wholesale change, it would be the actions of the police officer that might be subject to complaint and scrutiny, even though the officer might not have been wholly privy to the basis on which the warrant was secured.

It is not impossible to foresee a search being undertaken of domestic premises, with the sheriff having been satisfied with the testimony of the enforcement officer that that was required, but the actions of the police officer becoming the subject of complaint and, potentially, a civil action against the chief constable. That is something that the Scottish Police Federation is not very comfortable with.

10:15  



The use of police powers and police actions are heavily instilled in the individual. We instinctively recoil against the notion that we should go along to hold someone’s hand and to be their witness, unless they have a reporting authority—attendance with the Scottish SPCA, for example, although Scottish SPCA officers have different powers available to them.

Ross Greer

Is the Scottish Police Federation’s position that, in circumstances that currently require the presence of a police officer to execute a search, the power to execute such searches should simply be held by police officers, rather than by enforcement officers? Are you saying that there is no need for enforcement officers to have that particular search power?

Calum Steele

As the bill is drafted, when it comes to domestic premises, there is certainly no need—unless someone can persuade me otherwise—for enforcement officers to have those powers. Beyond the issue about domestic premises, there are inherent risks for enforcement officers in undertaking searches of commercial or other premises. When we are talking about outbuildings, sheds, garages, empty shops or whatever, the risk is not least from the potential hostility that enforcement officers could face from the owners of such premises.

Ross Greer

I have one brief operational question to finish with. It appears that use of a locksmith to gain entry to premises does not qualify as use of force to gain entry, which means that an enforcement officer would not require the presence of a police officer if they were using a locksmith to gain entry, whereas if they had to use brute force to gain entry that would require the presence of a police officer. How does that match the current mode of operation for the police? What is your position on the idea that use of a locksmith is not comparable to use of brute force and so would not require police presence?

Calum Steele

That exposes one of the other areas of concern in the bill: it provides enforcement officers with the unfettered ability to call upon assistance from any other person. In each case, who would determine whether the locksmith is a bona fide locksmith or just someone who happens to have a drill and is good at getting through doors? There are fairly significant weaknesses and vulnerabilities in the bill. To me, having to overcome security to effect entry is the same as forcing entry.

Ross Greer

Thank you.

Annabelle Ewing

I have a few questions for Calum Steele on the issue that was raised by Ross Greer, then I have a question for David Henderson. Did the SPF make a submission on the legislation for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth games arrangements? I ask not least because my understanding is that, as far as enforcement is concerned, the new bit is the power to enter and search—the other offences are substantially the same as for the 2014 games. I am just trying to understand how we arrived at this point.

Calum Steele

The short answer to your question is yes. The submission was made in the name of my predecessor. If my memory—which is not that bad—serves me right, it was made in 2007, so there was a much longer lead-in period for the legislation on the Commonwealth games than for the legislation that we are discussing today. Although my search of the SPF archive in the time that was available was able to identify only one submission that was made, it is clear that there were earlier submissions. The subsequent submission contains many of the substantive points that are contained in the SPF’s written response in my name today, and it is clear that additional concerns were raised in relation to an earlier draft of the bill.

Annabelle Ewing

Presumably, we could find the submissions through the parliamentary archives—I would have thought that that would be a possible route. Basically, however, it seems that you are saying that the SPF had concerns about the 2014 arrangements that were similar to the ones that you express in your letter that the committee received yesterday.

We all want the championships to happen in Glasgow, so we must find solutions to the issues. Should we suggest that the provisions around the power to enter and search be redrafted in a way that meets the concerns that have been raised, or are you advocating that we do not have the trading standards officers involved in any aspect of this, assuming that we proceed to establish the criminal offences as a deterrent?

Calum Steele

That is a broad question, if I may be so bold—

Annabelle Ewing

Well, we have to find a solution. I am being practical.

Calum Steele

As I say in the SPF submission, we recognise the strength of large brands such as UEFA, FIFA, the Olympics and the Commonwealth games, but it seems a peculiar approach to consider that our legislation to protect day-to-day image rights is not sufficiently robust to do the job when the big boys come to town. If we have weaknesses, we should address them in a substantive way rather than in a way that involves periodically coming up with sticking plasters—if that is an appropriate descriptor—when large-scale events come around.

Speaking personally, and being mindful of the fact that we are short of time, I do not think that anyone out there—a police officer or a member of the public—objects to the principle of safeguarding the investment that certain brands and entities make in supporting large-scale sporting events. I believe that my members and members of society abhor ticket touting, and we are in general wholly supportive of any civil enforcement that makes it more unlikely than likely that that activity will be pursued.

With regard to what might be an appropriate response, I would like to take more time to consider that. However, freewheeling somewhat, I would say that it should not be beyond the wit of all of us to come up with a simple piece of legislation that states that overt advertising of the specific brands that will be contained in a schedule relative to those that are sponsoring the championships will be permitted to be displayed in certain areas. To some extent, the bill hints at that.

Thereafter, we get to the issue of enforcement. To me, anything that involves something that looks like police powers has to remain with police officers. So far, no one has mentioned section 17 powers in relation to the use of force, but I think that there is a potential vulnerability there.

Let us hypothesise that someone is carrying a branded cup of a type that does not bear the logo of the sponsor that is paying a lot of money to have a presence at the event, and the individual objects to surrendering that item to an enforcement officer. At the point of trying to remove it, force is used. That is entirely contradictory to the further provisions in the bill that say that force shall not be used against a person. We seem to be creating potential for lots of Mexican stand-offs, in effect, along the lines of someone saying, “Give me the cup”, the person saying, “No”, and the police being called and getting involved in trying to seize a cup. I am not sure that that is necessarily the kind of consequence that we are looking to create through the bill.

Annabelle Ewing

As you rightly say, the devil is in the detail. It would be helpful to have your further reflections on that, on behalf of the SPF. We have limited time in which to scrutinise the bill.

I have a few questions for David Henderson. I do not know whether you heard it, but we had a discussion with the bill team about the advertising restrictions, which would affect billboard space. I presume that, in advance of the restrictions, there would have to be a different set of arrangements for who could pay to advertise on large hoardings. What will happen in that regard, in practical terms? Do you have concerns that there might be undue restrictions on the freedom to advertise one’s business?

David Henderson

On the first point, we fully appreciate the time constraint for getting the legislation through. That picks up on the point that Calum Steele made about the run-up to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Bill. We put in a submission on that in 2007 or 2008, and we had years of engagement in which to thrash out the final detail.

At the outset, we have no objections to what is in the bill with regard to ticket touting. That is fundamental to the licensing conditions with UEFA, and it has to be sorted.

The advertising issues—again, I will pick up on some points that Calum Steele made—include whether we need to have additional specific criminal offences for things that are already protected under the civil law, such as on the passing off of copyright or trademarks, and issues related to the Committee of Advertising Practice codes, which are enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority. We are not 100 per cent sure whether the additional layer of protection is necessary and we cannot say with certainty whether the bill needs to go that far.

It is key that we get additional guidance and have sight of the secondary legislation as soon as possible, and that we have on-going consultation with the industry. Advertising, particularly in out-of-home spaces, is run months in advance, so we need certainty now as to what we will be doing next summer, when the games will take place.

Annabelle Ewing

On the point about a criminal offence with regard to advertising restrictions, that was in place for the 2014 Commonwealth games, so it is not a new thing. It will be interesting to see the submission that the Advertising Standards Authority made on the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Bill.

We agree that the secondary legislation will be key. Do you have a notion at this stage about what exemptions from the offence your membership wants to see?

David Henderson

The main exemption that we would vigorously press for would be for newspapers and news publications or magazines. It comes down to the definition of the term “ambush marketing” and whether it takes a narrow or a broad approach. In our view, ambush marketing should be defined as marketing that targets people in the vicinity of an event location. There will be situations where there is advertising in a newspaper that someone happens to be reading in an event location, having purchased it elsewhere and brought it with them. We would like the scope of the provisions to be narrowed down so that there is a broad exception for all news media in that regard.

On wider exceptions, there are concerns about out-of-home advertising, including on transport. In particular, there are concerns that buses and taxis that contain advertisements are likely to come into the event zones. I apologise that I have not yet had a chance to look at the location map so I cannot say with certainty what the chances are of that happening, but that is an additional concern.

I am sure that more concerns will be raised as we consult our members but, given the tight time constraints, we have not yet had a chance to get full feedback. We will look for initial thoughts on what the exceptions should be, and then we hope to engage further in consultation with the Government to define the exceptions and ensure that they are fit for purpose from the industry’s perspective.

The Convener

You mentioned newspapers. In the centre of Glasgow there are a number of free-standing vendors of local newspapers such as the Herald and the Evening Times—I used to work for that newspaper, so I declare an interest. Will those vendors be able to trade as normal?

10:30  



David Henderson

We hope that they will be able to trade as normal. I suppose that it is a slightly different issue if someone commits ambush marketing by having a front-and-centre advert appear, as opposed to an advert for a non-affiliated brand that is inside a newspaper along with the content. Do you see what I mean? If no exemption is in place for news media, it will broaden the scope of what is prohibited under the provisions in the bill.

There are also potential concerns about advertorials. Content in the newspapers will refer to things that happen in the games. The question is whether advertising that appears alongside that content while not necessarily being associated with the editorial piece will be brought under the scope of the bill. We are looking for clarity on that with regard to exemptions.

The Convener

The committee will be looking for clarity on that as well.

Mike Rumbles

My question is for Calum Steele in particular. As I said to the previous panel, when I saw the bill, I thought that the real problem would be with enforcement, and the SPF’s letter to the committee reflects that concern.

I want to look at section 17(4). In the letter, you state:

“We have grave reservations about both principle and practice on this issue. If it is envisaged that 17(4) could see persons other than police officers being relied upon to assist, this creates a potential for a free for all with random citizens (subjected to potentially zero validation) able to exercise powers of entry and search, and seizure and destruction. The inherent risks in this approach ought to be self-evident.”

That would be “If it is envisaged” by the bill team, the minister and the Government. It seemed to me on reading section 17(4) that that is exactly their intention. If they wanted only police officers to do those things, the bill would specify that enforcement officers may be assisted by police officers. As far as I can see, the intention in the bill is not to have police officers assisting enforcement officers, but to give legal protection to anybody who does so.

The example of a locksmith has been given. However, the provision in section 17(4) could mean that, if an enforcement officer says, “Hey, Mr Smith—I want you to help me to do this”, Mr Smith will be given legal protection whatever he does. Is my interpretation correct?

Calum Steele

I fear that it might be. The issue of accountability and complaint is one of the underpinning concerns that the SPF often asks about. Where would the public validation or approval be of individuals who would be performing what are fairly intrusive tasks? Enforcement, whether it extends to search, seizure, destruction or whatever, involves intrusive acts. At present, the powers are vested in a very limited number of individuals and they are, in their own right, subject to rigorous scrutiny and validation by bodies that, in effect, act on behalf of the general public.

First, there is no indication in the bill that ministers would set any standards for those who are qualified as enforcement officers. Secondly, there is no indication of a minimum period of training or the types of person who may be barred from undertaking those activities. The “any other person” element further dilutes section 17(4). The person in question would potentially have available to them a specific pernicious power under section 19(2) such that a random person could turn up with a random piece of equipment and go into premises to assist the enforcement officer based on the officer’s view that that was necessary. There would be no further test if the premises was not a domestic dwelling.

An obvious area that we would look at is electronic communications. Electronic equipment could be taken in by a random person, who may well have the skills and experience to undertake forensic examinations of computers, hard drives and devices. It is a quagmire.

Mike Rumbles

I raised with our previous witnesses, who were from the bill team, an area where I consider that there is some confusion. Section 19(1)(b), which covers the power to enter and search, says:

“An enforcement officer may, without warrant, enter any place and may search any place (and any vehicle, vessel, container or other thing at that place) ... which the officer reasonably believes has been or is being used in connection with a Championship offence.”

The past tense is used there. Section 21 then covers further restrictions on entering houses. Apart from the exception in relation to houses, which applies when, as section 21(1)(b) says,

“the sheriff grants a warrant for such an action”,

does the bill not give much greater powers to enforcement officers than it gives to police officers?

Calum Steele

It does indeed.

Mike Rumbles

Gosh. Thank you.

The Convener

Stuart McMillan has a supplementary question.

Stuart McMillan

Calum Steele’s earlier example of a cup seems to be covered by the exemption in section 11(3)(d), which relates to

“the display of an advertisement on an individual’s body, clothing or personal property”.

A coffee cup might be either a single-use cup or a plastic, multi-use one.

Calum Steele

Yes. However, the issue is that the decision comes down to the judgment of the enforcement officer, which is mentioned throughout the bill. I cannot remember whether it says “in the opinion of”—I think that it is slightly more qualified than that—but the decision, in effect, comes down to the sole judgment of the enforcement officer. They might well take the view that a cup of a certain size is fine but a bigger one is not, which would then raise the issue of removal of the supposedly offending item.

The bill says that force is not to be used against a person, but it is impossible to see how the removal of such an item without the individual’s consent could involve anything else. Police powers are vested in police officers and other individuals cannot be instructed to use them, but a police officer’s judgment and considered course of action might conflict with those of an enforcement officer. It seems that the bill gives the enforcement officer’s view greater significance than the police officer’s.

Stuart McMillan

Convener, I would like to raise a separate issue.

The Convener

You can raise it if you are brief.

Stuart McMillan

Pop-up shops are a lot more common than they were at the time of the Commonwealth games. I have noticed that they are not covered by the bill, but they might be an issue, especially in the zones that have been identified, such as at the approach to Hampden and in Glasgow city centre. Do you have any recommendations on how to deal with them? Someone who opens such a shop might rent a space for just a week, so five different traders could operate from a single location in the time when the championships will take place.

Calum Steele

With the convener’s good grace, I will defer that question to those with more expertise than I have.

Stuart McMillan

Okay—thank you.

Alexander Stewart

Mr Steele, we have touched on your concerns about the enforcement issues, but we have not discussed the potential costs. The financial memorandum that accompanies the bill contains estimates of what Glasgow City Council might have to deal with in relation to enforcement, and it mentions that the cost could vary between £50,000 and £94,000 depending on which countries take part. Once those have been established, if the cost is at the higher end of what Glasgow City Council might be expected to manage, that would surely have implications for Police Scotland. What are your views on that?

Calum Steele

It is rare for a piece of legislation that is passed by the Parliament not to have a cost for the police service in some shape or form. It looks as though most of the costs under the bill will fall to the council. However, if we get to a stage where police officers are routinely called upon—or are expected to be called upon—to enforce the powers of search and entry or the use of force on individuals, the consequential cost of that would have to be understood.

In my experience, the forecasts of costs that accompany draft pieces of legislation tend to be grossly underestimated rather than anywhere close to reflective of reality. It will be difficult to get a fair assessment of the costs until such time as we see what the regulations look like. If Parliament determines that it does not want to specify any qualifying criteria, training standards or debarred elements for enforcement officers, that will have a beneficial impact on the costs to the police service in that they are likely to be very little. If the Parliament takes a contrary view, I imagine that the expectation will be that police officers will provide the training and awareness of how to make sure that the enforcement officers stay on the right side of the law.

It depends on how far Parliament wishes to go. For example, this is not explicitly stated in the SPF’s submission, but if Parliament wished to extend oversight of enforcement officers’ activities to the likes of the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner, further costs would be involved in that, should a member of the public wish to complain about the manner in which they had been treated.

Alexander Stewart

You have rightly identified what could happen depending on the situation and circumstances. It is important that we are aware of that, because there could be implications that have not been foreseen, and Police Scotland would have to utilise and implement way to manage the situations. Does Police Scotland have scenarios for how that might work, perhaps based on what has happened in the past when events of this nature have come along?

Calum Steele

I am afraid that you would have to ask Police Scotland about that.

Alexander Stewart

Okay—thank you.

Donald Cameron

I share the concerns that you have expressed both in the letter and today about the quagmire that we could enter by creating the hybrid of an enforcement officer, who is more than a local authority officer but not quite a police officer. However, such officers have been used before. Given that there are resource issues and practical issues in using police officers, what safeguards could you propose that might assist in resolving the problem? You mentioned greater oversight of enforcement officers. Could anything else be done to bolster the safeguards?

Calum Steele

I wonder whether we may be swapping pay packets. It sounds as though we are being asked to find the legislative fix. I am not sure that the issue is particularly easy. It may be that the concerns about the principles will not be played out in practice, but we would be foolish to rush in and legislate in ignorance of the potential for risks and hazards.

My sense is that, through lots of early advertising about the restrictions that will be in place, most of the areas of conflict—particularly for personal conflict—will be minimised. However, we have to recognise that, although targeting means that advertising in Scotland, particularly in Glasgow, is likely to be seen by Scottish citizens, it is not guaranteed that there would be as much awareness of those limitations among people from other nations who have come to support their national teams.

With regard to public footprint and local authorities’ expectations as to how events will be policed—if I may use the word loosely—we need to be mindful that, although we have recent experience of the Commonwealth games and, to a lesser extent, the Olympics, it is unclear to me that citizens of other countries would necessarily perceive that random people who call themselves enforcement officers would have powers to ask them to conform to particular directions.

A lot can be done with early advertising, particularly for the Scottish element of the event. Once the draw has been made and we know the make-up of the teams that will come to Scotland, it will be appropriate for the city council to engage with the Governments of the visiting nations to make sure that they are similarly aware. It may well be that some literature could accompany the tickets or flight information.

However, I cannot get away from the fact that anything that introduces the use of force by a non-police officer is inherently problematic and would create potential for conflict. Although the measure is intended to take the need for time and effort away from police officers, it is difficult to see that it will do so.

10:45  



The Convener

The tournament will start in June 2020. When does the advertising industry need all the regulations to be in place, to allow it to prepare?

David Henderson

In an ideal world, we would like the exemptions to be in the bill so that we have a heads-up now about what to expect and we can make preparations. From a macro point of view, it is not that difficult, but once we drill down, smaller businesses need to be aware of the restrictions that will be in place, and communication might be more of an issue there.

As a network of trade associations, we have great links with the breadth of the industry, but we need time to get the message out in adequate time for people to have appropriate advertising in place. If the exemptions are not in the bill, we will need to know what they are as soon as possible in the new year.

The Convener

Have you put in writing the exemptions that you would like to be in place?

David Henderson

Not yet, but we can provide that as supplementary evidence to the committee.

The Convener

It would be really helpful if you could provide that as soon as possible, given the timescales that are involved.

I want to go back to ticket touting. It is clear from our earlier exchanges with Scottish Government officials and the bill’s policy memorandum that the law on touting in Scotland is not adequate, and that view is backed up by the Association of Tartan Army Clubs, which has submitted written evidence. It says that, although touting is

“not common place at matches involving the Scottish national team”,

it is a big problem. Scotland is, I think, one of four or five of the 12 countries that will be hosting games that have been asked to introduce temporary legislation. That shows that ticket touting is a problem that we might need to tackle through wider legislation in future.

Mr Steele, you said that you have a problem with the bill in relation to the enforcement of touting legislation, because it relates not just to Scotland but to overseas and online touting. Will you expand on that? If we were to introduce legislation at some point to deal with what is clearly understood to be a problem, would the police service be able to deal with that?

Calum Steele

The concern is not about the practice, but about enforceability. Whether someone is touting outside a stadium or from a bedroom in the Ukraine, the net effect is that somebody somewhere is paying over the odds for a ticket and someone else is being deprived of the opportunity to get one at face value. The nature of online crime means that tackling it is resource intensive and the return is minimal. Putting provisions on touting in the bill is laudable, but I add a health warning that we should not necessarily expect miracles to be performed, either by enforcement officers or by the Police Service of Scotland, in bringing to heel ticket touts that operate online.

The Convener

Right. Does the Police Service of Scotland have the capacity to deal with such online crime?

Calum Steele

That is my favourite type of question, convener. [Laughter.] I am sure that you had no sooner asked it than you realised that my answer was going to be “No, we don’t.” It is true of the police service in many areas that we could always do more if we had more.

I think that it is highly unlikely that ticket touting, regardless of its pernicious effect on events and on individuals who lose out, would be considered a high-priority crime for the police service to investigate.

The Convener

Okay. In your letter, you raise concerns about the effect that the section of the bill that deals with trading might have on charities. Earlier this morning, I asked the bill team about the young people in Glasgow who are buskers. It is quite a lively scene, and I mentioned Emeli Sandé’s current television programme that is showcasing their talents. From an enforcement point of view, we certainly do not want to criminalise charities or young people with guitars. How do you see that panning out on the ground? How can we avoid criminalising them?

Calum Steele

There is that element, which I will return to shortly. However, we must not lose sight of the fact that the nature of charitable giving has changed significantly over the past number of years. For example, it is not unusual for benefactors to bequeath tickets for events such as cup finals as part of charitable fundraising for a completely unrelated entity. That would appear to be touting, in that it seeks to make a profit for the charity, albeit not for material gain for an individual. That has to be looked at and understood. It would be peculiar if a generous individual was to offer two tickets to, say, a UEFA championship match in Glasgow in order to support a local hospice, and they were bought by an individual in support of the hospice only for a question to be raised about whether the profit that was made amounted to a ticketing offence.

In addition, we need to consider types of charitable giving that take place, particularly around football, that are generally welcomed. For example, there are lots of drives to gather supplies for food banks, and they are very much club led. I appreciate that there is a world of difference between individual football clubs and national sporting teams, but in general, football fans are becoming increasingly generous in their support of charitable activities.

My concern and, I think, the SPF’s concern is that it would look bad for UEFA, Scotland as a nation, the police service and enforcement officers if we were seen to be taking away—and destroying, potentially—items that had been bequeathed for the purpose of charitable giving. That is probably one of those unintended elements that could become a feature of the proposed legislation if it was not subject to the helpful scrutiny that the committee is providing.

Stuart McMillan

On the point about buskers, when the Commonwealth games were held in Glasgow, were you aware of any youths—particularly kids from the age of eight to 14 or 15—who turned up and started to play their instruments to make some pocket money? Do you know how they were dealt with? With such a big event taking place next year, young people in particular will want to take part and have that opportunity, and I would not want them to be criminalised or treated with a heavy hand. I do not imagine that they will be, but I hope that they will be dealt with sensitivity, with no possibility of negative treatment.

Calum Steele

If there is to be more detailed evidence before stage 2, which I suggest will be required, I will be able to address the question about the Commonwealth games. I did not ask about it specifically before I came here today. We also cannot ignore the enterprising abilities of young people in providing vehicle security during football matches—that seems to be a fairly common activity in and around Glasgow.

In general, it would be unfortunate if we were to seek to create barriers between instruments of the state and those who are trying to take advantage of an opportunity. Let us be honest: someone raising a couple of hundred pounds by playing the bagpipes badly is not going to break UEFA. [Laughter.]

Stuart McMillan

When there is an international match at Hampden, there are plenty of young kids in the streets doing a bit of piping just because they want to take part, and that will also be the case next year.

Calum Steele

Indeed. It would seem peculiar for a country that is as proud of its cultural heritage as Scotland is to seek to put any limitation on that. However, that is my personal view rather than the view of my organisation.

The Convener

Thank you. Do members have any other questions?

Mike Rumbles

I go back to a question that I asked the previous panel. In section 2, which criminalises ticket touting, subsection (4) says:

“The touting offence does not apply in relation to acts done by UEFA.”

The bill bans ticket touting—the selling of tickets above their face value—but not ticket touting by UEFA. Does that cause any concern?

Calum Steele

I might request to take the fifth amendment on that question. I think that that would be the expression. [Laughter.]

Mike Rumbles

Okay.

The Convener

Perhaps that is a question for UEFA to answer when it appears before the committee.

Mike Rumbles

Indeed.

The Convener

I thank both witnesses for coming to give evidence to the committee today.

10:55 Meeting continued in private until 11:07.  



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Second meeting transcript

The Convener (Joan McAlpine)

Good morning, and welcome to the 24th meeting in 2019 of the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee. I remind members of the public to turn off their mobile phones. Committee members who are using electronic devices to access committee papers should ensure that they are turned to silent.

We have received apologies from Annabelle Ewing, and I welcome Emma Harper, who is attending as a substitute member.

The first item on the agenda is the committee’s continued consideration of the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill at stage 1. I welcome to the meeting Gillian McNaught, senior solicitor for licensing and democratic services for Glasgow City Council, and Neil Coltart, the council’s group manager for trading standards; Andrew Niven, project leader for the Scottish Football Association; Peter Dallas, managing director of Hampden Park Ltd; and Michael Short, legal counsel for the Union of European Football Associations. Welcome, and thank you for coming to give evidence to us this morning.

I have a couple of questions for UEFA first. I know that you were here last week to listen to our first evidence session with the Scottish Police Federation and others, Mr Short. You will be aware that there was some discussion about the timetable for the proposed legislation. When did you first make it clear to the Scottish Government that primary legislation was needed?

Michael Short (Union of European Football Associations)

First of all, thank you for welcoming me to the committee this morning. I appreciate the chance to speak to you.

In the bidding process that took place a significant period of time ago, the original bid dossier documentation mentioned primary legislation being a possibility across the board for all host cities. In the case of Scotland or Glasgow specifically, in the feedback to the bid when Glasgow was successful, there was a reference to the need for improved legislation, but the options were left open to the host city, as they almost always are. The most specific reference to the need for primary legislation being made clear was in the early stages of 2019, when we had meetings in Glasgow. That was followed up by an official letter in April 2019.

The Convener

But I understand that the cities were agreed in 2014.

Michael Short

Indeed, yes, and that was the earliest stage at which legislation, or at least legislative tools of some sort, were mentioned to all host cities as a matter of need in order to meet the standards that are outlined as the rights protection programme.

The Convener

My understanding is that not all host cities or countries are introducing primary legislation—four out of the 12 are, if I remember correctly. Why do some cities need primary legislation whereas others seem to be able to use regulations? I understand that, in England, for example, the measures are being taken by regulations at council level.

Michael Short

Absolutely—that is indeed the case. UEFA’s position is that primary legislation is mentioned throughout the early stages of the bidding process as a possibility. It is often the easiest way for a host country to standardise the level of protection and to offer consistency and clarity to local businesses, the host association and the event organisers, such as us. That is why it is mentioned early on. However, it is not mandated. What is mandated is the level of protection, and the requirement level that is set out by UEFA and discussed with the host cities is equal and standard across the board. The tools to get to that requirement level are a matter for the host cities. We work with the host cities on their journey to get there, and they choose the route to get there, provided that they can get there.

For some host countries, primary legislation has been the obvious and/or the lowest-friction route. In other countries, secondary legislation, municipality decrees or changes to local authority byelaws are being utilised. In some other places, it is simply a case of using existing laws but reallocating resources in a different way and/or utilising temporary powers.

Given the unique nature of this particular Euro, which is taking place across 12 jurisdictions, 12 countries and 12 different sets of laws, meeting one requirement level is very difficult. Therefore, everybody has to use their own different tools to get there. We whole-heartedly welcome the Scottish Government’s choice of route, given the benefits that primary legislation brings with it.

The Convener

The impression that we were left with last week, certainly from some of our briefing papers, was that there had been an attempt to use regulations, and that there had been an on-going dialogue between the Scottish Government and you over time, which resulted in your insisting on primary legislation in the end. Are you telling me that that is not the case?

Michael Short

The way I would phrase it is that, yes, absolutely, there was an on-going discussion about whether existing laws, regulations and additional tools met the requirements. It took a long time to complete that discussion. UEFA has had to have that discussion across 12 countries, which is a very complex task for us to undertake. It took a bit of time.

When we got to the end of that discussion, it was clear from all stakeholders that primary legislation was the preferred route. We had physical meetings: we came over to discuss that particular issue at Hampden in early 2019 or late 2018, and every party around the table realised and agreed—I believe, anyway—that primary legislation seemed like the most efficient, pragmatic and proportionate route to take.

There was an on-going discussion. It is never mandated by us, but we sent a letter in April suggesting that primary legislation was the preferred course of action for all stakeholders—so, we did say that eventually.

The Convener

I will put this question to our witnesses from Glasgow City Council: why did it take so long to realise that you needed primary legislation, given that you had already had the Commonwealth games and you presumably understood the shortcomings in Scottish legislation around these matters already?

Neil Coltart (Glasgow City Council)

On the trading and advertising provisions, I make it clear that we had on-going discussions over a period, including with Hampden Park Ltd, about the fact that the current legislation on trade and the potential restrictions to that trade would not have been effective in meeting the bid document requirements. It was hoped that there would be movement towards resolving the issues but, eventually, in January, we recommended that primary legislation would be the only route to fix the matter.

The Convener

You hoped that there would be movement from UEFA.

Neil Coltart

We hoped that there would be movement in general about what the plan would look like and how we would carry that out; we also hoped that there would be an understanding of the requirements on permissions to trade and advertise. On the core protections relating to ticket touting, advertising and street trading, it was clear that the current legislation would not have satisfied UEFA’s bid requirements.

The Convener

Yes, but my point is that you should have known that quite a long time ago. Presumably, you knew that at an earlier stage. We are dealing with the bill at short notice and it is affecting our work programme in other areas, so the committee has a particular interest in knowing why things are so last minute.

Neil Coltart

I think that you would have to direct that question to the civil servants. We had always said in our discussions with colleagues in the council and with UEFA that there were shortcomings in the routine consumer protection legislation that we deal with. Those shortcomings were made clear over a considerable period.

Claire Baker (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)

I apologise for my delayed arrival this morning. Last week, we asked witnesses whether any lessons had been learned from the Commonwealth games. Those who were involved in the enforcement procedures at those games might want to comment on that. I know that you have recently started to have discussions with traders who will be involved this time round. Has any time been taken to look back at what happened during the Commonwealth games and consider whether there are any improvements or changes that should be made to the arrangements that were in place then?

Neil Coltart

In the course of carrying out the enforcement at the Commonwealth games and subsequently, we had a range of operational discussions about how we would do things slightly differently and how we would react to certain things. That experience has been used for other events, including at last year’s European championships, albeit that that was not supported by primary legislation. We have certainly learned from the nature of major events about what we can expect in terms of people attempting to breach or inadvertently breaching the legislation.

In 2014, a number of businesses—I do not think that they were intending to breach the legislation—misunderstood or had not understood the association rights and the trading and advertising restrictions. Once we had discussions with them, they happily complied with the restrictions. Those lessons have been learned.

One of the bigger issues that we had was that a lot of businesses were well known for attempting to breach the rights of the host event, so we now have better preparations for that, should major events come back to the city. We have also shared that information with colleagues in the rest of Scotland and, indeed, the United Kingdom. During the Commonwealth games, we had a number of officers from different authorities assisting us with activities who were perhaps not as used to major events as the people who work in Glasgow are.

Claire Baker

We had a letter from the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service—I am struggling to find it—that I think said that there were four prosecutions for ticket touting. Those were the only prosecutions that went through the criminal process. Did you have any?

09:00  



Neil Coltart

None of those cases was reported by the enforcement officers. I understand that they may have come from Police Scotland, which had similar powers during the games.

Claire Baker

You have spoken about lessons learned, and so far you seem to have talked about involvement with businesses. When the Scottish Police Federation was in front of us last week, it raised issues about working relationships and what was expected of the police with regard to enforcement. I do not think that those issues were documented or reported, as it was more a reflection on how the process operated during the Commonwealth games. The federation said that there were instances of conflict, which were mainly about what enforcement officers expected police to do. Do you recognise that, or see it as being an issue in the future?

Neil Coltart

No, I do not recognise it. Given the size of the operation and the occasional need to co-operate with the police, which we did routinely, there were differences of opinion about the nature of enforcement, which we would discuss with the police and resolve.

There were a couple of incidents when there was a misunderstanding by the games authorities about delivery to Lesser Hampden by a couple of companies, which was resolved in a couple of minutes. I understand that it did not impact in any way on the police’s ability to carry out their functions and it certainly did not impinge on the reputation of the games or the organisation.

I worked with the police all day every day and am not aware of any big issues. There would occasionally be resourcing issues, which meant that either we or they could not help each other, and they were resolved by discussion—they were not a big issue.

The Convener

So you can assure us that the police officers will get their lunch this time. There was some suggestion—

Neil Coltart

They got their lunch last time.

The Convener

Did they?

Neil Coltart

There was a delivery by two companies that were providing facilities to Lesser Hampden. They were in vans and lorries that had a lot of advertising that was not part of the sponsorship arrangement. The organising committee felt that that was an intentional breach of the restrictions, but it was not; it was a practical issue. If drinks and food are to be delivered to a venue by particular companies, the reality is that the vans and lorries delivering them will have branding on them. After discussion, nobody at the organising committee, nor us or the police, had any issue with that.

There had been issues with other companies that deliberately parked advertising vehicles in the commercial zone that had to be removed—I think that that was why it was raised.

Mike Rumbles (North East Scotland) (LD)

I start with a question to the representative of UEFA. You were aware of my concerns at last week’s meeting, and I have read your response to them.

I will remind you that we had had a little discussion about primary legislation and regulations; with primary legislation, our job is to interrogate the law of the land that we are making, which applies to everybody equally. I am a bit surprised by section 2(4), which is about ticket touting. We all want to see an end to it, and legislation is an appropriate way to deal with it.

In your response after last week’s meeting, you said:

“UEFA only seeks an exemption from the ticket touting offence for the purposes of ensuring that the initial sale of tickets by UEFA ... is not caught by the offence and, therefore, prohibited.”

Then it says:

“UEFA has absolutely no intention of ‘touting’ tickets in the usual sense of that phrase.”

I am a bit surprised about that because, if we are banning ticket touting, we should be banning just that—the sale of a ticket above the price on the ticket. I do not understand why section 2(4), giving UEFA exception from the law of the land, is there at all. I also do not understand the point you make when you say that you have no intention of doing that, when that is not what the law says.

Michael Short

Thank you for the questions. I will try to clarify our position further. UEFA is the sole seller of any tickets for UEFA Euro 2020. It does so at a profit—we sell our product. For that reason, the wording of the bill may regard a sale by UEFA as a sale for profit, which would then be caught by the definition of touting in the bill, which refers not only to sale above face value, but also to a sale

“with a view to making a profit”.

Section 2(2)(b) could be triggered by UEFA’s right to sell the ticket originally. All we are seeking to do is to ensure that that sale is not prohibited.

Mike Rumbles

That is the point of my question. You are suggesting that we take out section 2(2)(b), which says,

“with a view to making a profit”,

because ticket touting would be caught by section 2(2)(a):

“in relation to the sale, or proposed sale, of a Championship ticket for an amount exceeding the ticket’s face value”.

Michael Short

I am not going to suggest that, because I feel that there is another secondary meaning behind that subsection, although I am not sure what it would catch. However, I am sure that the bill team would be able to clarify that point.

In our submission we referred to

“‘touting’ tickets in the usual sense of that phrase”.

We used the wording

“usual sense of that phrase”

because touting is a legal definition in the bill. Touting as defined in the bill potentially includes the original point of sale of an original product by us, for profit. That would prohibit us from selling tickets. In our written submission we said that we have no intention of “touting” tickets in the traditional sense, outside of the legal definition, meaning reselling a ticket in an exploitative manner at a price above the face value. That is something that UEFA will never do.

Mike Rumbles

Hmm. Our job is to ensure that the law is clear.

Michael Short

Of course.

Mike Rumbles

I understand exactly what you are saying. Your fear is that UEFA selling the tickets in the first place would be caught by the bill. Your concern relates to section 2(2)(b) and the phrase

“with a view to making a profit”.

When we get the minister before the committee, part of our job might be to suggest that that paragraph is removed, so that UEFA would not be caught by it. There might be an issue of us passing a law that appears to do something: if we pass this bill unamended, it would appear to give UEFA special status in relation to ticket touting and would allow it to tout tickets—if it wanted to do that. I understand the point. Thank you, Mr Short.

I move on to my question on enforcement. Last week, we heard from the Scottish Police Federation that the bill gives more powers to enforcement officers than police officers have. Section 16(2) says:

“Glasgow City Council may designate an individual as an enforcement officer only if the individual—

(a) is an inspector of weights and measures (appointed under section 72(1) of the Weights and Measures Act 1985), or

(b) meets such other criteria as may be specified by the Scottish Ministers in regulations.”

I come back to the difference between primary legislation and regulations. As members of the Scottish Parliament, our job is to interrogate primary legislation, because we can amend it—if MSPs across the board think that a bill could be improved by an amendment. However, we cannot amend Government regulations. As an individual, I am always wary of giving regulatory powers to ministers that members cannot amend.

We are considering primary legislation. If we allow Glasgow City Council to give greater powers than those held by the police to inspectors of weights and measures, that is fine, but the bill suggests that the council could appoint anyone according to regulations laid by the Scottish ministers, which we cannot amend.

What is Glasgow City Council’s intention in the appointment of enforcement officers? Are you going to appoint inspectors of weights and measures from Glasgow City Council and bring in others from other local authorities, or are you going to appoint other people?

Neil Coltart

The first point to make is that section 27, on police powers, makes sure that constables will have all the powers that enforcement officers will have. There will be no difference in the enforcement powers. The difference is that the police have the same powers as the enforcement officers would have, so there is not any—

Mike Rumbles

The Scottish Police Federation says that enforcement officers would have more powers than the police.

Neil Coltart

That is wrong.

Mike Rumbles

That evidence is wrong.

Neil Coltart

Yes.

Mike Rumbles

That is interesting.

Neil Coltart

I think a letter of clarification on that was submitted.

Mike Rumbles

Even if they have the same powers, the point still stands.

Neil Coltart

To your second point in relation to who we intend to have as enforcement officers, trading standards staff in Glasgow include people who are not inspectors of weights and measures. There are 20-odd staff within the trading standards section in Glasgow, and roughly half of them are inspectors of weights and measures. As the head of trading standards in Glasgow, I also happen to be the chief inspector of weights and measures for the city of Glasgow, and it is a statutory appointment. However, not everybody who carries out enforcement is required to be an inspector of weights and measures, and section 16(2)(b) is there to make sure that people who are suitably qualified and experienced can carry out the enforcement role. I would not expect to appoint or second anybody who is not suitably experienced.

Mike Rumbles

In your view, they would be employees in this field in Glasgow City Council or other councils in Scotland.

Neil Coltart

Yes.

Mike Rumbles

You would not take anybody else. You intend to focus on those people.

Neil Coltart

It would be people who are enforcement officers within the trading standards and consumer protection public regulation field.

Mike Rumbles

Do you expect the minister to put that in the regulations that come before Parliament?

Neil Coltart

I expect the minister to give me the authority to designate, so that I can assess whether people are suitably qualified.

Mike Rumbles

That is fine; thank you.

Ross Greer (West Scotland) (Green)

The point of the Scottish Police Federation’s evidence that enforcement officers would have more power than police officers is that enforcement officers would have more power than police officers would normally have. Police officers will gain additional powers under the legislation—in particular, around whether searches can be conducted with or without a warrant and so on.

I will come back to that in a second. I would like to ask Mr Short a question. UEFA’s written submission was useful. You will be aware that the matter was an area of substantial concern at our previous evidence session. You have confirmed that UEFA does not go into that level of detail when specifying the enforcement powers that a host country must give to enforcement officers, but there is a rights protection programme. How could the host country judge for itself whether it meets the criteria of the rights protection programme?

One of the committee’s questions is whether specific enforcement powers are required. UEFA’s written evidence says that it is not specified that they are required, so we are trying to figure out why they are judged to be necessary in this case. Could you detail how you expect a host country to judge itself against the rights protection programme? That would be useful.

Michael Short

I will try my best. On the specific question whether we give requirements about enforcement officers, there is absolutely no intention to require people who are not fully qualified, authorised and experienced to undertake enforcement powers. We do not require a host city to go outside its normal process of using police officers and qualified local authority enforcement officers or trading standards officers. We always desire host cities to continue to use the resources that they have.

09:15  



On whether a host city can judge itself against the rights protection programme, the process that we undertake involves us distributing what we call a legal matrix to the host cities, which we discuss at various meetings at which we receive inputs from many stakeholders in enforcement in each city. That document is standard across all 12 host cities, and details all areas of concern in our rights protection programme, including ambush marketing, counterfeit goods, unauthorised advertising, ticket touting and other more granular versions of those issues. The document is completed and then discussed around a table with all the stakeholders. Examples are put on screen and we discuss what tools are currently in place, who would use them and their effectiveness.

In our opinion, that is a very collaborative approach; it uses a standardised document across the board and involves responses being considered, reviewed and evaluated by everybody, with recommendations being made thereafter.

Ross Greer

I would like to drill down into specific concerns that have arisen relating to the powers to search property and to seize and destroy property. If those powers were to be held only by police officers—that is, if the proposal to give the powers to officers of the city council were taken out of the bill—would that still meet UEFA’s requirements?

Michael Short

That would meet UEFA’s requirements, provided that the host city was comfortable that it had the necessary resources to carry out enforcement. Who is involved in such activities is not defined or mandated by UEFA; what is mandated is that the activity can be done practically. Usually, sharing or defining of responsibilities is a question of resources, based on making sure that enough adequately trained and experienced people are available.

Forgive me for the long answer. The short answer is yes, but there is a resourcing question that lies underneath that.

Ross Greer

That is useful. Thank you.

You will have seen the evidence that has been submitted by the Scottish Police Federation. I would like clarification on the process that has brought us to this point. Did Glasgow City Council advocate that the specific enforcement powers be given under the primary legislation to the council, which would appoint trading standards officers to carry out the duties?

Neil Coltart

The reality is that the powers are needed in order to carry out effective control of trading and advertising in the controlled zones. My expectation was that those powers would fall to the trading standards section, jointly with the police. I never made a recommendation that it should be either the police or trading standards that should be responsible. My position was based on experience of the Commonwealth games and a range of areas involving trade and brand protection, in relation to which trading standards services normally take the lead. However, it was not I who insisted on the extra powers. That said, they are necessary in order to carry out the control function.

Ross Greer

On the specific question whether enforcement officers need to hold the powers or whether they can use the services of the police where necessary, one of the concerns that were raised concerned enforcement officers’ ability to search properties. There is a particular issue around the definition of the use of force to enter a property. Apparently, use of a locksmith would not be defined as use of force. The Scottish Police Federation expressed concerns about that.

Is it really necessary for an enforcement officer to be able, with the aid of a locksmith, to enter a property to search it when they could call on a police officer to do that? That is the kind of operation that any member of the public would regard as being one for which we would normally call on the services of the police. I am trying to figure out how much of a problem it would cause you if you had, in the specific circumstance of having to enter and search property, to call on the police to do that, because it will surely not be required often.

Neil Coltart

I agree that it is a resourcing question. Given the profile of the event and the fact that the police have other huge responsibilities, including counterterrorism and so on, in respect of protecting the public from all sorts of activity, I would not want a very short-term requirement—as the one that we are discussing will be, given the nature of the competition—to be delayed because we had to take police officers away from other activity.

I do not know whether it provides reassurance to know that we did not use the power to enter a domestic dwelling during the entire period of the Commonwealth games. We entered lots of business premises: I have powers under all sorts of other legislation to enter business premises and domestic dwellings that are used in conjunction with a business. Those are not unfamiliar powers for us. They are phrased in different ways and are for different purposes, but trading standards staff deal with such matters routinely.

Ross Greer

Thank you.

Mike Rumbles

Section 21 does not give you the power to enter households. It says that, if you enter households, you have to be “accompanied by a constable.”

Neil Coltart

I am sorry—

Mike Rumbles

As an enforcement officer, you do not have the power to enter a house on your own. Section 21 says that you must do it

“at reasonable times, and ... accompanied by a constable.”

Neil Coltart

I should have been clearer. My point is that, if the police enter a house as the only authority that has that function, that will be taking two or more police officers away from other functions. If trading standards officers do it, with the support and consent of a police constable, we will take only one constable away from duty.

Mike Rumbles

The law—the bill that we are looking at—says “a constable.”

Neil Coltart

Yes—that is what I am saying. Normally, for reasons of corroboration, if the police were to go into a domestic dwelling, or into any premises, they would take two officers, so we will be removing an officer from the process.

Mike Rumbles

There is not an issue of corroboration, because the enforcement officer will be there to corroborate. The bill says that you are allowed to enter only with a warrant issued by a sheriff and if accompanied by a police constable.

Neil Coltart

Yes; it is a police officer.

Mike Rumbles

In your answer to Ross Greer, you gave the impression that you had not entered any premises under the previous event but, even with this bill, enforcement officers will not be allowed to enter premises on their own.

Neil Coltart

No. I am acknowledging that.

Mike Rumbles

That is fine.

Alexander Stewart (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)

We have touched already on the traders and the business community. Communications will be vitally important, and you have acknowledged what you have done in the past to engage with some of those people. What engagement have you had to date and what do you have planned that will inform as many as possible of the business community and traders in the relevant zones that will be affected in the process implemented by the bill that it will have an impact on their trade and business processes?

Neil Coltart

At the end of August, there were two public engagement sessions at which a number of people were invited to view draft maps of the zones that will have some potential control over them or restriction on them. That type of process will continue. Once the legislative process is complete, assuming that that happens, we will have further public meetings. We will also engage with businesses that we know of and can identify as being within those areas to ensure that they understand the requirements and restrictions that are placed on them.

In addition, we will contact business and trade organisations to make sure that they are also aware. We will then use the normal public press process to highlight that there will be changes surrounding the Euro 2020 competition.

Alexander Stewart

How successful have the engagement sessions been? Did you get a reasonable turnout?

Neil Coltart

During the Commonwealth games, once the bill became an act and the regulations were in place, the attendance at public sessions was very good at each of the venues—there was more than one venue—and also at the business community engagement sessions. Once we are able to give much more detail about the boundaries of the planning areas and identify particular businesses, I expect there to be a reasonable turnout.

Alexander Stewart

For those who are unable to attend, will there be an online session to tap into? Not everyone will be able to turn up to a physical event, but they will still need to have that information.

Neil Coltart

We will certainly make sure that all the businesses that will be directly affected will be informed and given the opportunity to either engage at a public event or engage—I use the term advisedly—privately, because they may have individual questions that they do not necessarily want to go through at a public meeting.

Alexander Stewart

I move on to ask a specific question of the SFA. In the past, if there was an event of this nature, or a game involving the Scotland team, the SFA would usually operate its pop-up shop outside Hampden. Is it your intention to do something similar during this event if the Scotland team is successful?

Andrew Niven (Scottish Football Association)

We would obviously work in tandem with UEFA on what we would be permitted to do around a potential Scotland match at Hampden park. Clearly, we understand that UEFA has exclusivity on the Hampden park campus and the commercial programme there. At the appropriate time, we would liaise directly with UEFA on that matter. My understanding is that we would probably not be permitted to carry out such activity, as that programme would be run entirely by UEFA.

Emma Harper (South Scotland) (SNP)

I am interested in the training of enforcement officers. Our briefing says that enforcement officers will be drawn from staff members in Glasgow City Council. How is training being planned? How will it be carried out? How many people will be required to have additional education? I am assuming that many of the trading standards enforcement officers will already have had experience from the Commonwealth games.

Neil Coltart

All the trading standards staff with one exception were involved in the Commonwealth games, and all of them were involved in the European championships last year, and similar large events. Some of us who are more mature were even at the previous UEFA events in the early 2000s. Some of us were even there in the 1990s and 1980s.

This bill has been drafted with the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Act 2008 in mind, or as an advisory source, and we therefore have a training package that takes the staff through not only the provisions of the bill and the regulations but the details of the planning areas and commercial zones. It also reinforces the council’s enforcement provisions and policies for every activity.

Our preference is that businesses and individuals are encouraged into compliance before we take any formal enforcement action. That approach was borne out during the Commonwealth games, when all the activities that we dealt with, with the potential exception of the police reports in relation to touting, were dealt with by discussion and persuasion, rather than more formal reports to the procurator fiscal or similar activity.

I envisage that the training package for the UEFA European championships will be a half day of training on the detail of the regulations and the bill, and a further half day on areas such as trademarks and association rights to make sure that everybody in my team, and anybody else, is aware of the exact nature of the trademarks and the association rights.

Emma Harper

I assume that the training will require liaison with the police so that everybody knows about the various roles and to ensure that there is good communication and collaboration. If there is good liaison with the police, potential misunderstandings can be avoided.

09:30  



Neil Coltart

We have already engaged with the police in relation to the events. As a matter of course, we will invite some police officers—I am not volunteering to train the whole of Police Scotland—to the training so that they receive the same level of briefing as the enforcement staff.

Donald Cameron (Highlands and Islands) (Con)

I want to return to the issue of primary legislation. Did the SFA have a role in the dialogue between UEFA and the Scottish Government about whether primary legislation was required?

Andrew Niven

Yes. As Mr Short said, when we looked at the feasibility of bidding for UEFA’s Euro 2020 championships, we saw that its tournament requirements and bid dossier template made it clear that there might be a need for primary legislation. That need was reflected in our bid submission to UEFA and it was pulled up in UEFA’s evaluation report in August 2014. There has been a process of on-going dialogue between the association and the various parties on the local organising committee for the UEFA Euro 2020 Glasgow project for a number of years about the potential need for implementation of primary legislation.

The convener expressed concern about the late arrival of the bill before the committee, but there has been continuing consideration of the need for primary legislation for a period of time, to which we have been party.

Donald Cameron

To be clear, your view was that primary legislation might be needed. You did not say whether you wanted it; you just thought that it was a potential requirement.

Andrew Niven

Having assessed the legal requirements as set out by UEFA, our view was that it was very likely that primary legislation would be needed.

Donald Cameron

Did you discuss the issue directly with the Scottish Government?

Andrew Niven

Yes. The team that is delivering UEFA Euro 2020 Glasgow is a partnership of the SFA, the Scottish ministers, Glasgow City Council, Hampden Park Ltd and VisitScotland. That team has been together from the outset of the process in 2013, when we considered the feasibility of a bid, and there has been on-going dialogue with officials across all the partner authorities about the need for primary legislation for a period of time.

Donald Cameron

As far as you are aware, was the Scottish Government clear that there was a potential requirement for primary legislation?

Andrew Niven

The Scottish Government was aware that it might well be a requirement. We wanted to fully investigate whether there were opportunities to implement the measures in a different way, but we were clear, as were Scottish Government officials, that a bill might ultimately require to be implemented.

Donald Cameron

I want to move on to a different issue. This question is for Mr Dallas. We have heard that the Hampden park event zone is based closely on the Commonwealth games event zone. Has an evaluation of how that zone operated during the Commonwealth games been carried out to inform the Euro 2020 event?

Peter Dallas (Hampden Park Ltd)

Yes. As far as the campus is concerned, I can speak directly only for Hampden Park Ltd. I personally and Hampden Park Ltd have been involved since 1999. We were involved in the champions league final in 2002, the UEFA cup final in 2007, the Olympics football matches in 2012 and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth games. The size and scale of the event that is coming to Scotland is such that it is deemed to be the third-biggest sporting event in the world. Because of that, additional security measures must be deployed on the campus. Hampden park’s defined property therefore needs to be expanded slightly so that it can have a security delineation that is slightly beyond the normal parameters of the stadium, which we term “the outer security perimeter”, particularly to the north and east of the stadium.

The bill must assist Hampden Park Ltd and the SFA to meet the obligations that are involved in hosting such a tournament. The bill will also help UEFA to protect the commercial interests of the partners that are supporting the event.

For the event that will take place in June next year, the security perimeter will be slightly wider. We understand that various official licences are permitted within the vicinity of the stadium, but it is important to note that they are not permitted on Hampden’s campus, which is private property, for any event at the stadium. In this instance, there will be a security perimeter. Any licensed traders that would normally fall within the security zone will be offered an opportunity to trade elsewhere. The four matches will be in addition to Hampden’s normal busy schedule.

The same opportunity was offered to traders back in 2014 for the Commonwealth games. I cannot comment on how successful it was or whether any of the licensed traders took up the opportunity, but traders will again be able to take up the opportunity.

Donald Cameron

Was there a formal evaluation of what happened during the Commonwealth games at Hampden that will inform what happens next year?

Peter Dallas

In terms of what?

Donald Cameron

In terms of the event zone.

Peter Dallas

Glasgow City Council undertook a post-event review of the operations. The delineation of the campus for 2020 very much follows the successful delivery of the Commonwealth games, where Hampden invited in about 480,000 people over 10 days. That worked successfully from Hampden park’s point of view—we did not have any negative fall-out from that event, so it worked successfully. The template for the operation of the stadium this time will follow a similar pattern.

Stuart McMillan (Greenock and Inverclyde) (SNP)

My first question is for Mr Coltart in particular. Within the zones in Glasgow, are there any car garages, particularly around Hampden?

Neil Coltart

Do you mean parking garages or service garages?

Stuart McMillan

I mean car sales garages.

Neil Coltart

There is at least one within the perimeter of Hampden, but there are none in the merchant city or George Square venues. There used to be a second one at Hampden, but I understand that it has ceased trading. There is definitely still one within the zone around Hampden.

Stuart McMillan

One of the main sponsors is a vehicle manufacturer. If there are any car sales garages that sell cars that are not from one of the main sponsors of the tournament, how will their advertising of their activities be dealt with during the championship period? I have seen the list of exceptions, but if that business attempted to carry out some additional activities that were deemed to contradict the law, how would that be dealt with?

Neil Coltart

We have some experience of car dealers attempting to make an association between themselves and an event. We would make sure that the garage was well briefed about what it could and could not do. As far as I am aware, there would be no intention of preventing normal trading from taking place. There would be careful scrutiny of whether the garage was attempting to make an unreasonable association between its business and UEFA or its sponsors. We would do that as part of the preparations for the regulations coming into force.

We will carry out a survey of the businesses—not just garages, but all sorts of businesses—in the areas that will be affected by the controls in order to get an understanding of exactly what they do and how they operate. We will then make sure that there are no unreasonable changes after the regulations come into force, particularly during the restricted periods around the competition.

Stuart McMillan

My next question is about another of the sponsors, which is a delivery company. What is to prevent a competitor company from hiring people to wear its outfits and go around the zones? If such people were stopped by enforcement officers or police officers, they could say that they had just delivered something and were heading back to their vehicle. What is to prevent a company from, perhaps not flooding the zone, but putting in more people to do that kind of guerrilla marketing during the championship?

Neil Coltart

Because of the nature of our enforcement and preparations, we will have reasonable intelligence about what activity is taking place in each area. If we see a particular business attempting to misuse its freedoms in relation to business as usual, we will take that up with the business.

As was pointed out earlier, delivery vehicles, supply vehicles and all sorts of other things are inevitably branded, and nobody is talking about banning them from the surrounding area, provided that they are conducting their normal business. It would be a failure on our part if a series of vehicles that belonged to a sponsor’s competitor were parked up or circling the area. We have had discussions with UEFA about what we need to do to control exactly that type of activity.

Stuart McMillan

The championship period is 1 June to 12 July 2020, but the eventual act will be repealed automatically on 31 December 2020. In effect, the act will still be in place even though you will clearly not be doing all the activities that you have mentioned after the championship period. What activity would you undertake if someone infringed on the provisions of the act after the championships?

Neil Coltart

The controlled zones will operate only for the dates that you mentioned. If we find anything during that period that requires to be followed up with a report to the procurator fiscal, we will continue to make those preparations after the competition has been completed. At that time, we might still need the powers, but we do not intend to do anything other than winding up any formal enforcement action.

Stuart McMillan

Mr Short, will you provide further information on the protections that UEFA’s commercial sponsors require throughout the championship? What do they need and what do they want in order to deliver what they deem to be their outcomes from sponsoring the event?

Michael Short

I can speak to that to a reasonable extent. I will try to assist, although some of the detail might be held by our commercial sponsorship team.

Within the security perimeters, in the zones where people will require a ticket to attend a match, full exclusivity will be provided to sponsors to do what we call activations. They are promotions and advertising and, for licensees, the selling of products, for which they have exclusive rights. That applies in the tightest zone, which is within the security perimeter.

In the area within the commercial perimeter or the event zone, we are obligated to undertake the rights protection programme—that is where the sponsors benefit from the programme. In that space, as UEFA partners, they have a right to carry out the sole approved activations of any sort, whether that involves advertising by sponsors or sales by licensees. They can expect to be the only approved partners in that area, which is the event zone under the bill. Thereafter, we are obliged to undertake the rights protection programme to increase the protection and value of the rights within those areas. The areas are then negotiated with the host city.

09:45  



Stuart McMillan

Is there a risk or a possibility that delivery on the ground will be slightly different in each of the host cities? Is it possible that, if a fan goes to a number of games in different cities—they would be lucky to do so, of course, given the costs—they will have different experiences, notwithstanding their being in different cities, within the controlled zones near each of the stadia?

Michael Short

The controlled zones will be of slightly different sizes and scales depending on geography, the stadia and where the fan zones are located, so people will have slightly different experiences. The commercial perimeters of the event zones will depend on the successful delivery of the rights protection programme. It is of course possible, or there is a risk, that a fan or spectator might experience an ever-so-slight difference in the delivery of the rights protection programme in each country because it is dependent on successful delivery by human beings, local authorities and police officers. They will all have—for want of a better phrase—different abilities and resources, and they will have good days and bad days. We cannot guarantee 100 per cent that people will have identical experiences. However, delivering the programme is the contractual requirement and the objective.

Stuart McMillan

I imagine that, after each championship, a great deal of work is undertaken to analyse its effectiveness in relation to UEFA’s requirements. What lessons that UEFA has learned from previous European championships have you requested or demanded be implemented for the 2020 championships, notwithstanding that there will be a different format, with games being played in different cities?

Michael Short

You anticipated the first part of my answer in suggesting that the Euro 2020 championships will be a unique event. Experiences and lessons have of course been carried over from previous iterations, but there is no real precedent for the Euro 2020 championships.

The primary lessons that we are carrying over relate to preparation, clarity and training. On preparation, dealing with 12 different jurisdictions requires more collaboration ahead of the event in order to manage expectations and set them at the same level, given the 12 different sets of laws. Given the distances between locations and the variety of locations and laws, we need to ensure that there is no uncertainty and that we increase clarity for local businesses, our sponsors and the fans.

Another lesson that has been learned from previous championships is that we can never do enough to provide guidance and information to relevant stakeholders in advance of the event. We have done that before—the work is not new—but we are committed to trying to do it even better by using new techniques, which may be digital or online. We also want to ensure that there are resources on the ground by getting people to help with the training and guidance that Mr Coltart hinted at. UEFA thoroughly supports that work and will provide resources to help to provide the training and distribute the information.

Donald Cameron

I return to the subject of ticket touting. My colleague Mike Rumbles asked Michael Short some questions about that, and I heard what he said about not wanting to be caught by the “for profit” element. I have reread UEFA’s submission, and I want to be certain on the matter. Is there any scenario in which UEFA would sell tickets at more than face value?

Michael Short

I am not a ticketing expert and I am not part of the ticketing department, but my answer is no. The face value is the face value. We are the original seller of the ticket and we will always sell it at face value. Even through the resale platform, a ticket will be resold to another spectator at the same price. That is part of the terms and conditions of the resale platform.

The Convener

You will be aware of last week’s committee discussion about the potential charity auctioning of tickets—the Scottish Police Federation raised that issue—which you have addressed in your written submission. To be perfectly honest, it is not absolutely clear from reading your submission what the position is on people auctioning tickets for charity. Although you do not demand that that be made illegal, you will still have certain rights.

Will you clarify the position for us? If someone wants to auction UEFA tickets for charity, do they need to seek your permission?

Michael Short

I will try to assist with that, to the extent that I can. A ticket sale for a UEFA event or for Euro 2020 is specific to the purchaser. The purchaser can buy a number of tickets and then allocate those tickets to guests and provide information about those people. The key point is that those tickets cannot be resold to an unknown third party under the ticketing terms and conditions that a person signs up to when they purchase a ticket. In other words, to summarise, the ticket needs to be used by the original purchaser or a guest of the original purchaser.

That causes issues for auctions, because with an auction the ultimate holder of a ticket is unknown and, therefore, any mechanism that involves a ticket moving to an unknown third party is a breach of the ticketing terms and conditions. We would hope to ensure that the bill would never trigger any form of criminal offence on a charity seeking to do good work by auctioning off a ticket—that is not our intention. However, the ticket that is used for that option, in order to abide by the ticketing terms and conditions, would have to be a special ticket provided by UEFA that was able to be transferred to third parties.

The Convener

Oh, right. There will be special tickets.

Michael Short

Exactly. By pre-approving the promotion, the charity would get a ticket that is allowed to be used in the promotion. We would speak to them ahead of the auction in order to do that. We are open to receiving requests like that.

The Convener

Okay. You will be publicising that.

Kenneth Gibson (Cunninghame North) (SNP)

I am a bit mystified about what the criteria are for designating the boundaries of fan zones. For example, if we look at the Hampden park zone, I notice that the junction of Cathcart Road and King’s Park Road is not included. As someone who has been to Hampden park many times, from watching Scotland to watching St Mirren’s glorious 1987 cup final victory, I know that fans often buy hats, scarves, badges and football programmes at that location.

King’s Park station is included in the Hampden park zone, but Glasgow Queen Street station is not included in the George Square zone. What is the thinking behind the designation of the zones? I notice that one of the fan zones goes behind the city chambers, which is quite odd. I do not understand why that would be a location for fans. I cannot imagine many fans going to that area, because there really is not anything there. What is the thinking behind that?

Neil Coltart

With any commercial-controlled area, there must always be a level of compromise. We would not do this, but the easiest thing to do would be to draw a big circle around a venue at some distance, which would include everything in the area where people gather. In order to make sure that there is a reasonable balance between the restrictions that are in place for the commercial zone and free trade, free movement and so on, there has to be a compromise. Therefore, the draft plan for the area around Hampden includes a slightly strange dogleg-shaped area down to King’s Park station. It would be unreasonable to include that station simply by drawing an egg-shaped area around the whole of the Hampden area.

There will always be a level of compromise and negotiation about such boundaries. One of the requirements for enforcement—this takes us back to a point that other people have made—is absolute clarity about where the boundary is, so a fan zone might stop at a particular junction in order that we can be absolutely sure that we can identify whether a person is inside the controlled zone.

All the zones will have to be the subject of negotiation, discussion and clarification, because we do not want to overly restrict ordinary trade.

Kenneth Gibson

I understand that. Obviously, UEFA wants a monopoly in the zone that I am talking about. I know the area pretty well and the zone just does not make much sense to me. I am thinking about the south-west end of Hampden, and the junction of Cathcart Road and King’s Park Road, as I said. The area is very busy and the fans will all pile up there, so there will be plenty of opportunities to buy ad hoc merchandise long before they get to the stadium. If the intention is to diminish those opportunities, the zone should be altered to take account of that area, given the efforts that you have made to ensure that that route up King’s Park Avenue and Aitkenhead Road is included. I have been trying to understand the logic of the zone, as a fan who often travels to matches that way.

Peter Dallas

On the immediate area around Hampden, I think that there might be some slight confusion. There is the Hampden campus, which has the outer security perimeter, and there is the rights protection zone—that is the zone to which you are referring—which is further out and is distinctly different from a fan zone. There is no fan zone out at Hampden park. We have the Hampden campus and we have the rights protection zone, which is the wider area to which you referred, on the way to the stations, in which there is protection in relation to ticket touting and branding. In the city centre, two fan zones are delineated. There is a slight difference in terminology.

Kenneth Gibson

The term that is used is “clean site zone perimeter”. I just wondered why the boundary was drawn in the way that it was.

Peter Dallas

The Mount Florida railway station will be a main artery for fans who travel to Hampden, as will transport hubs around the stadium, so the rights protection zone is around the Hampden stadium, to protect the commercial interests of UEFA’s partners as the spectators approach the immediate vicinity of the stadium.

Kenneth Gibson

Okay. I will not pursue the issue, but I am not convinced that it is the right boundary, from UEFA’s point of view. The boundary is literally yards from the stadium—if you turn right at that junction, you are right at Lesser Hampden and Hampden itself. I do not understand why the boundary has been drawn in that way; it seems almost random.

Also, Mr Coltart, why have you drawn the boundary right behind the city chambers? There is no commercial activity there whatsoever, unless you want to buy a wedding dress.

Neil Coltart

I should say that I did not draw the boundaries. The issue there is that when large events have been held in George Square, people have offered a variety of items for sale in John Street, which runs from the back of the chambers.

There are no licensed street traders in that area anyway, so street trading should not be affected all that much. Generally, permission is not given for street trading in the George Square area. However, we know from experience that John Street has been used as a gathering point for people selling novelty-type items at events.

Kenneth Gibson

Thank you.

The Convener

There is an additional question on enforcement from Ross Greer.

Ross Greer

Thank you, convener. I realise that time is short, so I will be brief. I am a bit concerned that section 17(4) gives enforcement officers the ability, in essence, to recruit anyone that they need to help them with enforcement. It says that an enforcement officer may recruit

“any other person as may be reasonably required for the purposes of taking action”.

I assume that, in most cases, that means asking a police officer to help, but who else would an enforcement officer ask to help them? To ensure that there could not be a free-for-all, what criteria would be put in place?

10:00  



Neil Coltart

The easiest example that I can give you is one in which it is suggested that there is a breach of not only the provisions concerned, but the Trade Marks Act 1994. In that case, we might ask someone from the brand to come and identify, for example, that the product is a counterfeit pair of Armani jeans or whatever. We would bring in such technical experts only rarely and, given the fluidity of enforcement, we would have to proceed on a case-by-case basis.

Another example involves something that we had to deal with during the Commonwealth games, when someone had put a banner way above reasonable-access ground level. We had to bring in someone who could use high-access facilities such as a cherry-picker to provide assistance. Expert technical help would be required in such a specific and carefully managed and controlled set of circumstances.

Ross Greer

Do individual enforcement officers have the power to make such decisions? If they need to bring in the kind of folk that you have just referred to, do they have to ask management or a supervisor before doing so? I am concerned about leaving the broad power in the legislation in the hands of an individual enforcement officer.

Neil Coltart

Because of the ravages of resources and the cost, I can guarantee you that any enforcement officer who was expecting a cherry-picker to arrive anywhere in Hampden or the surrounding areas would have asked for my permission; whether they would get that permission would be a matter that we would have to deal with.

Ross Greer

I understand the example of the cherry-picker. However, the kind of thing that the Scottish Police Federation is concerned about is where an enforcement officer needs a hand with something and gets their big, burly mate who lives round the corner to come and help them for 10 minutes. Would they be protected under the legislation?

Neil Coltart

The provisions concern the requirement for technical or specialist help to be brought in; they would not allow anybody else to be brought in just for the sake of it—that simply would not happen.

Ross Greer

Will you define that with your enforcement officers? Will you set out a decision-making framework for them?

Neil Coltart

Yes. The process that we have used for lots of events involves minute-by-minute contact with all enforcement officers, who ask for advice or for consent or permission to carry out particular activities. They are trained and briefed to the nth degree about the requirement to ensure that that happens on all occasions, because we want to ensure that across the three different areas—the Hampden campus, the merchant city and George Square—the enforcement activity and compliance requirements are identical, so that somebody who moves from one area to the other in Glasgow does not have a different experience. I accept the earlier points that that situation might be different across Europe, but the experience of enforcement in Glasgow should be identical across the different areas.

The Convener

We must finish now, but I do not want to do so without raising the important topic of young people busking. We devoted quite a lot of time to that issue last week, because we have many talented young people in Glasgow and busking is a popular activity.

The bill proposes to criminalise within the zones the provision of

“public entertainment for gain or reward.”

However, the UEFA submission states that

“busking is not an activity that is required to be prohibited under the Rights Protection Programme”.

Would Mr Short object, therefore, if the proposal in the bill was dropped?

Michael Short

No, I would not—that is from a rights protection programme point of view, which is why our point that you quoted was worded in that way. There might be other safety and security concerns about lots of people performing on the streets, and other authorities or stakeholders might have an interest in ensuring that such activities did not get out of hand or become unsafe in any way, given the traffic flows of people. However, from a rights protection programme and UEFA point of view, we very much hope that there is lots of busking to enhance the atmosphere.

The Convener

Okay. Thank you for coming today. I suspend the meeting for a change of witnesses.

10:04 Meeting suspended.  



10:08 On resuming—  



The Convener

We move on to our second panel of witnesses on the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill. I welcome Ben Macpherson, the Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development; Lucy Carmichael, the Scottish Government bill team leader; and Kirsten Simonnet-Lefevre, principal legal officer with the Scottish Government. I invite the minister to make a brief opening statement.

The Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development (Ben Macpherson)

I am pleased to be here to talk about the provisions of the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill and how the Scottish Government proposes to use the powers in the bill, subject to parliamentary approval. We do so, of course, in the context of Glasgow’s place among the world’s top sporting destinations being confirmed when it was selected alongside the likes of London and Rome as one of the 12 Euro 2020 host cities.

We are delighted to be involved in the 60th anniversary of the event and we expect the economic benefits to be significant. Just as important, though, is that we expect that the buzz and memories that it will create will be on a par with those surrounding other famous football matches that have taken place in Glasgow. Hosting such events often involves meeting certain requirements of the rights holder, and the bill will help ensure the successful delivery of Euro 2020 by putting in place protections for commercial rights, as appropriate and proportionate, in relation to ticket touting, street trading and advertising.

The provisions in the bill to ban ticket touting have been broadly supported since they were announced. Delivering that, along with the provisions on advertising and street trading, will reinforce Scotland’s reputation as a gold standard host of major events. However, it is important that the restrictions are proportionate, so we propose a number of exceptions to the trading and advertising offences. Charity collections and busking were raised during the evidence sessions last week and earlier this morning, and I am pleased to confirm that we will propose that both of those activities will be exceptions to the trading offence.

My officials provided further information on proposed exceptions to the advertising offence earlier this week. That includes issues that I understand are important for advertising stakeholders, such as permitting advertising on buses and taxis that enter the event zones. I expect to share with the committee very soon illustrative regulations that will set out further details of how the Scottish Government expects to use its powers in the bill, which I hope will aid your consideration.

I am grateful for the points that committee members raised in last week’s evidence session and earlier this morning. I trust that the Scottish Government’s letter of Monday 7 October clarifies the position and perhaps alleviates concerns on a number of matters. For example, the Scottish Government is proposing that all enforcement officers will be local authority members of staff, and we are happy to consider whether that could be included in the bill.

Developing a bill is a process, and I am happy to listen to suggestions on areas where the bill might be improved through amendments. In light of the expedited timescale, I am grateful to the committee for undertaking consideration of the bill so swiftly. I want to provide reassurance that the Scottish Government, along with Glasgow City Council, intends to continue to publicise the restrictions on advertising, street trading and ticket touting in the run-up to the event to raise awareness among businesses and the public.

I look forward to providing more information on the rationale for the bill and how it is expected to operate in practice.

The Convener

Thank you, Mr Macpherson. You heard the earlier session, when we spoke to UEFA, Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Football Association about when it was understood that primary legislation might be necessary in Scotland. Obviously, such legislation has not been brought forward in every country that is hosting the games. UEFA said that it was made clear in the bid, back in 2014, and the SFA said that it flagged up the matter in 2014. Glasgow City Council was aware of the issues, because it had previously hosted the Commonwealth games. Why has it taken so long for the primary legislation to be introduced to Parliament with so little notice, when all that was known back in 2014?

Ben Macpherson

As was alluded to by the earlier witnesses, before April 2019, the Scottish Government and its partners were working to establish whether it would be possible to meet UEFA’s requirements without primary legislation, by relying on existing legislation. We were conscious of the pressures on parliamentary time, so there was an aspiration to explore all possible angles and avenues to utilise existing legislation.

However, through dialogue and examination by all parties, which included, of course, the Scottish Government, it became clear in April—this was demonstrated in correspondence by letter on 1 April from UEFA to the SFA and other parties—that primary legislation is the most effective and robust way to meet UEFA’s requirements as the rights holder and the requirements of the host city agreement, and to ensure that the ticket touting offence is effective in practice and protects people to the extent that we want. Once that position crystallised, the Scottish Government moved swiftly to introduce the bill.

10:15  



The Convener

It certainly moved swiftly. I am aware that you were not in your current post in 2014. Indeed, you have come into the post quite recently, and the decisions were not your decisions. The decision seems to have been taken a little late in the day.

As regards the ticket touting offence in particular, it seems that there is a gap in Scots law on modern entertainment. We do not seem to be able to cover ticket touting. It does not seem practical that we should need special pieces of legislation every time a major international event comes. Do we need to improve the law on that?

Ben Macpherson

Currently, the legislation applicable to ticket touting is section 55 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982. However, that does not cover online aspects of ticket touting.

There is the balance between devolved and reserved powers to consider. For the benefit of the common good, it will be useful—in due course, provided that the bill is approved by Parliament and once the UEFA championships have passed—to examine the success of the eventual legislation. That would give a good basis for wider consideration of the issues around ticket touting and of whether there is merit in considering a potential framework bill on such issues in future. At the moment, we need to get the current bill right. We can then see how it works in practice and consider the matters thereafter.

The Convener

That is fine. The committee is certainly working hard to do that within the timetable.

I welcome the points that you made about busking and charitable activity. In the letter from the Scottish Government that sets out the types of regulations and the exceptions that you expect to put into force through regulations, busking is not mentioned. Can you give us a categorical assurance that it will be specifically mentioned in the regulations? The alternative is to amend the bill to take out section 6(2)(d), which prohibits

“providing public entertainment for gain or reward.”

If busking is not to be mentioned in the regulations, the bill will need to be amended.

Ben Macpherson

Because busking is trading, it will be relevant to that part of the eventual legislation, but we will seek to permit busking in the regulations.

Claire Baker

It is interesting to hear you say that, following the passing of the bill, there will be a thorough look to see how effective the legislation has been. That does not seem to have happened with the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Act 2008 to any great degree. In advance of the bill being passed, there now seems to be quite a lot of work to understand how effective the Commonwealth games legislation was or otherwise. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence, but there was no thorough consideration of how that legislation operated and of whether we could grow from it or continue with some kind of further legislation to tackle the issue of ticket touting in particular. I understand that there are reserved powers involved, so there are limitations on what we can do.

We received a letter this week, following evidence that we received a couple of weeks ago on the offences, which says that four ticket touting offences were reported to the Crown Office. The letter says:

“The Scottish Government will discuss these cases with COPFS to see if it can share any further information that might help to inform development of the Bill and associated regulations”.

I do not imagine that that will be able to help with the development of the bill, because we do not have time to enable that, but will you look at the evidence from the Crown Office? Will that impact in any way on the process that we are going through, given that the timescales are so short?

Ben Macpherson

We of course welcome the submission of evidence by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service. I refer to the letter from officials clarifying the position on the four instances where the ticket touting offence was used under the legislation for the 2014 games. Officials are engaged in further dialogue and correspondence with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service to understand how those instances worked in practice in order to inform our further consideration of the bill as we enter the next stages of the legislative process, provided that Parliament approves the bill at stage 1.

Claire Baker

This week, you also sent information comparing the Commonwealth games legislation with the bill. Have any lessons learned or impact assessments from 2014 led to changes, or do you anticipate the bill working in the same way as the Commonwealth games legislation?

Ben Macpherson

The legislation for 2014 is the gold standard and was thoroughly examined by Parliament and subject to consultation before it was developed. The bill that is before us is enhanced from the 2014 gold standard, particularly with reference to section 9, which puts in place alternative arrangements for existing trading that is banned during the championships that will oblige Glasgow City Council to offer alternative trading arrangements for street traders. Where appropriate, we have sought to enhance the legislation for 2014, but we also see it as the gold standard. From the anecdotal feedback that was received, the legislation performed successfully and worked well in practice during the period of the games.

Mike Rumbles

I have questions on two issues, but I want to say first that I am pleased that you have listened to the evidence on other issues and are willing to make specific changes in regulations, which is great.

I first want to focus on ticket touting. We all want to see it gone, and the bill is a useful means of achieving that. However, when I read the bill, section 2(4) immediately stuck out. It states:

“The touting offence does not apply in relation to acts done by UEFA.”

When we asked the UEFA representative about that this morning, which you may have heard, he was clear that UEFA does not engage in ticket touting and aims to sell the tickets at face value, with a service charge, which is covered under the bill.

UEFA is not involved in ticket touting. It is concerned with section 2(2)(b) which says:

“with a view to making a profit.”

UEFA makes a profit—that is what it is about—and it has given us the impression that that is why it wants section 2(4) in the bill. I put it to Mr Short that the wording

“with a view to making a profit”

could be removed and we could concentrate solely on the face value of the ticket, and he seemed happy with that. What is the minister’s view on that?

Ben Macpherson

Thank you for your engagement on that aspect of the bill. I viewed UEFA’s evidence this morning and read its written submission. My understanding is that the continued inclusion of section 2(2)(b) is necessary in order to cover the fact that UEFA will make a profit from ticket sales. From my perspective, the reason for its inclusion, along with section 2(4), is because section 2(2) also relates to section 2(3), which concerns catching the offence of ticket touting before the transaction takes place. The aim is to deter ticket touting and, in particular, online advertising of it.

The continued inclusion of section 2(2)(b) is also necessary to cover an instance in which, for example, someone says that they will give a ticket to another person, but the profit will be the provision of a service or good, rather than the monetary value that is over the level of the face value of the ticket. Therefore, we believe that it is important to continue to include sections 2(2)(a) and 2(2)(b) because of their relation to section 2(3) and the fact that section 2(2)(b) and section 2(4) are interrelated in order to allow UEFA to make a profit from ticket sales.

Mike Rumbles

But section 2(6)(b) refers to

“the amount payable for any other goods or services which are to be acquired as a condition of sale”,

so that is already covered.

What stands out to any ordinary person is the look of this. We are saying, “We want to ban ticket touting, but we’re not going to ban UEFA ticket touting,” and UEFA says, “We don’t want to ticket tout.” Therefore, why is the provision in the bill? I genuinely do not understand the argument. If ticket touting is selling or proposing to sell a ticket for more than its face value, that is covered. Therefore, section 2(2)(b) is not necessary and, if we do not have that section, UEFA is not worried about it.

Ben Macpherson

But section 2(2)(b) is required to allow UEFA to make profit both from initial sales and any resale through its reselling arrangement.

Mike Rumbles

But UEFA does not do that. The answer to Donald Cameron’s question was absolutely explicit. He asked, “Will you be reselling the tickets over and above face value?” and UEFA said, “No.”

Ben Macpherson

I appreciate that, and I am taking that position as read. What I am saying is that, in selling a ticket in the first place, UEFA will make a profit, so 2(2)(b) is necessary in order to cover that position.

Mike Rumbles

Of course it makes a profit. That is not ticket touting.

Ben Macpherson

I know, but the fact that UEFA will sell tickets in the first instance requires it to be exempted from the offence.

Mike Rumbles

I genuinely do not follow this. As explained in the bill and as is generally understood, ticket touting is the sale of a ticket above its face value. Of course UEFA is making a profit—that is what it is here to do; everyone accepts that.

As far as I can see, there is an unnecessary element in section 2(4), which says:

“The touting offence does not apply in relation to acts done by UEFA.”

People might think that that is rather odd.

Ben Macpherson

But if you look at section 2 as a whole, including 2(2)(b), you will see that the idea of making a profit is included—

Mike Rumbles

That is what I am saying. It is not necessary, because—

Ben Macpherson

We are saying that UEFA should not be disallowed from making a profit. That is why 2(4) and 2(2)(b) are required.

Mike Rumbles

The profit in ticket touting is the profit that is gained by the ticket tout over and above the amount of money that he purchased the ticket for. That is ticket touting, is it not?

Ben Macpherson

Yes, but, as is detailed in its evidence, UEFA intends to set up a provision in order for people to resell tickets at face value.

Mike Rumbles

At face value, so they are not ticket touting.

Ben Macpherson

However, there would still be a profit position involved in that.

Mike Rumbles

We seem to be going around and around in circles. Nobody is arguing that UEFA should not make a profit.

Ben Macpherson

The position is clear, and we agree on the same point. If you and the committee feel that the legislation is not clear, we will certainly consider that when we come to stage 2. However, I think that we are both clear that UEFA does not seek to ticket tout and that there needs to be consideration of the mechanisms by which UEFA makes a profit.

Mike Rumbles

It looks bad, but I absolutely agree that that is right.

I want to consider the issue of enforcement. I was pleased to hear what you said in your opening statement about the regulations with regard to the officers that would be appointed. That is great.

I do not know whether you have seen the supplementary evidence that has been given to us by the Scottish Police Federation. It raises concerns about section 17(4), which says:

“An enforcement officer may be assisted by any other person as may be reasonably required for the purposes of taking action under this section.”

In her letter to the committee, Lucy Carmichael says:

“These provisions do not allow enforcement officers to call on others to help with general enforcement activity on a routine basis.”

We are examining the letter of the law here and, as I read it, the letter of the law does not say what the letter says. The letter of the law is clear.

In an exceptional case in which something happens and an enforcement officer grabs someone to help them, that other person will be protected, whatever action subsequently takes place, because the bill says:

“An enforcement officer may be assisted by any other person”.

The evidence from Calum Steele and the Scottish Police Federation is that, if that provision is to remain, the SPF would like it to include the condition that a police constable needs to be present. That is in the supplementary evidence from the SPF. Will you comment on that?

10:30  



Ben Macpherson

Let me address enforcement powers as a whole, because the evidence that the committee has taken thus far suggests that some important points need to be clarified.

It is important to emphasise that the powers in sections 17, 18 and 19 are contingent on implicit permission from the proprietor for enforcement officers to be engaged. Use of force and powers of entry are covered in sections 20 and 21. Sections 17, 18 and 19 relate to instances in which a proprietor has given an enforcement officer permission to enter.

As Neil Coltart said in the earlier session, section 17(4) is intended to cover instances in which certain third parties are required to deal with a breach. The cherry-picker example was given. It is important that the committee is clear that sections 17, 18 and 19 apply when permission has been given by the proprietor, which changes the nature of the consideration—

Mike Rumbles

I have the bill in front of me, and that is not what section 19 says. Section 19 says:

“An enforcement officer may, without warrant, enter any place and may search any place (and any vehicle, vessel, container or other thing at that place)”.

There is a restriction in relation to entering a house, in that the police must accompany the enforcement officer, but the power in section 19 is very wide.

Ben Macpherson

There are, quite rightly, greater requirements in relation to the use of reasonable force and entering residential property, which relate to warrants and being accompanied by a police officer. However, it is implicit in sections 17, 18 and 19 that the proprietor’s permission will have been granted—

Mike Rumbles

Sorry, but can you point me to where it says that in section 19?

Ben Macpherson

I said that it is implicit.

Mike Rumbles

It does not say it, though, does it?

Ben Macpherson

Those sections underwrite the powers of enforcement officers to undertake their duties if they are given permission by the individuals involved.

Mike Rumbles

Forgive me, but—

Ben Macpherson

I appreciate that the committee has considered issues to do with those sections in its evidence taking, and we can certainly give the matter further consideration before stage 2. I just point out that permission from the proprietor is implicit in sections 17, 18 and 19.

Mike Rumbles

My point is that, whatever the Government’s good intentions, our job is to look at the letter of the law, not the intention behind the law, unless regulations are to be made, as is the case in some areas. Our job is to look at the bill, and section 19 is quite clear in giving enforcement officers huge powers. That is the evidence that we have heard. We have heard that enforcement officers will have huge powers, equivalent to those of police officers.

Ben Macpherson

No—

Mike Rumbles

Well, that is the evidence that we have been given. The Government has a particular view; our job is to consider the wording of the bill that is before us. The bill gives protections to enforcement officers about which the Scottish Police Federation is concerned—I think rightly. All that we are trying to do is ensure that we tighten up the provisions, to avoid problems occurring. I hope that nothing will go wrong and everything will be fine, but our job is to ensure that all the t’s are crossed and all the i’s are dotted. I think that there is a problem, and I am glad to hear you say that you will have a look at the issue. I hope that you will lodge amendments at stage 2, so that the committee does not have to do that.

Ben Macpherson

As I have said, with the implicit position that permission would be granted by the proprietor for sections 17, 18 and 19, the wording in section 19(1) is there just to clarify the position of enforcement officers once they are in a premises, having been given permission by the proprietor to enter.

Ross Greer

I get that, in giving enforcement officers the ability to do that, a lot depends on the consent of the individual whose property they might be searching. The reality is that most people are not well versed in the intricacies of the law and their rights. When someone turns up at their property in uniform—often in personal protective equipment in such cases—that makes them appear somewhat like a police officer, even if they are clearly not a police officer. Most people will not be entirely sure what rights they have to refuse that person entry.

I will stick with section 17(4). You said in your opening statement that you would consider adding to the bill the point that all enforcement officers would be local authority staff—primarily trading standards staff. That is very welcome. However, as we have discussed, section 17(4) gives those officers the ability to draw other people into their activities as required. Would those other individuals be given the same protections under the legislation for their activities that an enforcement officer would have?

We have had undertakings from Glasgow City Council about the level of training that will be required for the enforcement officers, but there is nothing about any individuals from whom enforcement officers might need help. I am concerned about the effect of the legislation on the individuals from whom enforcement officers might seek support for their activities. There is an undertaking that those individuals will be trained, and a lot of that will be done at very short notice. As the cherry-picker operator would not be an enforcement officer, they would not be trained in the intricacies of the bill and what an enforcement officer should do. In my reading of section 17(4), the protections of the legislation would potentially be extended to them and their activities, given that they would be following an enforcement officer’s request.

Ben Macpherson

Our intention in section 16 is for enforcement officers to be local authority employees, and primarily they will be Glasgow City Council trading standards officers. As I said in my opening statement, we will consider how to amend section16 to make that clear.

The individuals who may assist

“as may be reasonably required”—

there is a reasonable test there—

“for the purposes of taking action”

under section 17 would not be enforcement officers, so they would not be designated as enforcement officers under the bill. As Neil Coltart illustrated, any individuals who accompanied an enforcement officer in an incident would be those whom the enforcement officer believed were reasonably required for the purposes of taking action. A number of examples were given in the earlier session. They would not be enforcement officers but would accompany enforcement officers, and would not have the same status under the legislation.

Ross Greer

I am still concerned about what is in the bill. What effect would it have? What defence would the bill allow those individuals to make, if it came to that?

I will move the issue on slightly. Under the bill, the test for enforcement officers engaging in activity short of activity that requires a warrant is that they are asked to make a personal judgment about it. What would happen if an enforcement officer and a police officer took contrary points of view on the appropriate course of action in an individual situation in relation to which both have powers? I am talking not about powers of arrest, which police officers are clearly allowed to exercise, but about search, seizure and so on. If an enforcement officer and a police officer came to two contrary points of view about one situation, who would win out?

Ben Macpherson

Do you mean with regard to sections 20 and 21?

Ross Greer

Primarily, yes.

Ben Macpherson

My understanding is that sections 20 and 21 cover the position where, after a process of reasonable investigation, an enforcement officer believes that it is necessary to use force to enter a premises. Section 21 is about homes, which are, quite rightly, much more stringently protected through the requirements for an enforcement officer to be accompanied and for warrants.

In those instances in which, after investigation, the use of force or entry into a residence is required in the enforcement officer’s judgment, that officer would engage with Police Scotland for the necessary assistance, as articulated in the legislation. I do not see that there would be a conflict between what Police Scotland would do and what the enforcement officer would do. Perhaps an example would help me to understand your point.

Ross Greer

One concern that has been raised is that the use of a locksmith to gain entry would not be considered to be use of force. If an enforcement officer has decided that they need to gain entry to premises and that they need the assistance of a locksmith to gain that entry, but a police officer considers that that is disproportionate and entry to the premises is not required, who wins?

Ben Macpherson

I am struggling to think of a situation in which that would be the case because an enforcement officer would reach out for Police Scotland’s assistance only when that was required under sections 20 to 28.

Ross Greer

There are situations in which the enforcement officers do not require the assistance of a police officer.

Ben Macpherson

Yes, so why would the police be involved—

Ross Greer

A police officer could still be present in those circumstances. That is the point. For example, the individual with whom the enforcement officer is in dispute could summon a police officer.

Ben Macpherson

Under the bill, the enforcement officer would have the power to undertake the action they deemed to be necessary.

Ross Greer

Would that be the case if a police officer was present because they were called by the individual whose locked premises the enforcement officer had decided they were going to use a locksmith to get into? If an individual is in dispute with an enforcement officer, and that individual summons a police officer because they believe that the enforcement officer intends to take disproportionate or unacceptable action, can the enforcement officer undertake that action even if the police officer agrees that their action is disproportionate, unnecessary and not required?

Ben Macpherson

I am not saying that.

Ross Greer

What would happen in that situation? The core point is about what happens if an enforcement officer and a police officer come to contrary points of view.

Ben Macpherson

Again, I am struggling to envision a situation in which that would be the case. In theory—and I think it would only be in theory—the police officer has more powers than the enforcement officer. That is made clear in the bill.

Kirsten Simonnet-Lefevre (Scottish Government)

Under section 19, the power to enter and search can be used only when the permission of the person in charge of the property has been given. If that permission is not given and a locksmith is required to gain entry, section 20 would apply.

The restrictions in section 20 mean that either the enforcement officer needs a warrant and to be accompanied by a constable, or a constable would make the call on whether it was appropriate to gain entry by using reasonable force. Although the powers given to the enforcement officers are fairly wide and they can make decisions, in the example that Ross Greer gives, the constable would decide, if no warrant was given.

Ross Greer

I will finish with the wider point. This morning, UEFA confirmed that it does not require any host country to give their enforcement officers any specific powers. That led us to the wider question of why in the Scottish Government’s view it is necessary to give enforcement officers powers around search, seizure, destruction and so on, rather than simply leaving those powers with the police. Is it a question of resources, as was indicated by Glasgow City Council?

Ben Macpherson

As I said, there is an implicit requirement for permission in relation to sections 17, 18 and 19. The deployment of enforcement officers is a more effective use of resources when it comes to undertaking the necessary investigations and enforcement of the requirements under the host city agreement to deliver the event successfully—again, with the implicit permission that is required for enforcement officers to undertake that work.

10:45  



As has been said, enforcement officers also have the experience and training to undertake such work effectively—they have done so for previous events. In relation to the use of reasonable force and entry to a residential property, the need for police officers to be present is clear in sections 20 and 21.

There will be significant demands on Police Scotland during the event and it makes more sense in terms of resources and the utilisation of expertise for enforcement officers to undertake that work, just as they did—successfully—in 2014.

Ross Greer

I am conscious of the time, convener. If there is time at the end, I would like to come back in.

The Convener

I flag up the comment in the Scottish Police Federation’s latest submission to the committee that

“the execution of that warrant should lie with the police”.

The SPF is concerned about the question of primacy and the impression that the constable would be acting under the direction of an enforcement officer, which the SPF disagrees with. The SPF says that the constable should only act

“in support of the warrant”.

Are you saying that the SPF is wrong?

Ben Macpherson

In the majority of cases, the enforcement officer would be the individual who has undertaken the investigation of whether a breach has taken place. For that reason, it is logical that the enforcement officer would be the one who engaged primarily in the investigation. However, quite rightly, there are the safeguards in sections 20 and 21, which say that warrants would have to be obtained as appropriate or police officers would have to accompany the enforcement officers as appropriate.

Mike Rumbles

We were struggling before to think of an example. I have one now. Ignoring entry to houses and ignoring the use of force, because there are protections, section 19 says quite specifically that

“An enforcement officer may, without warrant, enter any place”

if they believe that an offence has been committed. A police officer needs a warrant, signed by a sheriff, to enter a property. It is different if a policeman believes that an offence is about to be committed or is being committed—they can enter then—but not if they believe that an offence has been committed, so section 19 gives extra powers to an enforcement officer.

The example was given of a locksmith not using force to gain entry. We could have a situation where a policeman and an enforcement officer arrive at a premises that is not a house and the enforcement officer says, “This provision gives me the power to enter these premises without a warrant—I don’t need a warrant and I’m not using force,” and the policeman says, “I don’t have that power.” That is the example.

Ben Macpherson

As I have said, it is important to emphasise that, with section 19, along with sections 17 and 18, permission of the proprietor to enter is implicit, so—

Mike Rumbles

The bill does not say that.

Ben Macpherson

The fact that it says “without warrant” is for clarity—

Mike Rumbles

Where does it say that an enforcement officer cannot enter without permission? You keep saying that it is implicit but I cannot see it anywhere in the bill.

Ben Macpherson

It is implicit—

Mike Rumbles

That might be your intention, but it is not what is before us.

Ben Macpherson

It is implicit—Kirsten Simonnet-Lefevre can comment on that.

Kirsten Simonnet-Lefevre

Section 19 is subject to sections 20 and 21.

Mike Rumbles

Yes, those sections are about the reasonable use of force and about entering houses—I have said that already. You can have premises that are not houses; a locksmith could enter those premises without using force. That is the example that I am giving.

Kirsten Simonnet-Lefevre

Using a locksmith would be using reasonable force because, obviously, a locksmith would be used only when no permission was given.

Ben Macpherson

Obviously, if you are not given permission, the use of force is required.

Mike Rumbles

Where does it say that you have to have permission?

Ben Macpherson

You have to read the section as a whole—

Mike Rumbles

Yes, but where does it say that?

Ben Macpherson

Section 20(1) makes it clear that the use of force is required—

Mike Rumbles

No, section 21 is about entering houses.

Ben Macpherson

Not section 21; subsection (1) of section 20. It makes—

Mike Rumbles

That is about using force. I am talking about not using force and I am not talking about houses.

Ben Macpherson

If you will let me finish, Mr Rumbles—

The Convener

We must move on.

Ben Macpherson

It is clear that—

Mike Rumbles

It is not clear.

Ben Macpherson

It is implicit that permission is granted in the instances that sections 17, 18 and 19 cover, because the need for the use of force occurs only when permission is not granted, and that is why, when the use of force is required—that is, when there is no permission—section 20 is applicable. You have to read the sections together in order to get the full meaning.

The Convener

I do not think that Mr Rumbles is convinced—

Mike Rumbles

Certainly not.

The Convener

—but we need to bring in other members.

Emma Harper

Good morning, minister. I have a quick question. The bill proposes three event zones: Hampden park, George Square and the merchant city. There are proposals to ban advertising and outdoor trading within those zones. The tournament runs for six weeks, from 1 June to 12 July. Are the zones applicable for that whole timeframe, or only when games are being played? I imagine that, during that time, when no games are being played, businesses and street vendors might think that they can just do business as usual.

Ben Macpherson

I refer to the definition of the championship period. The intention is for the Hampden park zone to be in place between 1 and 30 June—that is the requirement in terms of the games that are being played there. The George Square zone will apply from 10 June to 12 July. That is because of the necessity for that zone to be part of the wider public’s enjoyment of the tournament—visiting fans and people from Scotland who want to watch the spectacle in a public space. The dates of operation of the merchant city zone are still under consideration, because we want to ensure that the approach is proportionate in terms of ensuring that it is a fan zone and in terms of the wider public’s needs.

With regard to the merchant city zone and the George Square zone, the opportunities for businesses in that area will be exceptionally high, and they will welcome the extra custom. As you heard earlier, the issues around the Hampden park zone involve consideration of the preparation of the stadium for the games that are taking place as well as the need to ensure that the requirements that UEFA has set are met.

Emma Harper

I assume that because of the different dates of operation of the zones in the three areas, businesses will have to be kept informed of what is required of them in relation to game days, business opportunities and so on.

Ben Macpherson

Absolutely. The Scottish Government and other partners have already engaged with them in that regard. We have held two drop-in sessions in Glasgow, which we invited street traders, businesses, media owners and equality groups to attend, as well as the Federation of Small Businesses, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, the Scottish Retail Consortium and the Greater Glasgow Hotel Association. Telephone calls have taken place with street traders and other businesses that were unable to attend in person. We have been clear that the proposals are in draft form and are subject to parliamentary approval, and that we are looking to take feedback on them from businesses.

I think that we should all see the championships as a hugely beneficial event for Glasgow, which will have a hugely positive economic impact on the country as a whole and particularly on businesses that are located in Glasgow and in the zones.

Donald Cameron

I am sorry to return to this, but this morning’s discussion has revealed that the bill is throwing up difficult and important questions about ticket touting and enforcement powers.

I heard what you said about on-going dialogue on the need for primary legislation, and I accept that you took on your role only recently. Of course, everyone wants this event to happen and to be a success. However, the bill that underpinned the 2014 Commonwealth games was passed six years before the games. The United Kingdom Parliament is considering a bill in relation to the Commonwealth games in 2022. Is it acceptable that, eight months before the championships are due to take place, we are having to rush through legislation, especially when it seems that there was always a high possibility that primary legislation would be needed?

Ben Macpherson

I share the view that, ideally, we would have more time to consider the bill. I think that all parties would have welcomed that. However, the approach has been taken with the best intentions. The aim was to examine current legislation and maximise the good use of parliamentary time.

It is important to emphasise that our basing the bill on the gold standard of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Bill put us in a strong position, as we have examined a bill that was effective and thoroughly scrutinised at the time. Together, we are enhancing our legislation in the current process, so that we can have the strongest and most effective legislation in place for the delivery of an important event, which will be highly beneficial for Scotland.

Donald Cameron

Of course, we all want Scotland to host big sporting events in future. However, it is not acceptable that we are dealing with a bill ad hoc and at short notice. Will the Government commit to give consideration not just to closing the loopholes in touting law that the convener mentioned but to how we approach and legislate for major sporting events more generally?

Ben Macpherson

We will certainly evaluate the bill in due course. We will consider whether an events framework bill might be appropriate in future; we expect to carefully consider the benefits of having such a bill. However, if we can, together, deliver a successful bill, just as the Parliament did in relation to the 2014 Commonwealth games, that legislation will provide a strong basis for analysis in that regard.

Stuart McMillan

The championship period runs from 1 June to 12 July, but if we pass the bill, the legislation will not come off the statute book until 31 December 2020, which means that there will be a fairly long time in which there might be unintended consequences. Has consideration been given to reducing that period?

Ben Macpherson

Well, the offences relate to the championship period and not the period up to the date when the legislation ceases to have effect. The cessation date of 31 December 2020 was decided on just because of the nature of the calendar year end, but if this is a pressing point for the committee and you take a strong position on it, we can certainly consider whether cessation should take place earlier. We are open-minded on the issue.

11:00  



Stuart McMillan

Following on from Donald Cameron’s question, in the evidence session last week, the issue was raised that Scotland’s current legislation on ticket touting is a challenge when it comes to big events. Mr Cameron asked a question regarding framework legislation. We all anticipate the event to be successful for Scotland and to promote the country. After it is over, we could undertake an immediate piece of work to bring the ticket touting legislation up to date, in order to remove ambiguity and concerns for future major events that Scotland wants to hold.

Ben Macpherson

One of the challenges around that is the nature of reserved and devolved powers and considerations between the two. There is an enthusiasm for undertaking consideration of the effectiveness of the legislation, as I have committed to today, with regard to potentially introducing a major event framework bill. I do not want to presuppose that consideration.

We will deliver the legislation together and we will make the event a success. We will reflect on it and on previous events, such as the Commonwealth games, and we will consider together whether, going forward, a framework bill would be more appropriate, effective and expedient.

Alexander Stewart

As you alluded to, we all want the event to be a success. We want the fans to enjoy it. We want the public and the traders to be part and parcel of that process. It will showcase us as a country and showcase the locations. However, there are knock-on effects for individuals and organisations in the zones. Last week, the Advertising Association came up with specific areas that it was concerned about, such as vehicles that have advertising material on them or people carrying print media containing advertising going into the zones while events are taking place. What exceptions to the process are you considering in order to ensure that those organisations and individuals will not be penalised, and that they will be able to trade and continue to do their normal business practice?

Ben Macpherson

Thank you. It is an important question. I refer members to annex B in the letter of 7 October from the Scottish Government to the committee. The first two bullet points state that

“Distributing or providing current newspapers”

and

“Advertisements on or in moving vehicles, for example buses, vans or trucks”

will be exempt from the regulations. The exemption

“would not apply to vehicles used primarily to display adverts”.

We seek to be as practical as possible, in order to make sure that exemptions are reasonable. We are also considering what might be required in regulations to disapply the offence for any commercial arrangements that are entered into before the advertising offence is created.

We need to balance reasonableness for suitable exemptions with ensuring that, given the significant resource that they contribute in order to make the event happen, the global partners that UEFA is engaged with are protected.

Alexander Stewart

It is right that they are protected in the process. They have a bigger say in the situation.

I asked the first panel about how the regulations would be communicated and how you would make sure that there is engagement with organisations and individuals, so that they know what the parameters are and that they do not, by mistake, find themselves on the wrong side.

Ben Macpherson

As I said earlier, we have already had two drop-in sessions, and we held follow-up calls with businesses that wanted to engage but were not able to attend on the day. We have indicated the level of impact that we would expect the legislation to have on their businesses.

We are trying to be proactive. We are encouraging UEFA and other partners to correspond with businesses, so that, when advertising space in the event zones is being contracted, there is a sense of reasonableness and balance between the needs of UEFA’s global partners and the ambition of local organisations and businesses that are selling their advertising space.

The bill says that

“Glasgow City Council must issue guidance”

on street trading and advertising restrictions, so there is a clear requirement in the legislation for publication of guidance. That is important.

Alexander Stewart

As you said, the guidance is important, as people need to know the parameters within which they have to work.

Ross Greer

I would like to look at section 19, on enforcement officers’ power to enter and search, and, in particular, their ability to search any

“other thing at that place”.

They can search the contents of a place that is being searched. I want to look at their ability to search electronic devices. If they search a premises and there is, for example, a laptop or tablet that does not have a password or a strong password on it, what are the restrictions on enforcement officers’ ability to search it?

Ben Macpherson

My understanding is that the ability to search electronic devices is covered in other legislation and that section 19(1) refers to premises. Permission is implicit in relation to section 19 and it is important to keep emphasising that. The powers in the bill are to do with physical premises.

Ross Greer

It says any

“other thing at that place”,

so the physical premises is “that place”. A “thing” that is “at that place” means objects contained within the place. A laptop could be at a property that is being searched. Would that not fall within that definition in section 19(1)?

Ben Macpherson

As I said, the provisions in section 19 are subject to permission, so a laptop could be searched only if the owner of the premises and the laptop decided to grant the enforcement officer access to it. As I said, there are protections. I need to double-check that and I am happy to follow that up in writing. However, my understanding from memory is that access to electronic devices is covered under other legislation.

Kirsten Simonnet-Lefevre

It is to do with searching a place, rather than a thing—

Ross Greer

I am sorry to interrupt but it says a “thing at that place”.

Kirsten Simonnet-Lefevre

Yes, it does. The opening words are that the enforcement officer

“may search any place (and any vehicle, vessel, container or other thing at that place)”.

It means a physical search of something, which could be a tent or temporary structure. It is not meant for searching electronic devices. It is about searching a place. The bracketed words are things in that place that can be searched.

Ross Greer

That is not my reading of section 19(1). It would be useful if the minister writes to us about the provisions on searching electronic devices in other legislation that he mentioned. We need clarity about what the provision in section 19(1) applies to, because “thing at that place” is a broad term. It would cover anything contained in the place that is being searched. It would not cover, as Kirsten Simonnet-Lefevre said, only temporary structures or property. It says “thing”, which has a broad definition.

Ben Macpherson

As I said at the beginning, I am happy to provide clarity. I also want to be clear that, of course, permission is implicit with regard to section 19.

Ross Greer

We have been over that a number of times this morning. There is concern from members of the committee that saying permission is implicit is not sufficient and that something more is required in the legislation. If we can get clarity around the meaning of section 19(1), that would be helpful.

Ben Macpherson

Thank you.

The Convener

At the meeting last week, Lucy Carmichael said that she expected to give the committee illustrative regulations before we published our stage 1 report. Can you confirm that that is the case?

Lucy Carmichael (Scottish Government)

Yes. My letter to the committee says that we will have them to you by 25 October at the latest, but we aim to do it sooner than that.

The Convener

That would be most welcome. I ask the minister to reflect on the lines of questioning, particularly from Mike Rumbles and Ross Greer, on the enforcement powers. Given the tight timescales, it might be helpful if you could provide more clarification on your answers to their questions in writing. I am concerned about the latest letter from the Scottish Police Federation, and its concerns about the primacy of the police officer being undermined when it comes to the execution of the warrant. Can you respond in writing to the committee with detail on that point?

Ben Macpherson

I am happy to do so. As I said earlier, in the legislation, it is clear that the police officer would have primacy. I made the point repeatedly today that, with regard to sections 17, 18 and 19, there is implicit permission from the proprietor. We will reflect on the written evidence that you have received and the committee’s questions today and last week, and consider whether further clarification is required in the drafting. If you read sections 17, 18 and 19 with the implicit sense of permission, a lot of the concerns that have been raised would be alleviated.

The Convener

Thank you.

11:12 Meeting continued in private until 11:27.  



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3 October 2019

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10 October 2019

Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee Stage 1 Report

What is secondary legislation?

Secondary legislation is sometimes called 'subordinate' or 'delegated' legislation. It can be used to:

  • bring a section or sections of a law that’s already been passed, into force
  • give details of how a law will be applied
  • make changes to the law without a new Act having to be passed

An Act is a Bill that’s been approved by Parliament and given Royal Assent (formally approved).

Delegated Powers and Law Reform committee

This committee looks at the powers of this Bill to allow the Scottish Government or others to create 'secondary legislation' or regulations.

It met to discuss the Bill in public on:

1 October 2019:

Read the Stage 1 report  by the Delegated Powers and Law Reform committee published on 3 October 2019.

Debate on the Bill

A debate for MSPs to discuss what the Bill aims to do and how it'll do it.

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Stage 1 debate on the Bill transcript

The Presiding Officer (Ken Macintosh)

The next item of business is a stage 1 debate on motion S5M-19701, in the name of Ben Macpherson, on the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill.

14:23  



The Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development (Ben Macpherson)

I am glad to open this debate on stage 1 of the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill and to seek Parliament’s backing for the general principles of the bill.

The UEFA championship is a remarkable sporting event that attracts global audiences, and in June and July next year—2020—we look forward to seeing the best of football at Hampden park as part of one of the biggest sporting events in the world. The Scottish Government and our partners in the local organising committee for the event are delighted to be involved in the 60th anniversary of the event, which will provide a “Euro for Europe”, with 12 cities across the continent hosting matches, including Glasgow. We look forward to welcoming others from across Europe to our shores and to enjoying the tournament together.

Glasgow and Scotland have a strong track record of successfully delivering major global sporting events, which bring significant benefits not just for our economy but for our international reputation. Importantly, we expect that the excitement and memories that are created by the championship will be on a par with those surrounding other famous football matches that have taken place in Glasgow. The impact will be magnified if, as we hope, Scotland manage to qualify through the nations league play-offs.

Hosting a major event often involves meeting certain requirements of the rights holder. The bill that we are debating today seeks to ensure the successful delivery of Euro 2020 in line with the requirements of the Union of European Football Associations for all 12 host cities. The bill will protect commercial rights in relation to ticket touting, street trading and advertising. It also contains measures in relation to enforcement.

The bill provides for three event zones in Glasgow where fans can enjoy the occasion and where the street trading and advertising restrictions will apply. I recognise that a key area of interest for Parliament and those who are affected by the bill will be where the zones are. For that reason, during stage 1, I shared with the committee draft maps of the proposed Hampden park, George Square and merchant city event zones. I have also shared illustrative regulations to indicate how the Scottish Government expects to use the powers that are included in the bill, and I welcome any feedback on those.

I turn to the scrutiny of the bill. The timescales for consideration are shorter than usual, which I appreciate has made scrutiny more challenging. I therefore commend and thank the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee for the diligent way in which it has undertaken stage 1 consideration. The committee heard from a range of stakeholders, and I also thank those organisations for contributing to the process. I thank the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee and the Finance and Constitution Committee for their consideration of the bill.

We now have the stage 1 report. I welcome the lead committee’s unanimous support for the general principles of the bill. I think that we all have the same aim, which is to ensure that the bill plays its part in delivering a fantastic event. In that spirit, I will now say more about the Government’s thinking on some of the matters that are raised in the report. I particularly want to focus on the timescales and plans for evaluation of the bill, the enforcement powers and our proposals for ticket touting. Finally, I will talk briefly about engagement on the bill.

On timescales and evaluation, members may be aware that the Scottish Government and its partners had worked to establish whether it would be possible to meet UEFA’s requirements without the need for additional primary legislation. However, after that was explored in detail with UEFA, it was confirmed in only April 2019 that a bill would be necessary to provide the level of protection that UEFA requires to host the event. Since then, the Scottish Government has been working swiftly to develop the bill. In doing so, we have sought to learn from the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Act 2008, which is the most recent piece of legislation in Scotland for a major event. Subject to parliamentary approval, the Scottish Government proposes that the bill completes its parliamentary process more quickly than usual so that the secondary legislation can be laid early in 2020 in order to give those affected as much time as possible to prepare. Thinking forward, I have committed to evaluate after the event how the legislation for Euro 2020 worked in practice, which could help to inform the consideration of legislative requirements for future events in Scotland.

The enforcement provisions have been a key area of scrutiny during stage 1. The consideration included the range of powers that enforcement officers should have, who should be able to be appointed as an enforcement officer and who should be able to assist an enforcement officer. I welcome the feedback from the committee on those points in the stage 1 report and when I appeared in front of the committee.

The enforcement provisions are almost identical to those in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Act 2008 and are similar to enforcement powers in other pieces of Scottish and United Kingdom legislation. The provisions are also supported by Police Scotland. Nevertheless, following the committee’s scrutiny and my deliberations, I recognise that it is possible to make the provisions clearer and that it may be helpful to strengthen protections in some areas. As a result, the Scottish Government will lodge amendments at stage 2 to respond to a number of the points that have been raised by the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee. I have set out my evaluation of those points in more detail in my response to the committee’s stage 1 report. The proposed amendments include adding criteria to limit the appointment of enforcement officers to people who are employed by Glasgow City Council or other local authorities in Scotland.

I turn to ticket touting. Sadly, as members will know, many major events are blighted by the presence of ticket touts. The Scottish Government, working in partnership with UEFA, wants to prevent that from happening for the Euro 2020 championship. The bill will help to ensure fair access to tickets by creating a new criminal offence, carrying a maximum fine of £5,000, which will act as a deterrent and allow action to be taken to address ticket touting that is carried out either in person or—crucially—electronically.

Mike Rumbles (North East Scotland) (LD)

The minister’s comments are welcome and I fully support them. However, I want to ask about another matter that was raised in the committee’s discussions. Will he consider coming back to Parliament at a future date to put into the general law on ticket touting the measures that he now proposes for this event?

Ben Macpherson

As I expressed when I appeared before the committee a number of weeks ago, assuming that the bill is approved by Parliament, the Scottish Government intends to learn from its successful delivery and operation and to consider how a framework bill on major events might work in future. Considerations on ticket touting will undoubtedly be part of that process.

Our proposals to ban touting of championship tickets have been broadly supported, including by football fans. The Association of Tartan Army Clubs wrote to the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee in October to convey its firm support for such measures. Of course, it is not my intention to criminalise charity auctions of tickets, and I have committed to lodge an amendment at stage 2 to make it clear that such auctions will be permitted. However, any form of charity sale, auction or promotional giveaway of a Euro 2020 ticket should be discussed with UEFA to ensure that the ultimate holder of the ticket is not at risk of being refused entry to the stadium as a consequence of breaching UEFA’s terms and conditions of sale. The Scottish Government is working to raise awareness of the new offence so that fans will understand how it works and feel able to report touting activity to Police Scotland and enforcement officers.

Finally, it is important that we undertake further engagement to raise awareness of the other provisions in the bill, as we are doing for those on ticket touting. Prior to the bill’s introduction, the Scottish Government carried out targeted engagement with street traders and other businesses that might be affected, as it is essential that they understand what is being proposed and have an opportunity to provide their views. Since the bill was introduced, further engagement has taken place to help us to understand the views of other groups. Importantly, that has included discussions with the Association of Tartan Army Clubs, Supporters Direct Scotland and the Scottish Football Supporters Association, as we wanted to hear from football fans as widely as we could on relevant matters. Further engagement with residents around Hampden park is planned for later this month on the preparations for the event, not just the possible implications of the bill. The Scottish Government, together with Glasgow City Council and other partners, intends to continue to publicise the restrictions on advertising, street trading and ticket touting in the run-up to the championship, to raise awareness among businesses and the public.

I hope that members will appreciate that, despite the expedited timetable for this bill, a good deal of consideration and due care has gone into its drafting. The proposals on ticket touting have been broadly supported, and those on street trading and advertising have been welcomed in the stage 1 report on the bill. I view parliamentary scrutiny as a vital way to improve the bill and have responded positively to the majority of the committee’s recommendations on areas for possible amendment.

I look forward to engaging with members in a productive exchange of views today and, subject to parliamentary approval, taking forward improvements to the bill at stage 2. It is an exciting opportunity for Glasgow to be one of the 12 host cities for the championship, with huge benefits for the local economy, Scotland’s economy and our reputation as an excellent nation to host world-class sporting events. With regard to that opportunity, the aspiration to deliver the tournament well and the things that we need to undertake to do that, I move the motion.

I move,

That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill.

The Presiding Officer

I call Joan McAlpine, convener of the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee, to open on behalf of the committee.

14:35  



Joan McAlpine (South Scotland) (SNP)

It is a pleasure to speak in this debate on behalf of the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee. My committee unanimously agreed our report on the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill last Thursday, and it is symptomatic of the compressed timetable for the bill that this debate is taking place today. In that regard, I am reminded of the words of Leonard Bernstein, who said:

“To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time.”

I thank all the members of the committee and those who provided evidence for their support for our scrutinising the bill within a constrained timetable. As always, I also thank our clerks, who worked so hard to get the report out on time. The compressed timetable has affected me personally because I have a long-standing appointment to support some of my constituents from Langholm, who have travelled to meet the transport minister today. I have alerted you to this, Presiding Officer, but I apologise to members who will speak in the open part of the debate that I will have to step out. My constituents have travelled a long way and I am keen to support them.

The committee recognises the significant culture, tourism and social opportunities that hosting the matches at Hampden park represents for Scotland. Nevertheless, the committee, as one would expect, raises a range of issues with the bill in its stage 1 report. I want to explore those this afternoon, and I am sure that my fellow committee members will want to expand on them.

Euro 2020 will be hosted by 12 member associations of UEFA to mark the 60th anniversary of the European championships, and four matches will take place in Glasgow. To date, five countries are using primary legislation to meet UEFA’s requirements for hosting Euro 2020 matches, while other jurisdictions, such as England, are using secondary legislation. The governance for hosting the Euro 2020 matches is being undertaken by a local organising committee that comprises representatives of the Scottish Football Association, the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, Hampden Park Ltd, VisitScotland and Police Scotland.

While considering the bill, the committee became aware that the need for primary legislation became evident only in April this year despite individual members of the local organising committee, such as Glasgow City Council, having been aware that existing legislation would not be sufficient to meet UEFA’s requirements. In contrast, the legislation for the 2014 Commonwealth games was passed in 2008. The committee considers it regrettable that the local organising committee, which includes the Scottish Government, did not anticipate the need for legislation far sooner, given that the Euro 2020 matches were awarded in 2014. However, I welcome the minister’s commitment in his response to the committee’s stage 1 report

“to learn from this experience”.

I am aware that the delay was certainly not connected to the minister, who came into post only recently.

The bill contains a range of measures that seek to protect the commercial rights of UEFA and event sponsors. Specifically, it contains provisions that will put in place restrictions on ticket touting, street trading and advertising, as well as a range of provisions relating to the enforcement of those offences. The provisions replicate equivalent measures in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Act 2008.

The measures in the bill with regard to ticket touting were supported in the evidence that the committee received. However, the committee has sought to understand why the bill provides an exemption for UEFA, particularly as it was clear when it provided evidence to the committee that it has absolutely no intention of engaging in ticket touting. I am sure that we all welcome that.

The committee recognises that the minister considers that the provision is necessary to protect UEFA when reselling tickets on an online platform. Nevertheless, the committee recommends that the Scottish Government reflects on whether the policy intention of the legislation can be made clearer via an amendment at stage 2.

The committee also welcomes commitments that the Scottish Government has made to ensure that 2020 tickets that are sold at above face value for charitable purposes are exempted from the ticket touting provisions.

The street trading and advertising provisions, which seek to prohibit unauthorised street trading in the Euro 2020 event zones in Glasgow, were generally supported. The committee expressed concern that the activities of buskers and charity collectors could be impacted by the street trading measures. Presiding Officer, as you will be aware, Glasgow boasts some of the finest street performers to be found anywhere in Europe and I am therefore delighted that the minister has committed to making busking and charity collections exceptions to the street trading offence. That can only help to add to the atmosphere that travelling fans will experience in the Euro 2020 event zones.

A substantial proportion of the bill deals with the enforcement mechanisms that are designed to underpin the advertising, ticket touting and street trading offences. The bill proposes that enforcement officers are designated to enforce those offences as a practical measure to reduce the resource implications for Police Scotland during the championships. Concerns were expressed by some stakeholders regarding that approach, which replicates the approach that was taken for the 2014 Commonwealth games. For example, the Scottish Police Federation considered that enforcement officers could blur the distinction between police officers and others who are exercising powers that resemble police powers.

Enforcement officers will be local authority officers who deal with trading standards and consumer protection and will be drawn primarily from Glasgow City Council in the first instance. The minister recognised that that is not evident from the bill as currently drafted and he has offered to make the position more explicit in the bill. The committee recommends that the minister lodges such amendments at stage 2.

In addition, the bill proposes that an enforcement officer should be able to seek assistance from another person to assist them in their role, without defining who those other persons may be. The committee considers that to be a potentially wide-ranging power. We therefore recommended that an enforcement officer, when seeking external expert assistance, should notify the police in advance of seeking such assistance.

I recognise that, in his response to the committee’s stage 1 report, the minister has committed to lodge amendments at stage 2 to make the enforcement provisions clearer and

“to strengthen protections in some areas.”

Presiding Officer, I know that public engagement is an issue to which you attach great importance. The Scottish Government recognises that, due to the late recognition of the need for primary legislation, there had not been sufficient time for a full public consultation prior to the introduction of the bill. Similarly, due to the constraints on the time available for scrutiny of the bill, there was limited scope for stakeholders to engage with the parliamentary process. The committee therefore welcomes the on-going efforts of Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government to undertake public engagement. The committee also welcomes the information distribution programme that UEFA intends to implement. However, the committee is unaware of any public engagement that has taken place to date with local community groups, residents or organisations that represent football fans. Accordingly, the committee recommends that the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council consult such groups.

I will briefly consider the approach that is taken to legislating for major events. The committee welcomes the success that Scotland has had in recent years in attracting major events, and it recognises that doing so remains an on-going objective for the Scottish Government. The minister has referred to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Act 2008 as the “gold standard” for such legislation. However, the committee is aware that no formal evaluation of the operation of the 2008 act has been undertaken. The committee has recommended that there should be

“a formal evaluation of the operation of the legislation”

following next summer’s Euro 2020 tournament.

The use of individual pieces of legislation in order to host major events was questioned in evidence to the committee. For example, the Scottish Police Federation said:

“If we have weaknesses, we should address them in a substantive way rather than in a way that involves periodically coming up with sticking plasters—if that is an appropriate descriptor—when large-scale events come around”.—[Official Report, Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee, 3 October 2019; c 26.]

The committee considers that if there are weaknesses in devolved legislation, those should be addressed in a substantive manner, rather than in a piecemeal fashion. Accordingly, the committee has recommended that the Scottish Government should give serious consideration to developing an events framework bill following formal evaluation of the operation of the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill. I acknowledge that the minister has already addressed that point.

The committee recognises the significant cultural, economic and social opportunities that hosting Euro 2020 matches represents for Scotland. The committee hopes that our scrutiny of the bill will improve the approach taken to legislating for hosting major events in the future.

For some of my fellow committee members, football is—to quote that doyen of Scottish football managers, Tommy Docherty—a “lovely, incurable disease”. I know that Glasgow will make a huge success of hosting Euro 2020—the only thing that will enhance the experience of hosting the tournament in Glasgow will be for Scotland to qualify for the tournament. Unfortunately, Presiding Officer, that is an issue over which the committee has no influence—you may consider that that is probably just as well. However, the committee supports the general principles of the bill.

14:46  



Rachael Hamilton (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire) (Con)

The 16th UEFA European championship is an exciting opportunity for Scotland. To celebrate the tournament’s 60th birthday, 12 cities across Europe have been selected as hosts, from Amsterdam to Munich.

As we have heard, Hampden park won the bid to host matches during the 2020 European championships, so I am, as the Scottish Conservatives’ tourism spokesperson, delighted that Glasgow will be able to take advantage of the opportunities that will come from fans visiting Glasgow and the surrounding area, which will bring in much-needed tourism and contribute to the local economy.

Today we address the bill that will allow that to happen. It addresses areas of Scots law that do not meet UEFA’s standards for protecting sponsors’ commercial interests. It also covers restrictions on ticket touting, street trading and advertising in relation to the UEFA European championship 2020. Crucially, the bill must be enacted to ensure successful delivery of the championship by meeting commitments that are required by UEFA on commercial rights for event sponsors during the period of the event.

The Scottish Conservatives support the bill. We are grateful to the members of the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee for their hard work. However, we have some concerns about the bill’s potential impact. We would like clarification from the Scottish Government on the hours of operation and the precise geographical limits of the event zones, and we would like a response on concerns around the European convention on human rights.

I will address issues that were raised in Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee evidence sessions, and in submissions, on the impacts on local businesses and residents and on enforcement of legislation.

We are already familiar with the process of introducing legislation in relation to hosting major sporting and cultural events. The successful Glasgow Commonwealth games back in 2014, for example, saw the Scottish Parliament pass legislation in the build up to hosting that event. That legislation was prepared much further in advance of the event than the bill that we are debating, and an extensive public consultation was carried out.

That approach would have been beneficial for Glasgow residents by enabling them to prepare and feed their input into the conversation surrounding event zones and trading licences. First and foremost, the people who live in the vicinity of Hampden and near other event zones must be given priority. Conservative councillors on Glasgow City Council have raised the issue and believe that there should have been better public consultation. We must take note of likely disruptions and changes to services for residents in such areas. The challenge is to minimise the impact of road closures and to deliver a safe and secure event.

Members of the Mount Florida community council have been instrumental in providing evidence to the committee and have made their views clear. They raised a number of points, the most important of which was that the economic benefits of Hampden events have previously been gained elsewhere—for example, by hotels in Glasgow city centre—rather than in the local area.

As with any area around a major venue, issues spill out on to the local streets. Major events also increase the impact on everyday life for residents—a point that the Conservative group on Glasgow City Council has also brought up with me. When rugby is on at Murrayfield, residents endure similar traffic chaos and parking restrictions, and due to the trains not running on time—or at all in some cases—they suffer the double impact of bad parking and increased traffic flow on the roads.

In the run-up to matches, there must be better engagement with the local community to ensure that everybody is on board. Residents also raised concerns that the powers that are being granted to enforcement officers to enter and search private property could breach the European convention on human rights, because the powers would affect individuals’ right to respect for private life and family life. Perhaps the minister will address that matter, which will also be dealt with as we progress with the bill.

It is clear that the bill has raised the local issues that I have just discussed, especially those concerning event zones and the impact on local businesses. There has been stakeholder engagement on that front, and there has been the establishment in Glasgow of a local organising committee to deliver the event, so we must see their advice taken on board.

As well as Hampden, two other event zones are being created: George Square and the merchant city. No street trading licences are issued for the merchant city or George Square event zones. However, 113 street trader licences will be impacted on by the proposed Hampden park event zone. I am glad that Glasgow City Council will, as per section 9 of the bill, have to work with traders who will be affected by the championship. That is action that Glasgow Conservative councillors have put pressure on the administration to take. Glasgow City Council has said that it will allow alternative trading arrangements in the Hampden park event zone, and traders will be obligated to comply with the licensing application process, should they want to trade in alternative locations.

I will return to the European convention on human rights. Restrictions on street trading and advertising could inhibit businesses’ peaceful enjoyment of their possessions and their ability to thrive, rather than to suffer, as a result of the increased footfall. The championship is a not-to-be-missed opportunity for them. The committee considered how the bill could avoid preventing established local businesses from advertising products or services in their windows, or immediately outside their premises. In the past, small retailers have gone out of business due to cordons and zones that were applied during the Olympics and other major events, and which led to temporary inaccessibility for deliveries and customers.

We must not allow that to happen in Glasgow. The issue should be taken seriously in the making of regulations and in defining the geographical limits of event zones. It is incumbent on the people who make the regulations to ensure that all those factors are taken into consideration.

Prevention of ticket touting is a very important subject that has been touched on and in respect of which—I am glad to hear—the Government is on board. We do not want ticket touting to spoil the experience of people attending the UEFA matches, so I am thankful that the bill seeks to address the matter. Scots law already includes restrictions around ticket touting, but they relate only to causing a public annoyance to persons who are approached to purchase tickets, or to others who have reasonable grounds to be annoyed by the sale of tickets. As discussed, the provisions do not meet UEFA’s requirements, so through discussion with UEFA the Scottish National Party Government determined that primary legislation is necessary in order to meet fully the requirements for hosting games in the 2020 championship.

Demand for tickets is expected to exceed supply, so the bill aims to provide a deterrent to anyone who would seek to make a profit from resale of tickets, and to provide a basis for preventative actions and punitive actions, in the event of breaches. Conservative members support fair access to tickets so that as many people as possible can enjoy the matches, so making touting a criminal offence for the event will ensure that it is successful and that the ticket touts who sell at overinflated prices, either privately or through secondary sites, will be committing a criminal offence. However, there should be a clear distinction between well-meaning individuals and ticket touts. That will perhaps be looked at. The question remains: how can the ticket touts be ousted?

Conservative members support the bill in principle, but want the Scottish Government to look closely at the impact of event zones on local residents and businesses. We have heard the comments of Mount Florida community council, Police Scotland and others about how the bill could be strengthened to ensure that businesses and communities around Hampden are comfortable with the legislation and its implications for them.

We want the championships to bring the best possible opportunities and economic benefits, and to put Glasgow on the map. At the same time, the bill must allow local people’s needs to be taken on board. The bill must not contravene the European convention on human rights, so clarification must be provided on that.

We will vote tonight to ensure that the bill moves on to stage 2. All we need now is for the Scotland team to qualify.

14:55  



Claire Baker (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)

I am sorry; I have a bad cold. I hope that members will be able to hear what I say.

I am pleased to open this afternoon’s debate for the Labour Party and I am happy to confirm that we will support the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill at stage 1.

Next year is the 60th anniversary of the European championship, and to mark that landmark, the championship will take part across 12 countries. It is a testament to Glasgow that it has been chosen as one of the host cities, with four fixtures due to take place at the national team’s park at Hampden. This is one of the largest sporting events in the world, and the announcement that Glasgow had been selected to be part of this special year for the tournament was very positive.

The city’s selection was also well deserved. Scotland showed itself to be a perfect venue for major sporting events during the 2014 Commonwealth games. Our infrastructure was good, our welcome was warm and even the weather co-operated. The previous Scottish Executive and the Scottish Government, along with their partner, Glasgow City Council, demonstrated vision and ambition for Scotland’s role on the world’s sporting stage, and the games’ success helped to secure our position as a competitive location.

The UEFA Euro 2020 championship will provide an economic boost to Glasgow and to Scotland. Accommodation and hospitality sectors will benefit and there will be opportunities to persuade people to stay longer in Scotland and take advantage of all that we have to offer. We can anticipate cultural and social benefits.

The Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee welcomed assurances that busking will be admissible in the event zones. There will be an opportunity to share all the cultural activities and night-time economy that Glasgow offers.

I have had a look at the UEFA website, on which there are promotional videos for each city. I note that it mentions that Edinburgh is only 70km—the distance is given in kilometres, because the site is aimed at a European market—from Glasgow. The benefits will extend across Scotland.

It seems that no debate can avoid Brexit. International events such as the championship, which bring together people through social interaction, are important for fostering co-operation and understanding. They enable us to recognise our place in Europe, whatever the future holds.

Games will take place in Glasgow and London, with the semi-finals and the final taking place at Wembley. We must show ourselves to be a welcoming and inclusive country, here in Scotland and across the United Kingdom, so that we can all enjoy this celebration of world-class football. There have been ugly scenes in European football in recent months and we must make clear—as must UEFA—that racism and antisocial behaviour have no place in the game or the festivities that surround it.

As a member of the committee, I understand and share some of the concerns that the convener expressed. I will focus on a few of the issues that she raised and on the responses that we have received from the Government.

As the minister acknowledged, the timescale for consultation and scrutiny has been challenging. I thank the people who submitted written evidence and who were able to attend committee meetings at short notice. It is disappointing that there is not more time to consider the bill. Every piece of legislation should have adequate time for consideration. Although there are occasions on which it is necessary to fast track a bill—it is argued that this is one such occasion—such an approach should be avoided. The current state of affairs is unfortunate, albeit that the minister has provided an explanation for it, and the committee is not convinced that it was unavoidable.

Although the legislation is similar to the bill that was introduced for similar reasons in relation to the Commonwealth games, it is unfortunate that the Government was unable to provide much analysis of how the legislation operated during the Commonwealth games. That might be because there appear to have been no significant issues. However, only in recent months has there been any attempt to review the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Act 2008 and the letter from the Crown Office that said that there were four reported cases of ticket touting during the games. If there had been an evaluation of the 2008 act, it might have been easier to make the argument to the committee that this bill is a fairly straightforward piece of legislation that provides for an approach that has been tested and was effective. I welcome the Government’s stated intention to learn from this experience.

It could be that the lack of time has caused some of those issues of concern. The Law Society of Scotland highlighted that it would have been helpful to include in the initial bill documentation comparative details of similar measures that are being taken in England or other European countries. Scotland is not unique in having to introduce primary legislation, but it suggests a weakness in our legislation on ticket touting that needs to be addressed. Ticket touting has had a high profile in recent years, particularly with regard to music events and the growth of online sales.

I welcome the Government’s response to the committee’s questions about online ticket touting, which sets out that someone could be refused entry unless their ticket has been purchased through a UEFA resale platform. Awareness of that will need to be raised, so that fans will be aware of the risks if they purchase a ticket in that way. It may be an effective way to deter online ticket touting, which is difficult to police, but I recognise that the enforcement of existing consumer rights has seen an improvement in recent months. That approach should be applied to all ticket touting, which is simply exploitation of fans.

The area that generated the most discussion is the roles and responsibilities of enforcement officers and the enforcement powers, on which the committee suggested a number of amendments. Although the need for enforcement officers during the tournament is recognised, concerns have been expressed about whether the powers are appropriate and the measures proportionate to the potential issues that may arise during the tournament, particularly with regard to entering domestic and non-domestic properties. Policing the event and ensuring the safety of those who attend will be the role of Police Scotland, and the tournament will require intensive policing resource. The role of enforcement officers should complement that of police officers, so the legislation must be clear on the division of responsibilities.

There are several areas on which the committee sought assurances from the minister, and the amendments that he has proposed are welcome. I am keen for the legislation to have the confidence of Parliament, so that we can focus on the positive opportunities that the tournament will bring. There are lots of positive opportunities for the city, for tourism and, I hope, for Scotland’s national team, but we should recognise that, for people who live within the event zones or their close vicinity, assurances will need to be provided and appreciation given for any concerns that they raise. It is welcome that an engagement session with residents around Hampden park will be held next week, and efforts must be made to keep those residents and other interested parties informed of the impacts of everything that will be in place during the tournament.

The Law Society of Scotland’s briefing for today’s debate raised questions about the seemingly piecemeal approach to hosting individual major events. That issue was also raised by the committee, which questioned whether a more strategic approach could be adopted that would cover any future events. It is anticipated and hoped that Scotland will be in a good position to attract more international events—I understand that there have been positive announcements on that subject this afternoon—and the same issues will need to be addressed in a temporary manner unless legislation could be introduced to apply in all circumstances.

The minister said at a committee meeting that he would consider the need for an events framework bill; I would be interested in more detail on that. When I have asked the cabinet secretary previously whether we could have a Scottish solution to ticket touting, it has been clear that there are issues with reserved powers, including consumer protection, and that is reflected in the Government’s response to the stage 1 report. However, if there is a way to avoid introducing legislation for individual events, it would be worth exploring whether the powers that we are using could be made permanent or, at the least, whether there could be a system by which they could be triggered when necessary.

I look forward to this afternoon’s debate, and I welcome the Government’s response so far to the issues that the committee raised.

The Deputy Presiding Officer (Christine Grahame)

Thank you very much. I call Ross Greer to open for the Greens. You have a generous six minutes, Mr Greer.

15:03  



Ross Greer (West Scotland) (Green)

Thank you, Presiding Officer. We all welcome the opportunity for Scotland to host international sporting events. Our history in international football goes as far back as it is possible to go; the first-ever international fixture was between Scotland and England and it was hosted in Glasgow. More recently, there was much to celebrate about the success of the Commonwealth games, although I do not think that they had the overwhelmingly positive effect on the local community in the east end and on children and families’ participation in sport that some have claimed; the Parliament should come back to that point and explore it further.

I hope that hosting the UEFA matches will benefit the local economy in Glasgow and grass-roots football on the south side, across the city and across Scotland. International tournaments are special because they can play a key role in developing the sport, driving new people to get involved and drawing more attention to the positives that the sport can provide—we need only look at the long-overdue boom in interest in women’s football after Scotland qualified for the world cup in France this year. However, in seeking to host international events, we need to ensure that they are conducted fairly.

Stuart McMillan (Greenock and Inverclyde) (SNP)

I am sure that Ross Greer will agree that interest in women’s football was very much increased as a consequence of the Scotland women’s team qualifying for the European championships two years ago.

Ross Greer

Absolutely; Stuart McMillan is correct. After a long period of women’s football being, frankly, undervalued, particularly by our media, the past few years’ successes in multiple tournaments have had an exponential impact not just on women’s football at the adult level, but on getting young women and girls involved in women’s football at school level.

To return to the bill, the Greens have serious concerns, which are covered in the committee report, about the bill’s provisions. First, I reiterate the point that the committee did not have enough time to scrutinise the bill properly. We held only two evidence sessions and took limited written evidence. It is to our clerks’ credit that we did so much in so little time and that such a useful report was the result. That rushed timescale was avoidable and a disservice to the Parliament. It was known on winning the bid in 2014 to host the championship that legislation might be required. That was five years ago, but it was confirmed with UEFA only in April this year that primary legislation would definitely be required. It then took a further six months for the bill to be drafted and introduced to Parliament.

That is not an acceptable way to go about legislating and it is certainly not good practice. When the Parliament does not have sufficient time to scrutinise, it is far more likely that a mistake will be made and that a piece of legislation will not be up to standard. Mistakes have been made with legislation previously that have led to good policies being scuppered. That undermines not only those policies but the reputation of the Parliament. It is vital that we do not set a precedent whereby rushing legislation through Parliament becomes acceptable; I welcome the minister’s comments on that.

Some aspects of the bill, such as the provision for a ban on ticket touting, are welcome. However, there are also serious concerns about the bill because it is not a simple and uncontroversial piece of legislation. International sporting events inevitably bring with them corporate sponsors in the form of multinational, multibillion-pound companies seeking to make as much money as they can from association with the event. Companies such as Coca-Cola, Heineken, Mastercard and Gazprom want to use events such as UEFA 2020 to advertise their products and brands.

To protect corporate sponsors from non-official advertisers or other brands, the bill sets out a range of specific offences and enforcement powers. New criminal offences on trading and advertising are to be introduced, along with fines of up to £20,000. The enforcement powers for those are potentially excessive and without appropriate oversight mechanisms. The powers are to be granted to council officials, but they go beyond those that are currently afforded to the police. That is a concerning move, given that the police have clear lines of accountability and oversight mechanisms in place. Although those mechanisms do not function perfectly, giving police-like powers to non-police officials who do not have equivalent oversight mechanisms provides scope for abuse.

The enforcement powers include the power to seize and destroy property and to enter and search premises, which can be undertaken on the low threshold of an enforcement officer acting on their own judgment if they think that the action is appropriate. That would allow local authority officials to search premises, a vehicle or a container without a police officer being present and even without a warrant, acting only on suspicion that a corporate brand was being ripped off. Those are broad and invasive powers, which the Scottish Police Federation has explicitly criticised, stating that they are “extraordinary” and “in stark contrast” with the very limited circumstances in which the police can usually enter and search without a warrant.

For those broad powers to be enacted for the protection of commercial rights is excessive and unjustified. It prioritises the protection of multibillion-pound corporations over the rights of citizens. There is a particular contrast between the oversight of police officers acting on the basis of their personal judgment and the lack of oversight for enforcement officers acting on their personal judgment as empowered by the bill. I am still not convinced of the necessity for those powers. After all, UEFA confirmed to me at the committee that it did not ask for them and made it clear that enforcement powers can remain with the police. Given that, it is clear that the judgment on the powers was motivated by issues of resource and proportionality.

The provisions therefore require a nuanced debate, but we did not have time to explore them properly in the few weeks that we had, given that we were not exactly lacking in other pressing issues to occupy our time. At least the Government has recognised those concerns and has said that it will lodge amendments at stage 2 to rectify some of the problems that have been raised. That is welcome, although the Government has simultaneously defended the provisions by stating that similar provisions were used for the Commonwealth games.

None of us wants to vote against the bill and the Greens will vote for the general principles at stage 1, but I urge the Government to engage with members immediately on the intended amendments. We all want to end up in the same place on the UEFA bill, but the Greens will not be able to support the bill at stage 3 unless meaningful changes are made to protect civil liberties and to retain appropriate policing responsibilities with the police. We all look forward to hosting the UEFA event—even those of us who never thought that we would manage a six-minute speech about a football tournament. I hope that we can reach that point in a spirit of consensus, maximising the good that hosting the event will do for Glasgow and Scotland while doing everything appropriate within our powers to ensure that our constituents’ rights are not undermined for the benefit of corporate sponsors.

The Deputy Presiding Officer

I call Mike Rumbles to open for the Liberal Democrats. Mr Rumbles, you will be pleased to hear that I can give you a generous six minutes.

15:10  



Mike Rumbles (North East Scotland) (LD)

Thank you very much indeed, Presiding Officer.

Everyone on the committee and, I hope, everyone in the chamber supports the Scottish Government’s bill for the successful delivery of Euro 2020. It is important that the bill paves the way for a successful tournament. I want to see a successful tournament, and our job in the Parliament is to ensure that a successful bill is passed through all three stages, so that we do our bit to aid a successful tournament.

I come to the detail of the bill. When I looked at the bill prior to the committee taking evidence on it, I was surprised by a couple of issues, which have already been addressed to some extent. First, I commend the Government for section 2, which deals with a ban on ticket touting for the event. Ticket touts have been making a pretty penny out of people for far too long. The activity routinely fleeces people, and much more needs to be done to promote fair access to events and to protect people. People will wonder why the approach that will be taken to the Euros next year should not be the norm, and we need to update our legislation to reflect that. I am pleased that consideration is being given to doing that, so I say, “Well done, the Scottish Government”—members do not often hear me say that, but I am saying it today.

However, there are some issues with section 2(4), which says:

“The touting offence does not apply in relation to acts done by UEFA.”

As far as we can see, that is an unnecessary subsection. When giving evidence, UEFA insisted that it would not engage in ticket touting, yet there is a glaring exception for ticket touting by UEFA in the bill. In our report, the committee asked that the Government

“reflects on whether amendments at Stage 2 ... are necessary.”

I am glad that, in the minister’s written response, which was received yesterday, he said that he will look at the issue again, and I urge him to lodge an amendment at stage 2 to remove that unnecessary provision, because the section looks so bad as it stands.

Secondly, concerns have been raised about the wide-ranging powers that the bill gives to enforcement officers. I hear what the Greens have said in that regard. In particular, section 19(2) says:

“An enforcement officer may take to a place entered by virtue of this section any other person, or any equipment, as may be reasonably required for the purposes of assisting the officer.”

There was a view that, if that provision was used, a police officer should be present. However, the committee decided to recommend that

“the police should be notified in advance”

if the provision was to be used. The committee’s view was that that would be sufficient. In its response, the Government has interpreted that recommendation as meaning that Police Scotland should be informed in advance. That is not what committee members intended; there has been a slight misunderstanding. If Police Scotland had to be informed, there could obviously be an unreasonable delay. I do not want to speak for the rest of the committee, but I interpreted our recommendation as meaning that the police on the ground should be informed, so that they could decide whether to attend. I ask the minister to reflect again and to lodge an amendment at stage 2 to reflect the committee’s recommendation, so that this really important point, which the Greens made, too, can be addressed.

My next point is a simple one. It seems to me that, in introducing the bill, the Government has, to some extent, cut and pasted the details from previous legislation. The minister’s response to the committee shows that that is the case as it says:

“the powers in the Bill ... are almost identical to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Act 2008”.

That is quite so, but that bill went through the Parliament with even less notice than there was for the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill, and I am led to believe that oral evidence was not taken in the process. The fact that no untoward events happened as a result was fortunate, but that is not to say that we will necessarily be so fortunate this time and that some unfortunate event could not happen as a result of the bill. Our job as MSPs is to interrogate the bill and to make suggestions to improve it, in order to ensure that there are no unforeseen consequences as a result of it.

This is a good bill, and I am glad that the minister is taking a reasonable approach to it, realising that the Government does not have a monopoly of wisdom. I look forward to the minister lodging amendments at stage 2 to address the issues that we have highlighted today.

The Deputy Presiding Officer

We move to the open debate, for which we have some time in hand for interventions.

15:15  



Annabelle Ewing (Cowdenbeath) (SNP)

As a member of the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee, I am pleased to have been called to speak in this afternoon’s stage 1 debate on the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill.

As we have heard, the bill is intended to meet the requirements of UEFA in relation to the protection of commercial rights for event sponsors, and to prohibit ticket touting during the forthcoming European football championship in 2020. Unusually, the 60th anniversary of the championships will be held across 12 cities in Europe. To show what a tremendous honour it is to have Glasgow included in that illustrious list, it is important to name all the other cities: Amsterdam, Baku, Bilbao, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dublin, London, Munich, Rome and St Petersburg. The championship will take place from 12 June to 12 July 2020, and Hampden park in Glasgow will host three group matches on 15, 19 and 23 June and, I believe, one round of quarter finals on 30 June.

As has been recognised, that presents a significant opportunity for Glasgow, as the host city—and, indeed, for Scotland—to welcome all those football fans from across Europe to our country and largest city, and, hopefully, to maximise the benefits, economic, social and otherwise, that will accrue. I am sure that we all wish to see that happen.

The bill was introduced to the Parliament on 24 September 2019. Taking into account the October recess, there has indeed been limited time to scrutinise it. I, too, thank the committee clerks who have carried out a power of work to ensure that we are at the stage 1 part of the process today. Given that the committee made its views on that issue known in its report, and that the matter has been raised this afternoon, I will not belabour that particular point. However, I will say that we are where we are now, and that the key objective going forward must be to get the job done, so that we get the bill passed in due course, and enjoy the benefits of the European championship being held in Glasgow.

A number of issues were raised by the committee, and I am pleased to note that there has already been a positive reaction to a number of the points that were raised by committee members, both from the Scottish Government and from Glasgow City Council. Indeed, it should be welcomed that Glasgow City Council has signalled its intention to consult widely in the three event zones of Hampden park, the merchant city and George Square.

When I was looking at my Twitter feed during last week’s committee meeting—for some factual reference for the committee deliberations, of course—I noted that a specific event that involves the local community has been set up in Mount Florida. Of course, Mount Florida community council had been a bit aggrieved that, in its view, there had not been sufficient consultation. Glasgow City Council has taken that on board, which I am pleased to note; local dialogue is always important, and there are no shortcuts in that regard.

There has also been helpful clarification from the Scottish Government about the scope of the provisions that deal with unauthorised street trading and unauthorised advertising in the event zones—when, of course, they are in operation. As we have heard, it is not the intention for there to be any impact on charity collectors or buskers, which, given Glasgow’s great busking tradition, is very welcome news indeed. It is excellent that we will find a space for buskers, so that they can add colour to the events for the enjoyment of all. Another welcome clarification from the Scottish Government is its commitment to make an exception to the ticket touting offence for the charitable auction of tickets.

However, as has been referred to this afternoon, committee members had most concerns about the issue of enforcement powers.

Concerns have been expressed by bodies such as the Scottish Police Federation that the powers to be conferred on council trading standards officers are too wide in their scope and that they fail to appropriately reflect the unique role of police officers and the standards by which they are held to account. At the same time, however, the Scottish Government stressed—as did Police Scotland—that the powers concerned reflected the powers granted to trading standards officers under the essentially similar arrangements for the 2014 Commonwealth games.

Given the very serious considerations at issue, the committee unanimously agreed in its report to highlight those concerns, calling on the Scottish Government to consider whether amendments will be necessary at stage 2 to allay them. I was pleased to hear the minister say in his opening speech that the Scottish Government will indeed lodge amendments at stage 2 on the issue.

I declare an interest, in that I am a member of the Law Society of Scotland, although I am not currently practising. In its submission, the Law Society made the important point that publicity of the forthcoming legislation should be factored in, because it is essential that everybody involved, including people working and making their livelihoods in the city centre and in all the event zones, is well aware of what the law is going to be and how it will impact on them. That was an excellent point from the Law Society, which I hope the minister will duly bear in mind.

We are all keen to see the European championship matches come to Glasgow next year, and we on the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee will continue to do our job in scrutinising the bill according to the accelerated timescale that has been set. We will also seek to ensure that the reasonable concerns that have been raised are appropriately addressed.

I echo the hopes of the tartan army members in my constituency and in every constituency in Scotland that, in the long tradition of our national team’s dramatic performances at the 11th hour, we will see Scotland succeed in the play-offs in March next year.

The Deputy Presiding Officer

I did not see a section on that in the bill, but perhaps somebody will amend it.

15:22  



Brian Whittle (South Scotland) (Con)

I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak on the bill. As has been mentioned a few times, Scotland has been fortunate enough to host a number of major sporting events in recent years. Glasgow, in particular, has a strong international reputation for delivering on these international occasions.

The 2014 Commonwealth games brought athletes and sports fans to Scotland from all around the world, and they showed Glasgow and Scotland at their very best. The investment for that event and its infrastructure is still paying dividends today, opening up more opportunities to attract other major events and giving local residents access to world-class facilities—which I utilise myself for the athletes that I coach.

Since the Commonwealth games, Glasgow has played host to several major sporting events, including the 2018 European championships, along with the host city Berlin, and the 2019 European athletics indoor championships. Later this year, the European short course swimming championships will be coming to the Tollcross international swimming centre.

There is no question but that those major events come with real prestige and bring economic benefit for Glasgow and Scotland more widely, and I am delighted that Scotland will play a role in Euro 2020. It is not always acknowledged that hosting events such as the Olympics, the Commonwealth games or Euro 2020 will almost always require action in a country’s Parliament. There will always be some people who question the appropriateness of passing legislation that is primarily intended to secure mainly large commercial interests.

Our consideration of the bill and the wider issues around hosting such an event is a game of two halves. Apologies for that, Presiding Officer—I could not resist it. There is a clear need to ensure that ticket touts do not rip off football fans—and I was interested to hear Mike Rumbles raise with the minister the matter of how the eventual legislation might frame a more permanent solution to ticket touting further down the line.

We need to ensure that UEFA’s brand is protected and undamaged by vendors selling inferior-quality or counterfeit goods and that event sponsors have confidence that paying for advertising space is worth it—thereby reducing the need for the public to subsidise such events. Against that, we have to balance the legitimate rights of street traders and others who are simply going about their normal business, and the potential impact on the local communities surrounding the event zones.

As other members have mentioned, there are concerns about whether the event zone restrictions could have European convention on human rights implications, particularly relating to the right to the enjoyment of property and the significant powers being handed to enforcement officers for the duration of the event. Some effort appears to be being made to address those issues in the bill, such as through the requirement that entering and searching private property needs owner consent, police attendance or a sheriff’s warrant. I hope that there will be greater clarity on those issues as the bill progresses. Similarly, until Parliament and those affected by the event zone legislation know the precise extent of event zones, and their timings of operation, it will be difficult to judge their potential impact.

As an aside, I noticed that Joe FitzPatrick was in the chamber for the earlier speeches. I would say to him that although the Scottish Government has shown a willingness in this case to create zones restricting trading, it has failed to support my proposal to create similar restriction zones for junk food sales around schools. That issue will be discussed another time.

Many members have mentioned the fact that the relatively short timescale for the passage of the bill has raised its own issues, particularly in relation to ensuring public awareness and thorough engagement with traders and local residents who could potentially be affected. That is a particularly crucial issue, as it speaks to one of the most important aspects of holding an event such as the UEFA Euro championships, which is public engagement. As someone who has been fortunate enough to experience a number of major international sports events up close, I recognise the huge amount of work that goes into making them happen. With that work can often come temporary disruption for people living near the event sites. Euro 2020 is a global event, but I believe that it also has to be a local event for Scotland, for Glasgow and for those communities in or near the event zones. We are asking those communities to put up with a reasonable amount of disruption, and it is important that UEFA, the Scottish FA and Glasgow City Council all work to give local residents an experience that they will remember and not one that they will want to forget. I hope that the minister will be able to provide some details of what work is being done to engage with all those affected by the proposed measures and the wider event.

As I said at the beginning of my speech, Scotland has an impressive history and reputation when it comes to hosting international sporting events. The events themselves are often a source of inspiration to the next generation of young sportspeople, many of whom go on to train in the place where they saw their heroes win. Although many of Glasgow’s most impressive sports facilities were created in the run-up to the Commonwealth games, Hampden park is a notable exception. It is the oldest international football stadium in the world, and although, admittedly, there are times when we go there and can tell that it has been around for a while, it has not lost its power to put on a show.

Next year’s Euro 2020 matches in Glasgow are a welcome sign of Scotland’s continuing popularity as a venue for international sport. It is a real honour and a privilege to be selected to host events such as this, and it is something that we should all take great pride in.

As a Parliament, it is now our responsibility to deliver a bill that ensures that the event takes place successfully. However, we also have a responsibility to ensure that we make the most of the event to the benefit of the communities and businesses that will be impacted by it.

15:28  



Stuart McMillan (Greenock and Inverclyde) (SNP)

I support the bill and agree that Glasgow is one of the world’s greatest cities for major sporting events. Euro 2020 will build on the outstanding success of the 2014 Commonwealth games and last year’s European championships. We must also remember a few of the events that have taken place not just in Glasgow but across Scotland. The UEFA champions league final took place in 2002 and the Europa league final in 2007. At Murrayfield, we had the Heineken cup for rugby in 2009 and the champions cup in 2017. This year, the PRO14 grand final took place at Celtic park. There was also the Ryder cup in 2014 and the Solheim cup this year.

It is clear that Scotland organises, hosts and delivers successful championships and sporting events. Our reputation is high and that is something that we should be proud of. That success is hard won, but it is even more challenging to maintain it. Next year is a huge opportunity for us to shine once again and show the world that Scotland delivers. Four matches are being played at the national stadium in Glasgow—that is four occasions when Scotland as a nation has an opportunity to prove once again that we are a world-class location, and four occasions when the festival of football comes to Scotland. Those matches will be sell-outs and the atmosphere will be electric; hopefully, Scotland will get through via the nations league play-off next spring so that we can participate on the pitch as well.

Today, it was announced that Glasgow has been named as the European capital of sport for 2023. It is the second time that the city has achieved the title, the first being in 2003. That will build on Glasgow’s place among the world’s sporting elite cities, whereby it was ranked the fifth-best sporting city in the world at the SportBusiness ultimate sports cities awards.

I know what it is like to follow the men’s team at a major championship, because I went to see the Scotland v Norway game at the world cup in France in 1998. Little did I think that that might be the last time that we would participate in a major championship.

The bill will play an important role in maintaining the highest levels of delivery. As we know, it is relatively short and is based on the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Act 2008. As colleagues have mentioned, it covers four main areas: ticket touting, street trading, advertising and enforcement. Each of those areas is important in its own right, and it is vital that they are properly considered; I believe that they have been, thus far.

At any sporting event, one of the main causes of frustration for legitimate sporting fans is the issue of ticket touting. When I was at the world cup in France in 1998, I bumped into quite a few ticket touts. I do not say this lightly: I genuinely believe that ticket touts are among the scum of the earth. They seek to profit at the expense of real sporting fans and their greed has absolutely no limit. The only thing that is important to them is the size of their wallet or their purse. It was important that the committee looked at the issue. In the limited time that was available to us, the committee scrutinised the bill thoroughly, and the recommendations that we made in that area in our stage 1 report were unanimous.

Regardless of which team someone supports in one of the four matches in Glasgow—many people will simply go along as neutrals—if they encounter ticket touts, it will annoy them deeply. In addition, the last thing that we want to see at major championships is empty seats. Unfortunately, ticket touts lead to that happening, because they charge so much money that people cannot afford a ticket and real fans are priced out of going to games. Therefore, I genuinely welcome the measures in the bill to tackle such scum, and I welcome the minister’s reply to the committee on the issue.

The Scottish Government has made it clear from the outset that it wants the bill not simply to protect the integrity of the championships, but to be practical and deliverable. I know that colleagues are sceptical about the involvement of big multinational companies, but their sponsorship of sporting events is just a fact of life. I mentioned some of the sporting events that have taken place in Scotland. They would not have happened without major multinationals putting in the money to bring them to Scotland. That is just a fact of life, whether people want to accept it or not.

I also welcome the Scottish Government’s approach to street trading, including the exemptions for buskers and charity collections. On the face of it, busking might appear to be a low-level issue, but it helps to bring the festival of sport to the wider world. We cannot put a value on that, albeit that an individual busker might try to.

I welcome what the Scottish Government said in its response about advertising and the issue of enforcement officers and the associated powers. Colleagues across the chamber have raised the matter already, but I welcome the fact that the Government is prepared to lodge amendments in this area at stage 2.

When it comes to the delegated powers in the bill, we must consider the impact of Brexit. I highlight the fact that, whatever the outcome of the Brexit chaos is, it is crucial that the Scottish Government acts as quickly as possible to introduce the relevant regulations, so that the whole event can take place in the way that we want it to. Clearly, Brexit will have a negative effect on our economy, so let us do whatever we can to ensure that these championships are successful in continuing Glasgow and Scotland’s great reputation.

I whole-heartedly agree with other members’ comments regarding consideration of a framework bill in the future. Also, there is the issue of engagement with the local community around Mount Florida in particular; it is important to make sure that they feel part of the festival of football rather than feeling that it is something that is happening to them.

Members should make no mistake: next year will be a huge festival of football. The sporting, cultural and economic effects will last for many years to come, and the memories will never die—they will last forever. I fully support the bill and I look forward to its parliamentary progress.

15:35  



James Kelly (Glasgow) (Lab)

I welcome the opportunity to take part in this debate on the bill in support of next year’s European championship matches at Hampden. First and foremost, the hosting of the games by Glasgow and Scotland next year is a great opportunity. The way that UEFA has organised the tournament is different from previous tournaments in that, as Annabelle Ewing pointed out, it will take place across 12 cities, and that has given Glasgow the chance to host these four games. It is a great opportunity for football fans in Scotland to see some great matches up close.

I recently attended the Belgium v Scotland game at Hampden and, although the outcome was disappointing for Scotland, as we lost 4-0, it was great to see the Belgium team up close, and to see how good and skilful players such as Kevin De Bruyne are. I am quite sure that, come the championships next year, Belgium will be one of the teams competing to win the overall title.

Hosting the games is a great opportunity for football fans in Scotland; it will also be of great advantage to the Glasgow and Scottish economies. People will travel here from outside Scotland and outside the UK, which will boost the tourism trade not just in Glasgow but, as Claire Baker pointed out, in cities around Scotland.

It will also give us the opportunity to showcase Scotland as a country and Glasgow as a city that can hold such events successfully. We have seen that with the Commonwealth games and with the European championships last year.

We need proper legislation that supports all of that, because we need to ensure that the events run smoothly and efficiently so that people can enjoy them to the full and so that we can showcase the benefits of a major city for future events. From that point of view, the legislation is very necessary and, clearly, Scottish Labour supports it.

Some concerns have been expressed about the speed at which the legislation is being put through. Listening to Joan McAlpine talking about how the committee signed off the report just last Thursday, I was struck that it was only last week that we were debating the same committee’s report on the Glasgow School of Art fires. That inquiry took place earlier this year, before the summer recess. That shows the speed at which the committee has had to work on the bill. It is somewhat surprising that the Government was not proactive enough to realise that, along with working with UEFA, legislation was required for the championships.

Having said that, I think that the job of everyone—including the Government and Opposition parliamentarians—is to scrutinise the legislation and to make sure that it is fit for purpose.

Obviously, one of the main areas that the bill covers is tackling ticket touts. That is very welcome. I was interested in Stuart McMillan’s comments about ticket touts. He is right—ticket touts are scurrilous individuals who stop at nothing to profit from the great desire of sports fans, music fans and so on to get to events.

During the summer, I went to London with my wife and daughters, who were attending a pop concert in Hyde park—it was Stevie Wonder and Lionel Richie. I was not at the concert; I was outside.

Richard Lyle (Uddingston and Bellshill) (SNP)

Did you not buy a ticket?

James Kelly

My wife and daughters did not buy me a ticket. They took me down to escort them to the venue and look after them.

Richard Lyle

I know the feeling.

James Kelly

Yes.

Anyway, I spent a bit of time outside the venue just looking at how everything operated, which was interesting. I looked closely at the activities of the ticket touts and saw the way that they hassled people who had turned up at the venue with extra tickets to try to get them to sell those tickets at a reduced value. Quite honestly, there was a lot of bullying and intimidation going on. I also saw the way that the touts tried to sell on the tickets at a much higher price to exploit people and get a profit. I saw that in action, and it really was despicable.

The Government and UEFA are right to take tough action on ticket touts. I welcome the comments of other members that we should take the opportunity to extend current legislation or to introduce new legislation to cover other events that are held throughout Scotland so that we can stop people exploiting fans who go to such events.

Another issue that has been examined is enforcement and the use of enforcement officers. Members are right to highlight some of the concerns of the local community about the powers of enforcement officers. The Government must be clear, in the legislation and the guidelines, on what the roles of the enforcement officers are. There will be a lot of disruption to the local community who live around Hampden and there are understandable concerns about the powers of enforcement officers to search households in the area. That must be done in a proportionate and fair manner.

Do I need to wind up, Presiding Officer?

The Deputy Presiding Officer

You can take up to seven minutes. I have time in hand.

James Kelly

Another important issue is engagement and consultation with local communities. If that is done properly, that will address some of the concerns that have been raised and will ensure that the provisions are implemented in a way that takes local communities with us.

It is important to get the legislation in place to support the event. The contest presents a tremendous opportunity. Like others, I only hope that Scotland can be successful in the play-offs so that we can enjoy seeing Scotland in an international tournament for the first time since Stuart McMillan went to France in 1998.

15:43  



Richard Lyle (Uddingston and Bellshill) (SNP)

I welcome the opportunity to contribute to the stage 1 debate on the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill.

I have a confession to make. As many colleagues throughout the chamber know, I am not a football follower. Indeed, when I am asked who I support, I answer, “The players,” because for me it is about the sport and not the teams. I am speaking in the debate because I support the sport and I support Scotland.

I recall vividly, probably because it was my first football match and I was 12 years of age, a time when I attended a football match with my father. It was Rangers v Real Madrid. The memory that strikes me most is that of being separated from my father in a sea of people—in those days, there were very few seats at football stadiums—and the feeling that that left me with.

Stadiums have changed since then, and my experience is a far cry from the experience that many people enjoy today. In fact, football is now an opportunity to bring people together. Although there are well-known and much-discussed issues, there is now much that is good in Scottish football. Families can enjoy matches together and sit in stadiums while they cheer on their favourite team. Indeed, the Scotland women’s team’s recent matches—especially the Hampden park game before the team’s departure for the world cup—were fantastic family-friendly experiences.

Glasgow is set to host UEFA matches: I know that our venues will give visitors a very warm welcome. Glasgow has become one of the world’s top cities for major sporting events, and Euro 2020 will build on its successful hosting of the Commonwealth games in 2014 and the European championships last year. We have seen the benefit of those events. Hosting of the 2014 Commonwealth games was estimated to have added about £740 million gross to the Scottish economy, and the 2007 UEFA cup final at Hampden resulted in estimated gross expenditure by visitors of more than £16.3 million.

As well as bringing thousands of people into the city and increasing trade for shops, restaurants and hotels, such tournaments help to showcase Scotland as the outward-looking and welcoming nation that it is. It is therefore very much to be welcomed that Glasgow is one of the 12 host cities for Euro 2020, with an estimated 200,000 people expected to visit the city during the tournament.

I turn to the substance of the bill, the purpose of which is to help to ensure successful delivery of the championships by meeting commitments that are required by UEFA on protection of commercial rights for event sponsors during the period of the event, and by prohibiting ticket touting. The bill covers four main areas: ticket touting, street trading, advertising and enforcement. Four new offences will be introduced. They are, largely, modelled on similar offences that were introduced for the Commonwealth games in 2014. That action underpins the Scottish Government’s determination to support fair access to tickets so that as many fans as possible can enjoy the games.

I listened with interest to James Kelly’s point about ticket touts, who force people to sell their tickets to them and then sell them on at inflated prices. That is a sad reflection of the kind of behaviour that goes on today, so we should try to solve that problem. It is therefore to be welcomed that there will be a new offence of selling a ticket for above face value or with a view to making a profit, which will be committed whether the transaction takes place in person or electronically and will be punishable by a fine of up to £5,000.

It will also be an offence to trade in one of the three event zones without appropriate authorisation. The aim of that offence is to protect UEFA-approved vendors during the hours of operation of the event zones. Committing that offence will be punishable by a fine of up to £20,000.

Furthermore, it will be an offence to advertise in one of the three event zones without appropriate authorisation. The aim of that provision is to protect UEFA-approved sponsors during the hours of operation of the event zones. That offence will also be punishable by a fine of up to £20,000.

During the committee’s evidence-taking sessions, it was asked whether buskers and charity collectors will be allowed to operate in the designated fan zones. The Scottish Government has committed to creating exemptions to allow such activities to continue during the competition. That is to be welcomed, because it will allow our incredibly talented individuals to continue to share their talents with visitors.

Some people might wonder why we are required to introduce legislation for such an event. However, is not unusual for the organisers of major sporting events to require host cities to introduce specific legislative protections. The last piece of major events legislation in Scotland was prepared for the Commonwealth games in 2014—and we all know how fantastic they were. Therefore the bill is not unusual; it is designed to ensure that the championship events run smoothly, and that we deliver an excellent experience for the people who come to enjoy the beautiful game.

I wish the organisers the best of success in the coming days, and I hope that all our visitors enjoy their time in Scotland.

The Deputy Presiding Officer

Members will have noticed that, so far, I have allowed a little leeway in the time that has elapsed before members have reached the point of talking about the bill, because I appreciate that it is sometimes difficult to say what other members have already said. However, members should not stretch that too far. Nearly three minutes passed before you got round to the bill, Mr Lyle. [Interruption.] Thank you, Mr Lyle.

15:49  



Miles Briggs (Lothian) (Con)

I cannot be the only member who, on seeing that we were going to debate the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill, tried to think of an amendment to ensure that Scotland would automatically be accepted into the championships. I say to the minister that I do not know whether our lawyers can see whether that is still possible, but I am sure that we all hope to achieve it at stage 2 or 3.

As has been outlined, Glasgow has an outstanding track record of hosting sporting events including, this year, the European athletics indoor championships and the Guinness PRO14 final. As one of the 12 cities across Europe that will host the 2020 UEFA European championship, Glasgow will be on show to the rest of Europe again, and I am confident that the city will do a brilliant job.

As has been stated, the bill has been introduced in order to meet UEFA’s requirements on ticket touting, and will prevent people from profiting at the expense of fans, with a fine of up to £5,000. Demand for tickets to the games at Hampden is expected to exceed supply significantly, so the bill seeks to prevent people from bulk-buying tickets in an attempt to make profits. The four games that are to be played in Glasgow will clearly have economic benefits for businesses in the surrounding areas, but the event is primarily for the fans. As a number of colleagues have said, it would not be right for fans to be unable to get tickets at face value because others have bought them with the sole aim of making money on the event.

However, football matches are not the only events at which ticket touting takes place. For other sporting events, as well as music festivals and gigs, tickets are bought in bulk and resold at more than face value in an attempt to make profit. With our consideration of the bill, we have an opportunity to look into the matter further and to consider how, when we have large-scale events, we can look to trigger legislation, as Claire Baker outlined, to ensure that ticket touting is limited.

In the time that I have available to me, I want to outline a number of concerns about the bill. As Rachael Hamilton said, we have concerns about street trading being restricted to UEFA-approved vendors in the three event zones during the zones’ hours of operation. I understand that that is a requirement of UEFA, but it is important that the legislation be implemented sensibly. Given that 113 street-vending licenses will be impacted on by the proposed Hampden park event zone, it is important that event organisers work closely with street traders so that that does not cause problems. A proper information campaign will be key, so that everyone knows about the impact of the legislation on the rights of traders in the area and across the city.

Restrictions on advertising, including traditional forms of advertising such as billboards and more novel approaches such as handing out free T-shirts, must also be well managed so that businesses in fan zones, such as restaurants and bars, are not caught out by the legislation. The local organising committee must have clear conversations with local businesses about the regulations on advertising in event zones. One of the main benefits of hosting the European championship games in Glasgow will be the boost to local businesses and the local economy. We must strike the right balance between the benefits that the games will bring and the impact that enforcement will have on local businesses.

We need more clarity and adequate consultation on exemptions from the restrictions that will be made through the bill, and they need to be agreed as soon as possible. That includes provisions for news media, which I do not think has been discussed so far today, and out-of-home display advertising on transport including buses and taxis. There is still work to be done on that—in particular, to clarify the exemptions for media outlets in the event zones. I am pleased that the phrase “in the vicinity of”, which was used with regard to the event zones, has been removed in order to remove confusion for advertisers and media outlets and owners. The industry has said that the legislation needs to be clear and logical so that businesses in Glasgow can follow it easily.

On enforcement, as has been outlined the Scottish Police Federation still has some concerns and is calling for clarity. The general secretary of the Scottish Parliament, Calum Steele, has said that

“If the intent of the bill is to limit commercial activities in designated areas to those vendors or sponsors approved by UEFA, it ought to be much simpler to state that and the powers required to enforce it.”

I share that opinion. The legislation should be absolutely straightforward: if it is not clear, there will be confusion about which commercial activities are allowed, and there will be difficulties with enforcement.

As has already been said, the Scottish Conservatives support the bill in principle. We believe that it is crucial that we get the legislation right as it passes through Parliament, so that all four games can be enjoyed by fans in Glasgow and by the people who will travel from further afield in Scotland and abroad.

Clarification around the hours of operation and the precise geographical limits of the event zones is welcome, and officials working with Glasgow City Council in the coming months to draw up additional guidance will have an important role in making sure that we deal with issues that have been highlighted today.

All of us have clearly outlined that we want a really successful hosting of the UEFA European championships in Glasgow. I believe that the bill can help to achieve just that.

15:55  



James Dornan (Glasgow Cathcart) (SNP)

I am delighted to speak in the debate, particularly as I have the great honour of having Hampden park situated in my Glasgow Cathcart constituency.

I was delighted to hear the minister talk earlier about the fact that local residents have been, and will continue to be, informed and updated, although I take on board some of the complaints that were referred to by Rachael Hamilton and Miles Briggs. There was some talk of there being issues for local traders. As Miles Briggs said, local traders tend to do quite well out of events at Hampden. I speak to them regularly, and when Hampden was under threat, their big concern was that, if they were to lose those half a dozen special days that they get in a year, that would impact hugely on their livelihoods, to the extent that they may not even stay open.

It is a major coup for Glasgow to be one of 12 host cities, and I congratulate Glasgow City Council and all the other parties that were involved in the successful bid. As other members have said, Glasgow will be hosting alongside other top footballing cities such as London, Rome, Munich and Amsterdam. With an estimated 200,000 people being expected to visit the city during the tournament, Scotland can be showcased once more as an outward-looking, welcoming nation, which will boost our local economy at the same time.

With terrific venues such as Celtic park, Ibrox, the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome and, of course, Hampden, Glasgow has rightfully achieved the title of one of the top five sporting cities in the world by consistently punching above our weight in the sporting world. We have done so without having had a decent football team for decades.

In fact, only today, Glasgow was—

Annabelle Ewing

I think that the member probably meant to say that there had been no success in the male national team, not the female national team.

James Dornan

My colleague has made a very good point, and I apologise profusely because some of the female players play for Glasgow City and often train in my constituency. I thank Annabelle Ewing for allowing me to put on record the magnificent record of the Scottish women football players.

Only today, Glasgow was named European capital of sport for 2023, which is the first time that any city has won the coveted title twice. I therefore also congratulate all who were involved in that bid.

As members may recall, last year, I led a debate in Parliament on the save the Hampden roar campaign. Despite what I know were difficult negotiations, I am pleased that the SFA has since committed its long-term future to the stadium. Hampden has been an integral part of our day-to-day life in Scotland since its construction in 1903 and, as the sports journalist Bob Brown once said, it stands

“foursquare with Bannockburn in the Scottish psyche.”

To be fair, unlike Bannockburn, Hampden has had its fair share of glorious defeats to go alongside our stirring victories.

During my members’ business debate, I recalled that my first memory of Hampden was of Celtic playing Dunfermline in the 61—I clarify that I mean 1961, in case anyone thinks it was 1861—Scottish cup final first leg, which was attended by more than 113,000 people. I was also there for the Celtic v Leeds match in 1970, and for the Scotland match against Czechoslovakia in 1973, which were attended by around 130,000 and 100,000 people respectively. It is widely accepted that those spectator estimates were a bit on the low side and, over the years, such incredible attendances have dropped considerably, primarily due to the requirement to have all-seated arenas. With Hampden now having a capacity of a little over 50,000, tickets for the big events are now in far greater demand.

I therefore welcome the provisions of the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill to prohibit ticket touting at the competition. Although the bill covers four areas—including street trading, advertising and enforcement—I will focus the rest of my speech on ticket touting.

Football is supposed to be—and once truly was—the working-class game. However, many would argue against giving the sport such a title now as ticket prices are already expensive enough. The most expensive tickets for the Euro 2020 finals matches at Hampden park cost £165, while the other two pricing categories are £111 and £45. I make it clear that the same three prices will also be charged for the group stage and last 16 games at Wembley.

The bill will establish an offence of selling a ticket above face value or with a view to making a profit. The offence will be committed whether the transaction takes place in person or electronically—that is most important. The offence will be punishable with a fine of up to £5,000.

There is an important point to mention in relation to the sales process for Euro 2020 tickets. Prior to buying the tickets, people initially applied for them during an application window. People were therefore able to apply for tickets for all games, or just individual matches, and tickets were then allocated through a lottery system. If a person was successful in the lottery, they had to take all the tickets offered to them. Many people hedged their bets and applied for several tickets for all four matches. Some of those people were successful and got them all, leaving them with ticket bills running to hundreds or even thousands of pounds. As a result of that system, some people sell tickets on, sometimes using secondary ticket sites.

As we have heard, the problem around ticket touts is very well known—the practice of buying and reselling tickets for profit has always existed, but the scale of touting has increased substantially in the digital era, and for a variety of reasons. Touts look to acquire or harvest tickets in several ways, for example by using multiple identities or credit cards. Others may use specialised software or bots to scoop up tickets the second that they are made available. Then there are websites that allow people to sell tickets to others—often at massively inflated prices.

I will give a current example. In November, Elton John will be playing at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow for two nights. The face value of tickets ranges from £51.10 to £170.25. On a well-known secondary ticketing site, individual tickets are currently for sale for between £227 and £1,358, depending on how good the seats are. Thankfully, at the moment, there are no football tickets for sale for matches at Hampden, Celtic park, Ibrox, or Firhill—amazingly—on that particular site. However, it is absolutely staggering that that is allowed.

The Euro 2020 championships are for the football fan to enjoy, not for the ticket tout to make money by ripping them off. As the constituency MSP for the Hampden area, I sincerely hope that the residents and businesses around Kings Park and Mount Florida will benefit from Glasgow’s hosting of some of the tournament—as they have benefited from tournaments in the past.

Euro 2020 will be one of the decade’s defining sporting tournaments—whether economically or culturally—and it will be exciting to be a part of it. The UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill will allow us to ensure that as many people as possible can get to the four Euro 2020 matches at Hampden, and without overpaying touts who are attempting to gain from reselling tickets. Of course, although the Scottish Government is making it easier for true fans to get to Euro 2020, the national side is not guaranteed to get there. With automatic qualification now impossible, we are reliant on Steve Clarke’s side being successful in the Euro 2020 play-offs in March next year. I am glad to hear that, just as the whole Parliament will support Scotland’s attempt to reach the tournament, the whole Parliament supports the bill.

The Deputy Presiding Officer (Linda Fabiani)

The last of the open debate speakers is Bill Kidd.

16:03  



Bill Kidd (Glasgow Anniesland) (SNP)

You have saved the best until last, Presiding Officer. To kick off my contribution to the debate—

Richard Lyle

Oh!

Bill Kidd

Thank you. I highlight that 2020 marks 60 years of the European football championships. Consequently, UEFA has spread hosting responsibility across 12 cities and, as we all know, Glasgow has been selected as one of them. I was going to spring something on members, by letting everyone know that Glasgow has just been selected as European city of sport for 2023, but as other members have already mentioned it—

Richard Lyle

That was wasted.

Bill Kidd

It was outrageous. However, it just shows that Glasgow has reached the world stage as an important centre for sport. As the MSP for Glasgow Anniesland, I am delighted to hear the news that Glasgow has received that fantastic award from UEFA. I commend UEFA for making such a fine choice.

I thank our Scottish Parliament committee and the clerking team for working to deliver a deserved success with the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill.

Glasgow has a lot to offer. We are equipped with a multitude of venues that can host high-volume and high-quality events—whether those involve music, sports or the wider arts. Glasgow has growing cultural significance and events such as this present an opportunity for our cultural contribution—because sport is culture—to be shared with people from all over the world. Our delivery of the Commonwealth games in 2014 and the European championships in 2018 evidence that.

Not only does Glasgow have a wealth of cultural assets; we also have our people. In September, a survey released by the global travel site Big7 Media listed Glasgow as the fifth-friendliest city in Europe and the 10th-friendliest in the world. Other cities must be going some if they are better than Glasgow. We should certainly be proud of Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland, and of what we have to offer and how willing we are to share it.

The UEFA 2020 football championship presents a fantastic tourism opportunity, and it is evident how beneficial it will be for our economy. Previous large-scale international events have brought in millions to the Scottish economy. The 2007 UEFA cup final, which was also at Hampden, brought over £16.3 million gross expenditure into the local economy and, as Richard Lyle mentioned, the 2014 Commonwealth games were estimated to have added £740 million in gross terms to the Scottish economy.

I am confident that the selection of Glasgow as the co-host for the 2020 football championships will bring money into local businesses, providing an economic boost for the people of Glasgow, as well as the wider Scottish economy. That can happen only if the bill that we are discussing covers all the aspects relating to commercial activities.

The sale of tickets by touts should be stamped on and stamped out. Beyond those benefits to our nation, we also want Scots to be able to go to the games, to be able to afford to do so and to join in the excitement and fun that they will bring.

As we debate this legislation, which is tied to the upcoming championship, we want to work to ensure that the ticketing process is in line with international best practice, and that means protecting customers from the inflated prices of ticket touting through the provisions in the bill. I am sure that that can be achieved.

Research shows that 90 per cent of tickets on resale platforms are listed by traders rather than individuals who have a genuine need to resell. “Traders”, as they are called, are identified as those who sell more than 100 tickets per year, and the FanFair Alliance explains that

“touts look to acquire or ”harvest“ tickets by a variety of means—for instance, by use of multiple identities or multiple credit cards ... Others may use specialised software ... to scoop up tickets the instant they are made available. These are then listed and sold for profit on secondary ticketing websites.”

It is clear that prohibiting ticket touting online and outside events will give our constituents and others, including visitors, a fair opportunity to buy tickets and to be able to participate in this international event. The change to our legislation is appropriate. It will bring a higher standard to the process of ticket buying—something that is integral to events—putting it in line with our country’s level of excellence as a host and vendor of international events.

Following the Commonwealth games and last year’s European championships, which covered many sports, the UEFA European football championships of 2020 will continue to build our profile as a country that is proficient and successful in hosting international events.

The Deputy Presiding Officer

We now move to the closing speeches.

16:08  



Claire Baker

This has been an interesting debate. Although there has been criticism of the timescale that we have faced with the bill, we have had the opportunity to give a good airing to the issues. Members have identified the key issues. In closing, I will consider where we have reached consensus.

We should not lose sight of the excitement, anticipation and drama that Glasgow’s involvement in such a special tournament will bring. The bill is necessary for our successful involvement in it. Once we have the measures in place, we can focus on the preparations and the possibilities that the events will bring.

The Law Society of Scotland has provided a good description of what we are seeking to achieve with the legislation. It says that

“It is important that the measures in the Bill are commensurate, transparent and appropriate.”

As members recognise, UEFA’s requirements mean that there will be an impact on street traders whose regular business—enabled by having a trade licence—will be affected during the tournament because UEFA is strict about the need to protect its sponsors. That will impact on traders’ incomes, so the Government might want to say more about what it anticipates the impact will be. Rachael Hamilton talked about measures that have been announced by Glasgow City Council, so perhaps the minister can also say more about that in his closing remarks.

Members raised a number of issues about boundaries for event zones. Clarity on that matter as soon as possible would be welcome. Annabelle Ewing highlighted the impact on street traders and the Law Society’s comments on the need for awareness raising when we know what the boundaries of the event zones will be.

Enforcement powers are a key issue for the committee. As the minister said, the relationship between the police and enforcement officers is supported by Police Scotland, which assured the committee of police and enforcement officers’ ability to work together. Police Scotland said that it

“is confident that there is nothing outlined in the provisions of the proposed Bill that would negatively impact upon that positive working relationship.”

However, a number of members expressed concern about enforcement officers. Ross Greer, I think, described the powers in the bill as being too “broad and invasive”. There is a need for clarity on who can be an enforcement officer. The minister’s comment about local authority employees was welcome.

There is also a need to clarify the limits on the use of

“any other person as may be reasonably required”.

Mike Rumbles mentioned the committee’s recommendation that the police be notified in such circumstances. Having looked again at our report, I accept that the committee needed to be clearer. It would be helpful if the minister would respond in his closing speech to Mike Rumbles’s comments.

I also ask the minister to reflect on the apparent tension between the role of the enforcement officer and that of the police officer. As I understand it, an enforcement officer’s responsibilities are similar to those of a trading standards officer. However, evidence from Calum Steele, from the Scottish Police Federation, suggests that there is an on-going debate about the appropriate balance of power between police officers and trading standards officers. Will the minister say whether that is to do with the bill or is part of a broader debate?

Ross Greer talked about the legacy and how we sustain the interest that major events and sporting successes generate. As he said, there has been disappointment about the extent to which the benefits of the Commonwealth games cascaded down to communities to provide longer-lasting benefits. We need to consider that.

Brian Whittle focused on public engagement and pointed out that not just the scrutiny time is short, but the implementation period is, too, in the lead-up to the tournament. There is a lot of work for everyone to do.

Stuart McMillan pointed out that the bill is similar to elements of the bill that became the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Act 2008. However, that bill was more extensive. Although the committee had more time to consider it, it took less evidence and concentrated on hearing from ministers and officials—although that might have been to do with attitudes to the Commonwealth games sometimes being warmer than attitudes to UEFA.

The timescale has been challenging for the committee. Issues were raised in the request for responses, which it was important for the committee to have the opportunity to scrutinise.

James Kelly and Stuart McMillan talked about the prevalence of ticket touts at big venues and events, as well as online. Ticket touting across sectors has been difficult to tackle. Resale of football tickets has been banned since 1994, but it is not illegal to resell for profit a ticket for a music event. The minister might want to clarify why the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 does not apply to the UEFA European championship.

The introduction of a voluntary code of conduct changed the behaviour of Ticketmaster and raised standards across the industry. The Competition and Markets Authority’s work to enforce the existing legislation has been important. The CMA agreed to legal undertakings by StubHub and Ticketmaster last year, but was forced to serve Viagogo with a court order.

When I was checking facts for today’s debate, I put “UEFA Euro 2020” into a search engine. Members will imagine my horror when the first link that came up was “Europe 2020 tickets on sale” from the Viagogo site. It was only when I clicked on the link that it became clear that the tickets are for soft rock group Europe, which is touring with Whitesnake and Foreigner. The point of that story is that the first link to come up was not about football or the tournament but about Viagogo’s attempts to sell secondary tickets. The bill and enforcement of the existing legislation must be robust enough to prevent ticket touting during the tournament.

The confirmation that it will be possible to auction tickets for charity is welcome. A number of members talked about the importance of striking a balance.

Members also talked about the concerns of residents in and around the event zones. Miles Briggs highlighted restrictions on businesses. He called for the regulations to be clear and for businesses to be supported to comply.

This is an important stage of the bill. I look forward to the amendments that the minister is expected to lodge. The issues that MSPs have raised in this afternoon’s debate need to be addressed. We all want the tournament in Glasgow to be a positive experience for everyone who is involved.

16:15  



Alexander Stewart (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)

I am pleased to close the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee’s debate on the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill for the Scottish Conservatives. As a member of the committee, I am delighted by contributions from members from across the chamber, and by the consensus that has developed.

Scotland’s hosting of matches at Hampden park during the 2020 European championship is fantastic news for Glasgow and Scotland. We recognise the importance of Euro 2020 and the economic benefits that the tournament will bring to the communities around the stadium.

The bill addresses areas of Scots law that do not meet UEFA’s standards on protection of sponsors’ commercial interests. The Scottish Conservatives support the bill in principle, but we will seek clarification around event zone requirements and the on-going concerns related to the European convention on human rights, which are to do with restrictions on street trading and advertising, which could inhibit businesses. We want to ensure that business is not inhibited.

The powers that are granted to enforcement officers to enter and search private property also need to be looked at. We have discussed at some length the restrictions and the issues around enforcement officers. The possibility that businesses’ peaceful enjoyment of their properties could be affected will, of course, be limited to the times when the event zones are in place during the tournament.

The bill proposes safeguards in relation to enforcement officers’ exercising their powers to enter and search private property. That will occur only if the enforcement officer is accompanied by a police officer or if a warrant has been issued by a sheriff.

The Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee gave its backing to the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill last week. We looked at, and continue to take, evidence and briefings from a number of organisations. I pay tribute to the organisations and individuals who came and gave of their time to talk about their concerns.

In summary, the range of provisions that the bill seeks to introduce include ticket touting, street trading and designing fan zones. Questions were raised during the committee’s evidence sessions about ensuring that buskers and charity collections would be allowed in the designated fan zones. I am delighted that the Scottish Government has looked at the issue and has created exemptions to ensure that such activities will be allowed during the competition.

I reiterate that the bill consists of five components: prohibition of unauthorised sale of championship tickets for in excess of face value or with a view to making profit; prohibition of unauthorised street trading in event zones while they are in operation; prohibition of unauthorised advertising in event zones; creation of criminal offences for touting, unauthorised street trading and advertising; and designation of enforcement officers and their powers.

We have had a lot of good contributions from across the chamber; I will draw on many of them. Many members spoke about engagement and the opportunity that that engagement has brought, and about ensuring that priority is given to it during the bill’s process.

The minister spoke about Scotland’s track record and the event zones. Committee members were delighted to receive maps that gave us an idea of where the zones will be placed. We were also happy to hear that the Government is listening and will lodge amendments in the next stages.

The committee convener, Joan McAlpine, spoke about the briefing note that we received from the Law Society for Scotland that gave its recommendations. Those recommendations must be listened to and acted on, because they give us real clarity.

Rachael Hamilton spoke about consultation of residents and the business community, which is key to ensuring success. We want a safe, secure and successful event on match days, and in the run-up to them. That is vitally important.

Ross Greer and others highlighted the rushed timescale, about which many of us on the committee had some anxiety. The point was well made: it is important to ensure proper scrutiny in the bill process.

Mike Rumbles talked about the powers that will be given to enforcement officers. There is some dubiety about those officers’ role and responsibilities, so it is important that we look at that. The bill process will give us the opportunity to do so. Brian Whittle talked about Glasgow’s record of hosting international events and said that such events can require appropriate legislation. He also spoke about enforcement and timescales, which are important matters.

The Scottish Conservatives support the bill’s principles, but we will seek clarity from the Government about the hours of operation and precise geographical limits of the proposed event zones. I am sure that the minister will give us some clarity on that in his summing-up speech.

Like the Commonwealth games that Glasgow hosted in 2014, the UEFA championship is an outstanding opportunity for Scotland. Our national stadium will take centre stage, but we must ensure that lessons are learned from the Commonwealth games. We will seek clarity on that as the bill progresses through stage 2 to stage 3.

We welcome the opportunity that the UEFA championship brings to put Scotland on the map, and we welcome the possibilities and opportunities that it will bring for Glasgow and the whole country.

16:21  



Ben Macpherson

First, I thank all members for their contributions to the debate this afternoon and, like others, thank the organisations that gave evidence, from different perspectives, to the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee in its scrutiny of the bill. I am glad that there is clearly widespread support across the chamber for the bill’s general principles and for Glasgow taking its place on the world stage alongside the other 11 host cities, which Annabelle Ewing helpfully listed, as part of the UEFA European championship’s 60th anniversary.

I will take away and consider all the points of constructive feedback that have been raised in the debate. As I said in my opening remarks, I will address those issues when I go to the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee for stage 2 of the bill and will seek to do so in a spirit of collaboration and co-operation.

As we are all aware, official sponsors provide a vital source of funding for the championship, as Stuart McMillan mentioned, without which it would not take place or might require additional public investment. The bill not only helps to protect sponsors’ investment by preventing ambush marketing, but it will ensure a welcoming environment for spectators, protect the character of the event and help to ensure safe access to the event zones. Crucially, as other members have highlighted, the bill will criminalise ticket touting for profit, which will support the official sale of tickets and ensure fair access to football matches for fans, as James Dornan indicated.

We seek to strike the right balance in providing reassurance to UEFA that commercial rights have been protected in key areas, while minimising the impact on local businesses and allowing them to benefit from the economic opportunity that Euro 2020 represents. With 200,000 visitors expected in Glasgow and Scotland more widely during the championship, there will be an increase in trade for local hotels but also, importantly, for shops and restaurants in and around the event zones. We believe that the championship as a whole presents a significant economic opportunity for Scotland and for Glasgow in particular.

In the time remaining to me, I will address some points that members raised earlier. First, I thank all parties for expressing their support for the bill’s principles. Mike Rumbles made the important point that, although we based the bill on the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Act 2008, we should seek to make the bill as good as possible—I share that sentiment.

To do that, we added section 9, on street traders, to the bill before it was introduced. Section 9 states:

“Glasgow City Council must offer alternative trading arrangements to existing street traders during the times when the trading offence applies.”

That section was included after consideration of issues relating to the ECHR, and to ensure that the street traders who will be disrupted have some economic benefit. I am grateful to Conservative members, as well as to James Dornan and Annabelle Ewing, for raising that point.

Members raised points about the zones and engagement. I have spoken about the engagement that the Government and Glasgow City Council have previously undertaken. I note that we will have meetings with Mount Florida community council on 7 November, and a meeting with Hampden residents, the SFA, Glasgow Life and other stakeholders is planned for 14 November. That engagement will continue in order to ensure that businesses are clear on what the bill entails. That work will be done with the community council, and I look forward to clarifying some points with it.

Many of the points that the community council raised, and which members have raised in the debate, relate to the ECHR and enforcement. Quite rightly, there has been a strong focus on civil liberties and on how we get the balance right. When the bill was being drafted, ensuring compliance with articles 5, 6 and 8 in relation to the enforcement of offences was considered. Sections 20 and 21 were included in the bill to protect compliance with the ECHR.

The committee, including Ross Greer and Mike Rumbles, focused on enforcement in relation to section 19, which is on the power to enter and search. The SPF also mentioned enforcement in its written and oral evidence to the committee. I draw members’ attention to the third bullet point in my response to the committee’s report, at which I say that we will clarify

“that the power to enter and search a place without a warrant in section 19 can only apply where permission to enter and search is given by a person who is able to grant that permission in relation to the property, by explicitly stating this on the face of the Bill.”

I will look to do that at stage 2. I hope that, when that is done, some of the concerns that have been raised with start to fall away.

Ross Greer

I very much welcome the minister’s commitment to lodge appropriate amendments at stage 2. The concerns that were raised relate not only to the moment at which an enforcement officer might decide that entry and a search are warranted, but to accountability. When a police officer makes such a decision, there is a clear accountability mechanism to which they are held. There is a concern that there is no appropriate and equivalent accountability mechanism for when enforcement officers make decisions on the basis of their personal judgment.

Ben Macpherson

I thank Mr Greer for his point, which I will come to when I speak about wider considerations of enforcement.

Use of force is encapsulated in section 20, which requires a sheriff to grant a warrant or for the officer to be “accompanied by a constable”. Therefore, robust protections have been included.

Conservative members and the community council, in its evidence, raised points about residential property. I underline the fact that section 21 states:

“An enforcement officer may take action under section 17 or 19 in relation to a house or a place that can be entered only through a house only if—

(a) an individual who habitually resides in the house permits the enforcement officer to do so, or

(b) the sheriff grants a warrant for such an action.”

The section goes on to state:

“an enforcement officer may enter a house only—

(a) at reasonable times, and

(b) if accompanied by a constable.

Therefore, section 21 already includes robust safeguards in relation to residential property.

On the committee’s suggestion relating to police powers, it is important to emphasise that Police Scotland has indicated to us that details of any expert assistance for enforcement officers would be relayed to the multi-agency co-ordination centre and that incidents would be noted via existing channels, so there would already be a record of external assistance that was used by enforcement officers.

However, the issue remains that insisting that the police are notified in advance of action being taken could create delay or confusion. Nonetheless, we will continue to consider the point that the committee raised. Obviously, I referred to that in my written response to the committee and made a commitment that the current test of reasonableness for taking a person to a place will be increased to a test of necessity.

Mike Rumbles

We, too, do not want to delay any action that the enforcement officers may take. However, we discussed in committee the important point that, under those powers, a police officer must either oversee or agree that it is not a problem for another person to be involved. Although the minister just said that details go to the communication centre anyway, it does not say that in the bill or, indeed, in the regulations. Will the minister put that in the regulations as they are brought forward? [Interruption.]

The Presiding Officer (Ken Macintosh)

Could members keep the background chat down, please?

Ben Macpherson

We will consider those points as we go into stage 2. There are practical considerations around police officers on the ground and the allocation of resources. Nonetheless, because of the accountability points that have been raised, we will continue to consider the issue. We look forward to engagement on that as we progress, Parliament permitting, towards stage 2.

With regard to ticket touting, I take Mike Rumbles’s point on section 2(4) of the bill, which we will consider ahead of stage 2. We need to be absolutely clear that we do not create a loophole that could be exploited by ticket touts; we will analyse that.

I thank members for the points that they raised about advertising. Miles Briggs raised an important point on exemptions in relation to transport. The draft regulations, which we have already provided, mean that advertisements on, or in, moving vehicles—such as buses, vans or trucks—will be exempt. However, as one would expect, there will not be an exemption for vehicles—such as mobile advertising boards—that are used primarily to display adverts. I hope that that clears up that point for Miles Briggs, but if it does not, he should feel free to get in touch.

There has been wide discussion around a framework bill. As I said, we will undertake to formally review this legislation—should it pass, and should we be successful in delivering the tournament. As a Parliament, we all have an ambition to create an environment in which, if it is possible within devolved powers, we will continue to tackle ticket touting and have a more strategic, rather than a piecemeal, approach. I look forward to engaging on those points and on how we think about the success of the legislation—Parliament permitting—in the future.

In closing, I thank members of the committee, and of the Parliament as a whole, for their contributions. Reasonable concerns have been raised, which will be considered. I underline that I am very happy to meet individual members on a one-to-one basis, if they wish to discuss any matters in further detail. In addition, to demonstrate that I am open to further conversations, I commit, as Ross Greer requested, to engage early.

As we go into stage 2, there will undoubtedly be areas on which we disagree. Nonetheless, I am certain that we can reach consensus on many of the issues that are raised and produce a piece of legislation that will not only be fit for purpose but will allow us, once again, to deliver a gold-standard major event here in Scotland.

MSPs agreed that this Bill could continue

Stage 2 - Changes to detail 

MSPs can propose changes to the Bill. The changes are considered and then voted on by the committee.

Changes to the Bill

MSPs can propose changes to a Bill  these are called 'amendments'. The changes are considered then voted on by the lead committee.

The lists of proposed changes are known as a 'marshalled list'. There's a separate list for each week that the committee is looking at proposed changes.

The 'groupings' document groups amendments together based on their subject matter. It shows the order in which the amendments will be debated by the committee and in the Chamber. This is to avoid repetition in the debates.

How is it decided whether the changes go into the Bill?

When MSPs want to make a change to a Bill, they propose an 'amendment'. This sets out the changes they want to make to a specific part of the Bill.

The group of MSPs that is examining the Bill (lead committee) votes on whether it thinks each amendment should be accepted or not.

Depending on the number of amendments, this can be done during one or more meetings.

First meeting on amendments

Documents with the amendments considered at this meeting held on 28 November 2019:

Video Thumbnail Preview PNG

First meeting on amendments transcript

The Convener (Joan McAlpine)

Good morning, and welcome to the 29th meeting in 2019 of the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee. I remind members and the public to turn off mobile phones, and I ask members who use electronic devices to access committee papers to ensure that those devices are turned to silent. We have received apologies from Kenneth Gibson; Emma Harper is attending the meeting as a substitute for him.

The first item on the agenda is stage 2 consideration of the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill. I welcome the Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development, Ben Macpherson, who is accompanied by Lucy Carmichael, the bill team leader; Kirsten Simonnet-Lefevre, principal legal officer; and Gavin Sellar, parliamentary counsel.

Section 1—Meaning of key terms

Section 1 agreed to.

Section 2—Ban on ticket touting

The Convener

Amendment 1, in the name of Mike Rumbles, is grouped with amendments 35, 5, 6 and 32. I point out that if amendment 1 is agreed to, I will not be able to call amendments 35 and 5 because of pre-emption. Furthermore, if amendment 35 is agreed to, I will not be able to call amendment 5 because of pre-emption.

Mike Rumbles (North East Scotland) (LD)

I will speak to all the amendments in the group. Essentially, amendments 1, 35 and 5 are three different ways of approaching the issue of preventing ticket touting. I think that everybody agrees that we want to end the business of ticket touting; the issue is what the best way of achieving that is.

I lodged amendment 1 to remove from the bill the exemption for UEFA. Amendment 1 seeks to leave out the provision whereby

“The touting offence does not apply ... to ... UEFA.”

Following discussions with the minister, which I found extremely constructive and helpful, I do not intend to press amendment 1 to a vote, but I urge members to accept amendment 35. Amendment 35 seeks to do something that the minister’s amendment 5 would not do. Amendment 5 would retain the exemption for UEFA, whereas my amendment 35 is generic. It seeks to leave out

“in relation to acts done by UEFA”

and to replace it with

“any act falling within subsection (3) done by the person responsible for operating the official sale platform for Championship tickets”.

We heard in evidence that UEFA has no intention of engaging in ticket touting. Therefore, it always seemed bizarre to me to exempt it from the ticket touting offence in the bill. That seemed daft. More important, it sent out the wrong message. With all these amendments, the minister and I are trying to achieve an agreed position that will make sure that UEFA will not be hurt by any of the ticket touting provisions, if I can put it that way.

Annabelle Ewing (Cowdenbeath) (SNP)

Can you explain the key difference between your amendment 35 and the minister’s amendment 5?

Mike Rumbles

The key difference relates to the naming of UEFA. I think that we all agree that, in the future, we want the minister to introduce a bill that will remove ticket touting. I hope that, when that bill is eventually introduced, it will not have any exemptions in it for named organisations. It is good practice in legislation to make sure that the law applies across the board to everybody, without exception. There should be no named exceptions. That is the key. This committee and the Parliament are in the business of producing good legislation. There is no side to what I am proposing; I am interested only in making sure that we produce good legislation that applies across the board. If I may say so, it is an easy option to give UEFA an opt-out. Let us get it right.

Without going into detail, I can tell the committee that the wording of amendment 35 has been checked by officials, and they are happy that it takes a generic approach to the whole issue. That is the real difference between my amendment 35 and the Government’s amendment 5, which takes an individual approach.

I hope that the minister will accept amendment 35. He will listen to what other members have to say, of course, but I hope that he will not move amendment 5. Amendment 35 is superior, but not because it is in my name; in fact, I would have preferred it if the minister had lodged it. I thought that we had an agreement on the matter, but it turns out that there was a misunderstanding.

I move amendment 1.

The Convener

I invite the minister to speak to amendment 5 and the other amendments in the group.

The Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development (Ben Macpherson)

Thank you, convener, and good morning, everyone. I start by thanking Mike Rumbles for that explanation of his amendments, for the constructive discussions we have had since stage 1 and for proposing not to press amendment 1. I take this opportunity to thank members again for their scrutiny of the bill to date and for the recent discussions I have had with a number of members about the Scottish Government’s proposed amendments. I know that everyone around the table supports the successful delivery of Euro 2020 in Glasgow. Following the draw for the UEFA nations league play-offs, we know what Scotland has to do to reach the finals. Coverage of those games next March will, no doubt, increase the profile of, and heighten enthusiasm for, the championship.

09:15  



As we get nearer the championship, I want to work with everyone to reach consensus on the bill, as far as possible, and the stage 2 amendments I have lodged address most of the committee’s concerns. Where I have not been able to directly address a recommendation, I have been clear why. Of course, there were also recommendations in the stage 1 report that do not require amendment. For example, Claire Baker highlighted the need to ensure a more systematic review of how the legislation operates in practice than was the case for the Glasgow Commonwealth Act 2008. I agree and have committed to ensuring that we evaluate and learn from the bill.

Turning to this group of amendments, much of the discussion at stage 1 focused on the detrimental effect of ticket touting, which often results in people paying highly inflated prices for tickets that may not even be valid for entry. I am determined that that will not happen for Euro 2020 in Scotland, and I think the provisions in the bill that ban touting will help to protect commercial rights in this area. Most important, they will ensure that as many football fans as possible are able to attend matches during the championship. The provisions banning touting of championship tickets for profit have been broadly supported by Parliament and more generally. However, although the principles behind the provisions are supported, there is room for the detail to be improved, so I very much welcome the feedback from the committee at stage 1. My amendments 5 and 6 respond to that feedback.

Amendment 5 makes it clear that UEFA’s exemption from ticket touting offences does not allow it to sell tickets above face value, which was a concern for some. I hope that that restriction allows us to reach a compromise in this area, making it clear that nobody, including UEFA, is permitted to sell a ticket above face value for commercial gain. UEFA has already provided public assurances that it will not sell tickets above face value and has confirmed that amendment 5 will not create any issues for its ticket sales for the event.

I understand that, in lodging amendment 35, Mike Rumbles is trying—in good faith—to avoid specifically singling out and naming UEFA for an exemption, for presentational reasons, as he has argued. However, the policy intent of the amendment is, in essence, the same as the current drafting of the bill, which ensures that the authorised seller of tickets can conduct initial sales and resales without being caught by the offence.

Since UEFA is responsible for authorising all primary and secondary ticket sales, the most straightforward and transparent drafting acknowledges that fact by setting out a clear exemption for UEFA by name, albeit with the restriction proposed in amendment 5, as I said. I can see that amendment 35 could be made to work, but if the committee were to support it I would want to do further analysis to make sure that that was the case—for example, in relation to hospitality packages, which are a potential issue that has been identified only in the past few days. My preference is therefore to avoid any doubt by sticking with the specific mention of UEFA in the bill.

For those reasons, I do not support making any further changes to section 2 beyond my amendment 5.

Mike Rumbles

The minister has just confirmed to the committee that there is no policy difference between amendments 35 and 5. The issue is simple: it is whether to specifically identify UEFA as an exemption or to draft legislation that applies to all, without mentioning UEFA. The advantage of amendment 35 is clear: there cannot be a misunderstanding or misconception that we are somehow advertising that we are making UEFA special.

Amendment 35 is generic, and, as the minister has just pointed out, there is no policy difference. I take on board what he said about hospitality packages. The time to address those, if there is an issue—although I cannot see it, I take the minister’s word that there might be one—is at stage 3, which is what that stage is for. Stage 2 is for getting the principles of the legislation right. If any tweaking were needed at stage 3 in order to be absolutely certain that everyone was happy with the bill, I would be supportive of that and would agree that it should be done, but we should really focus on the nature of the issue at stage 2.

Ben Macpherson

May I continue, convener?

The Convener

Of course.

Ben Macpherson

As I have stated, we think that it is more transparent and clearer to name UEFA, but amendment 35 also does not make it clear that the official platform cannot sell tickets above face value. That would be another problem were amendment 35 to be passed.

We have had a constructive debate on the issue, but my preference would be for the inclusion of amendment 5 and the rejection of amendment 35. I thank Mr Rumbles for engaging constructively.

Amendment 6 responds to the committee’s stage 1 report and creates an exemption from the touting offence when a ticket is auctioned by a charity or the proceeds of its sale are given to one. Given that the touting offence in the bill will apply within and outwith Scotland, the amendment exempts charities that are

“registered in the Scottish Charity Register”

and charities established under the law of the rest of the United Kingdom or the European Union that are

“managed or controlled wholly or mainly outwith Scotland”.

The exemption applies to such non-Scottish charities, provided that they are

“registered in a register corresponding to the Scottish Charity Register”

and that

“the body’s purposes consist only of one or more of the charitable purposes set out in section 7(2) of the Charities and Trustee Investments (Scotland) Act 2005.”

The amendment is designed to ensure that the bill includes a protection that any charity that might benefit from an auction has a purpose that would be considered to be charitable in Scotland.

The Scottish Government has informed the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator about amendment 6, and we understand that it will be important to raise awareness of the exemption—if the amendment is supported today—among charities and others who may hold an auction, such as through OSCR’s newsletter for charities.

The committee also recommended that local organising committee members should raise awareness of the need for organisations that hold a charity auction to contact UEFA to ensure that the ticket is valid for entry to the match. I can confirm that the Scottish Government and its partners will seek to do that when raising awareness of the bill more generally, and they will also look for specific opportunities related to charities.

Amendment 32 adds provision for Scottish Government ministers to specify, through regulations, the date on which

“Sections 2, 3 and 4 come into force”.

Those are the sections that relate to ticket touting. The purpose of the amendment is to ensure that the offence can come into force as soon as possible, in order to deter ticket touting in advance of the championship beginning and to allow action to be taken if that occurs.

I ask the committee to support amendments 5, 6 and 32. I thank Mike Rumbles for saying that he will not press amendment 1, and I ask him to reconsider moving amendment 35. If he does, I ask the committee to reject it.

Donald Cameron (Highlands and Islands) (Con)

I return to the issue of amendment 35, in the name of Mike Rumbles, versus amendment 5, in the minister’s name. I support what Mike Rumbles says. The issue is quite a curious one. It was I who asked the UEFA witnesses, when they gave evidence, whether UEFA ever sold a ticket above face value, and they said that UEFA did not do that.

Mike Rumbles is right: his amendment 35 is a neat and simple way of changing the original provisions of the bill. It is important for the wording to be generic. I find it very strange to see an individual named organisation being exempted from a criminal offence, which should be of general applicability. I support what Mike Rumbles said in that regard.

In defence of his amendment 5, the minister said that it contains the wording

“amount exceeding the ticket’s face value”.

However, we already have a definition of touting in section 2(2), in which we learn that

“A person touts a Championship ticket if the person does any act falling within subsection (3) ... in relation to the sale, or proposed sale, of a Championship ticket for an amount exceeding the ticket’s face value”.

In my view, the minister’s amendment 5 repeats a definition that we already have.

For those reasons, I support Mike Rumbles’s amendment 35.

Stuart McMillan (Greenock and Inverclyde) (SNP)

Minister, you mentioned hospitality packages—an issue that arose recently. Can you provide some further information on why hospitality packages have become an issue?

Ben Macpherson

I had constructive engagement with Mike Rumbles on his amendment 35. The issue around hospitality packages, which emerged in recent days, is that they are not sold through the official platform that UEFA uses, which would create an additional consideration at stage 3 if amendment 35 were to be passed at stage 2. That issue emerged through analysis of amendment 35 in preparation for today’s meeting. My understanding is that UEFA has expressed the point to us in recent correspondence.

Annabelle Ewing

I return to Mr Rumbles’s amendment 35 and pose to the minister the question that I posed to Mr Rumbles. I am a lawyer by trade, but I am struggling a wee bit here. From your perspective, minister, what is the key difference between your amendment 5 and Mike Rumbles’s amendment 35? I thought I heard you say that, if the committee were to pass amendment 35, you would be keen to work on any drafting issues that presented a problem from a legal perspective. I am not sure whether I am traducing what you said, but I thought that that is what you said.

Ben Macpherson

On the latter point, if amendment 35 were to be passed by the committee today, I and the Scottish Government would, of course, work to ensure that the amendment was refined as may be necessary at stage 3.

As I stated, the preference for having amendment 5 instead of amendment 35 is based on the fact that removing UEFA as a named exemption would be purely presentational, whereas UEFA should be exempted because it is the organisation that will be the only seller of tickets. Mike Rumbles’s amendment 35 would exempt UEFA not in name but as the authorised seller. In the interests of clarity of drafting and clarity of law, it is better to stick with amendment 5, because it names UEFA and seeks to address some of the points that the committee raised at stage 1. It will amend the bill to an extent, but it will continue the naming of UEFA as the authorised seller of tickets, both initially and through its official resale platform.

09:30  



Claire Baker (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)

I agree with Annabelle Ewing that the two amendments would basically do the same thing. What is the desire not to name UEFA about? Are there concerns about setting a precedent for future legislation? The bill is a time-limited piece of legislation called the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill, so it is obviously about UEFA. I ask Mike Rumbles to address that question.

I understand the answer that the minister gave to Annabelle Ewing, but would there be any problems with not mentioning UEFA, further to what he has already said?

Mike Rumbles

Can I—

The Convener

Hold on. I ask members to speak through the chair. Have you finished, Claire?

Claire Baker

Yes.

The Convener

Do any other members wish to contribute to the debate before I ask Mike Rumbles to sum up? It seems not. I call Mike Rumbles.

Mike Rumbles

It has been a very interesting debate. It is really refreshing to be able to debate something that is not political, given that we are in the world of politics.

My concern—and the committee’s job—is purely to make sure that we get the bill right. The minister’s job was to produce the bill, and our job as a committee is to scrutinise it. That is what we are doing, and I think that we are doing a good job. One purpose of our scrutinising the bill is for us to lodge amendments to improve it, and, in my humble view, my amendment 35 would do that. Unfortunately, amendment 5 would not actually change the bill. Technically, it is an amendment, but it would leave the bill the same, because the bill identifies UEFA—the minister is quite clear about that.

There are two issues, which are linked. The first is about naming an organisation when we produce law that is to apply across the board, to everybody. As a matter of principle, we should not exempt organisations in that way when we know that we are going to come back to the subject. The minister said that the Scottish Government wants to return to the issue and ban ticket touting across the board. If we start by passing a law that exempts people from ticket touting, that is not, in my view, good law.

Secondly, the minister mentioned the aim of ensuring that there is “clarity of law”. I could not agree more with him about the importance of that. I am trying to make it absolutely clear that the law will apply to everybody.

Ben Macpherson

Will you take an intervention on that point?

The Convener

Will members speak through the chair, please?

Ben Macpherson

Convener, may I—

The Convener

Yes, you may intervene, minister.

Ben Macpherson

I want to clarify a point that I made in my opening remarks. The most straightforward and transparent way of drafting the provision is to acknowledge that UEFA is responsible for authorising all primary and secondary ticket sales, and setting out a clear exemption for UEFA by name—albeit with the restriction that is proposed in amendment 5—is the most transparent way to do that.

Amendment 5 presents a partial exemption for UEFA that is carved out from the “selling for profit” part of the touting offence, but the wording of the amendment makes it clear that UEFA may not sell tickets at above face value. That is the differentiation from the original drafting that amendment 5 will deliver if it is agreed to.

Mike Rumbles

Thank you for that clarification. I repeat the point—in case it is not clear to members—that amendment 5 would actually do nothing. Although it is technically an amendment, it would not change the bill; the bill mentions UEFA and so does the amendment. It would change only a few words in the bill.

To answer Claire Baker’s point, the bill is time limited—that is absolutely right. What would be the effect of accepting amendment 5 and not accepting amendment 35? There would be no real effect. Amendment 35 is about presentation—it is about saying to the world that we want to ban ticket touting and we are not going to make exceptions. As Donald Cameron said, there are people who sell tickets but who—as was made clear in evidence to the committee—have no intention at all of ticket touting, so why name them?

We would make good law by accepting amendment 35, which we could take forward in a bill to be introduced—I hope—by the minister in the future. I am sure that he would use the same words if we passed amendment 35 today.

The Convener

Mr Rumbles, do you intend to press amendment 1?

Mike Rumbles

I do not intend to press amendment 1.

Amendment 1, by agreement, withdrawn.

Amendment 35 moved—[Mike Rumbles].

The Convener

I remind members that, if amendment 35 is agreed to, I cannot call amendment 5, on the ground of pre-emption. The question is, that amendment 35 be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members: No.

The Convener

There will be a division.

For

Stewart, Alexander (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
Rumbles, Mike (North East Scotland) (LD)
Greer, Ross (West Scotland) (Green)
Cameron, Donald (Highlands and Islands) (Con)

Against

McMillan, Stuart (Greenock and Inverclyde) (SNP)
McAlpine, Joan (South Scotland) (SNP)
Harper, Emma (South Scotland) (SNP)
Ewing, Annabelle (Cowdenbeath) (SNP)
Baker, Claire (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)

The Convener

The result of the division is: For 4, Against 5, Abstentions 0.

Amendment 35 disagreed to.

Amendment 5 moved—[Ben Macpherson].

The Convener

The question is, that amendment 5 be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members: No.

The Convener

There will be a division.

 

For

McMillan, Stuart (Greenock and Inverclyde) (SNP)
McAlpine, Joan (South Scotland) (SNP)
Harper, Emma (South Scotland) (SNP)
Ewing, Annabelle (Cowdenbeath) (SNP)
Baker, Claire (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)

Against

Stewart, Alexander (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
Rumbles, Mike (North East Scotland) (LD)
Cameron, Donald (Highlands and Islands) (Con)

Abstentions

Greer, Ross (West Scotland) (Green)

The Convener

The result of the division is: For 5, Against 3, Abstentions 1.

Amendment 5 agreed to.

Section 2, as amended, agreed to.

After section 2

Amendment 6 moved—[Ben Macpherson]—and agreed to.

Sections 3 to 5 agreed to.

Section 6—Trading activities, places and prohibited times

The Convener

Amendment 7, in the name of the minister, is grouped with amendments 8, 9 and 31.

Ben Macpherson

The amendments in this group make minor changes to improve consistency and clarity in the definitions of the terms “trading licence” and “existing street trader” in the bill. Amendment 7 would make it absolutely clear that the definition of “existing street trader” at section 6(5) is intended to apply throughout the bill and not only to section 6(3)(c).

Amendment 8 replaces the current reference in the definition of “existing street trader” at section 6(5)(a) to specific types of licence with a reference to the defined term “trading licence”. It also clarifies that Police Scotland, in addition to Glasgow City Council, can issue a trading licence. Licences issued by Police Scotland under the Pedlars Act 1871 are already included in the definition of “trading licence” in section 33, and amendment 8 will make those sections consistent.

Amendment 9 makes it clearer that “existing street traders” are only those who have a licence to trade in an event zone specified by the bill.

Amendment 31 adds

“a market operator’s licence granted by Glasgow City Council under section 40 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982”

to the definition of “trading licence” at section 33. That type of licence is required for things such as car boot sales. The amendment is intended to make the definition of “trading licence” at section 33 consistent with the reference to “a trading licence” that will apply in section 6, once it is modified by amendment 8, and to ensure that all affected street traders benefit from the protections that the bill offers.

I ask members to support these amendments.

I move amendment 7.

The Convener

I invite other members to contribute, if they wish to do so. I remind members that this is not a question-and-answer session but a debate at stage 2. If members make points, those points can be addressed when I bring in the minister to wind up.

As no members wish to contribute, I invite the minister to wind up.

Ben Macpherson

I encourage members to support the amendments in this group, which make minor changes to improve the consistency and clarity of the definitions of “trading licence” and “existing street trader” in the bill.

Amendment 7 agreed to.

Amendments 8 and 9 moved—[Ben Macpherson]—and agreed to.

Section 6, as amended, agreed to.

Sections 7 to 10 agreed to.

Section 11—Ban on advertising within event zones

Amendment 2 not moved.

Sections 11 to 15 agreed to.

Section 16—Enforcement officers

The Convener

Amendment 10, in the name of the minister, is grouped with amendment 29.

Ben Macpherson

During stage 1, concerns were raised about who could be an enforcement officer for the purposes of the bill, and it was thought that the scope might be defined too broadly in regulations, which would mean that people with insufficient skills, experience or training could be appointed. There were also concerns about the use of private companies to provide enforcement officers, although that was never the Government’s intention.

In its stage 1 report, the committee welcomed the Government’s offer to lodge amendments at stage 2 to make that position explicit in the bill. I am glad to be able to do so through this group of amendments.

Amendment 10 removes from section 16(2)(b) the power for the Scottish ministers to specify in regulations “other criteria” that need to be met in order for an individual to be designated as an enforcement officer by Glasgow City Council. It replaces the power with a set of alternative criteria, which will provide that someone can be designated as an enforcement officer if they are

“authorised by a local authority to enforce the provisions of section 92 of the Trade Marks Act 1994”,

which relates to an existing offence concerning unauthorised use of trademarks, or if they are employed by a local authority and are

“sufficiently experienced in exercising functions of the kind conferred on enforcement officers by”

the bill. The judgment about whether someone has specific experience would be made by Glasgow City Council.

The existing alternative criterion at section 16(2)(a), which provides that someone can be designated as an enforcement officer if they are an

“inspector of weights and measures”

will remain unchanged.

Amendment 10 will ensure that all enforcement officers are employed by a local authority and that they have the appropriate experience to enable them to carry out the role.

09:45  



As a consequence of amendment 10, all the criteria that would allow someone to be appointed as an enforcement officer are now included in the bill. That means that the provision in section 31(3), which states that the previous regulation-making power is to be

“subject to the negative procedure”,

is no longer required, and amendment 29 will remove it.

We are working closely with Glasgow City Council and other partners to ensure that we develop legislation that is workable on the ground. These amendments have been shared with the council, which has confirmed that they provide sufficient scope for the appointment of appropriately qualified staff to enforce the bill’s provisions.

Neil Coltart, who is group manager for trading standards at the council, provided assurances to the committee at stage 1 that training on the bill’s provisions will be provided to enforcement officers in order to ensure that they are able to carry out their role effectively and within the boundaries set in law.

I ask members to support the amendments.

I move amendment 10.

Amendment 10 agreed to.

Section 16, as amended, agreed to.

Section 17—General enforcement powers

The Convener

Amendment 11, in the name of the minister, is grouped with amendments 14, 15, 3, 4, 16, 19, 25 and 26.

Ben Macpherson

This group includes a number of amendments to the sections of the bill that deal with general enforcement powers and the powers of entry and search. The enforcement powers and associated safeguards in that area of the bill generally achieve the policy intent, but I acknowledge that those provisions could be clarified or improved in some areas. The amendments that I have lodged attempt to do that.

From my discussions with a number of committee members over the past few days, I believe that these amendments, and those in groups 6 and 7, provide reassurance that the provisions in the bill on enforcement will be proportionate, clear and include appropriate safeguards.

Amendment 11 strengthens the test for an enforcement officer to take action using the general powers under section 17 by changing it from “appropriate” to “necessary”. That applies

“for the purpose of preventing or ending the commission of ... a ‘Championship offence’ ... or ... in connection with proceedings, or anticipated proceedings, in respect of a Championship offence.”

The strengthening of that test mirrors the strengthening of the test for when an enforcement officer may seek assistance from another person, which is proposed in an amendment in group 6.

Amendment 15 adds a new provision to section 19 to make it explicit that search and entry by an enforcement officer may take place without a warrant

“Where permission is given by the occupier (or another person with the authority to do so)”,

such as an owner or tenant. That was previously implicit in the bill’s provisions.

An equivalent amendment in group 7 makes it explicit that the use of reasonable force under section 20 can take place only when no permission is granted.

Amendment 16 makes it clear that an enforcement officer’s powers of entry and search under section 19 do not extend to authorising that officer to

“search an individual, or ... access data stored electronically”,

such as on a smartphone or a laptop. That was already the policy intent, but Ross Greer raised concerns about those matters. I hope that the amendment provides the reassurances that he was seeking with regard to those important limits on an enforcement officer’s powers.

Amendment 26 adds to section 23 a requirement for an enforcement officer to provide evidence of their identity, in addition to evidence of their authority, when they are requested to do so. That is intended to ensure that businesses and members of the public understand by whom enforcement action is being taken and the powers under which officers are acting. That type of provision can be found in other legislation, including the Consumer Rights Act 2015, and it is expected that many enforcement officers will be used to enforcing that act’s provisions.

Amendments 14, 19 and 25 provide additional signposting across the enforcement sections of the bill to make it clearer that those sections should be read together to fully understand the scope of and restrictions on those powers.

I understand that amendments 3 and 4, in the name of Mike Rumbles, seek to address some points that were raised during stage 1 about the scope of enforcement officers’ powers. They do that by limiting the powers of entry and search to when an enforcement offence is being committed.

Since the stage 1 debate, I have met Mike Rumbles to discuss the bill and, following that conversation and the amendments that I have lodged, I hope that he no longer intends to move his amendments, as my amendments in this group and the other groups that deal with enforcement powers address his concerns. I thank Mike Rumbles for his engagement on these matters, and I would welcome confirmation from him that he does not intend to move amendments 3 and 4.

In conclusion, the range of amendments on enforcement powers in this group and others that we will discuss later in today’s proceedings address the points that committee members raised during stage 1. I believe that, in doing so, they improve the substance and clarity of the enforcement provisions.

I move amendment 11.

Mike Rumbles

I thank the minister for his constructive engagement on the issue. It was evident during the minister’s stage 1 evidence session that the bill as drafted gave greater power to enforcement officers than those that the police have, because the police cannot enter premises without a warrant, unless they believe that a crime is about to be or is being committed.

When we asked the minister at stage 1 about the issue, he said that the sections had to be read together, because the provisions were about entering a property only when permission had been given. However, it did not actually say that in the bill. I am therefore delighted that the minister has lodged amendment 15, which is absolutely clear that, when permission is given by the occupier, the enforcement officer may enter. The minister’s amendments remove the need for my amendments, so I do not intend to move them.

Ross Greer (West Scotland) (Green)

I thank the minister for his engagement on this section. None of us was in any doubt about the need for enforcement officers to have appropriate powers, and we certainly realised that the legislation was not intended to empower enforcement officers to search individuals or search data that is stored on a laptop, for example. Nonetheless, to have that stated explicitly in the bill gives a valuable civil liberties safeguard. As Mr Rumbles said, making sure that the principle of consent when searches are being conducted is in the bill is an important safeguard that clarifies the substantial sections that follow.

Ben Macpherson

I thank Mike Rumbles for confirming that he will not move amendments 3 and 4, and I thank him and Ross Greer for their remarks.

I urge members to support my amendments in this group. They make it clearer that the provisions on enforcement should be read together, they strengthen the test for enforcement action to be taken and they ensure that enforcement officers need to provide evidence of their identity when exercising their powers.

Amendment 11 agreed to.

The Convener

Amendment 12, in the name of the minister, is grouped with amendments 13, 33, 17, 18 and 34.

Ben Macpherson

During stage 1, there was a significant amount of discussion about the powers of an enforcement officer to call on the assistance of another person as provided for under sections 17(4) and 19(2) of the bill.

The types of person that might be called on for assistance include locksmiths, tow truck businesses and hydraulic crane operators. Those people have specialist skills or equipment that might be required to take action when the restrictions in the bill are breached.

The Government does not expect that enforcement officers would call on assistance from other people as a matter of routine, but it is important that enforcement officers have those powers if they are to take prompt, effective and safe enforcement action.

The powers are already available to enforcement officers under other legislation, and they were available to them at the 2014 Commonwealth games. However, I have listened to the concerns that have been raised about the powers being too wide ranging, and have lodged a package of amendments in this group and a later group to address those concerns.

I will address my four amendments in this group in turn.

Amendment 12 increases the legal threshold for when an enforcement officer can be assisted by any other person under section 17, so that the test changes from being “reasonably required” to being one of necessity. My aim is to provide the committee with further assurance that an enforcement officer will carefully consider whether assistance from another person is absolutely necessary prior to them requesting such assistance.

We heard from Glasgow City Council that enforcement officers would already be expected to do that and to discuss it with more senior officers in the council if required. However, in strengthening the test in the bill, I want to ensure that it is clear that that should happen in all cases.

Amendment 17 makes an equivalent change to section 19.

Amendment 13 makes it clear that a person assisting an enforcement officer under section 17 must act under the direction of the enforcement officer at all times, making the control explicit rather than implicit. That should reassure the committee that someone who assists an enforcement officer is not afforded the same powers as an enforcement officer.

Amendment 18 makes an equivalent change to section 19.

From discussions that I have had with Ross Greer following stage 1, I understand that he has the same aim as I do in seeking to ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place so that effective and proportionate enforcement action will be taken under the bill generally.

Amendments 33 and 34, in Ross Greer’s name, take a different approach to respond to considerations about an enforcement officer being assisted by another person by requiring that the police are notified before any requests for such assistance take place under section 17 or section 19. My view is that a requirement to notify the police, whether that be done face to face or by phone, email or another method, has scope to add confusion with regard to who is responsible for taking the decision about seeking assistance, and it would be likely to add unnecessary delay to the process.

From a practical perspective, a notification would not be expected to have an effect on the outcome of the process to decide whether to seek assistance from another person; it would simply be used to record that a request for assistance had been made. As such, that is best left as an operational process for Glasgow City Council and Police Scotland.

For those reasons, I do not support the two amendments lodged by Ross Greer. In contrast, the four amendments that I have lodged in this group, along with amendment 21 in group 7, provide that a police constable must authorise the use of reasonable force by a third party, strengthen the objective assessment that has to be made before assistance can be sought and make clear who is responsible for directing the person providing the assistance. They will have a practical impact on how the enforcement powers are used, and I urge the committee members to support them.

I move amendment 12.

Ross Greer

I thank the minister for his constructive engagement. His amendments will provide the necessary strengthening of the provisions. The amendment that refers specifically to a change to a test of necessity is helpful, and the clarity that is given that third parties will be operating under the direction of an enforcement officer and will not be afforded the same powers as enforcement officers is also useful.

However, the minister’s amendments and mine are not mutually exclusive; my amendments are quite complementary. Amendments 33 and 34 do exactly the same thing, so I will refer to them together. They address the concerns that the committee raised in the conclusion following section 45 of our stage 1 report

10:00  



Amendments 33 and 34 ensure that the police will be aware when a third party is brought in. The intent is to give them the opportunity to be present or to raise concerns if they believe that that is necessary. At present, the requirement is for the police to be present only if force is being used, but there are other scenarios that they may feel warrant their presence. For example, the use of large vehicles in the scenarios that Glasgow City Council gave us in stage 1 evidence where a cherry picker may be used. One can imagine a scenario in which one might be used in proximity to a crowded area with a significant number of people, and the police may feel that their presence would be warranted.

The intent of this amendment is only to give the police notice. The operational decisions about what they do, are up to them. Such decisions should be for the police and should not be in primary legislation. These amendments are proportionate. They would not stop the enforcement officers from going about their duties and they should not delay them for more than the few seconds that it would take to make a phone call. The amendments do not prescribe a system for notification because, again, that should be an operational decision between the enforcement officers and their employer, Glasgow City Council, and the police.

The amendments strike the right balance between appropriate oversight and the opportunity for the police to be involved, as they believe appropriate, and the ability of enforcement officers to complete their tasks in a timely manner. The amendments are exactly in line with the committee’s unanimous conclusion at stage 1, and I hope that members will feel able to support them.

Mike Rumbles

I will be supporting all these amendments, because they are complementary. I particularly like amendment 13, in the name of the minister, which makes it clear that the individual must

“act under the officer’s direction at all times”,

so that they are not given carte blanche or separate immunity. That is fine. They cannot act alone.

Ross Greer’s amendments reiterate the unanimous position of the committee members. In our stage 1 report, we unanimously wanted to ensure that we took any problems away. During the stage 1 debate, the minister misunderstood the intention of the committee in our report. We did not envisage enforcement officers having to lodge a notification with Police Scotland. That was not our intention, which is that this would be an operational matter and that there would be good practice. Maybe it could be dealt with in briefings with people, but we felt that it would be useful to put the need to notify the police about an offence in the bill. It would be a matter of good practice to inform the police on the ground that an offence was happening so that they could, if they wished, react to it. At the moment, they can just do it anyway. What is proposed would be helpful.

I have a plea: if the committee suddenly decides—remarkably—to change its mind on its unanimous decision and amendment 33 does not pass, would the minister consider looking at this issue again at stage 3?

Stuart McMillan

I am looking at amendments 13 and 33. In amendment 13, in the name of the minister, the words

“to act under the officer’s direction at all times”

suggest to me that it is doing what the committee was looking for in its stage 1 report. The police will be contacted. I genuinely think that amendment 13 is doing what we suggested.

Alexander Stewart (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)

We have heard about the merits of this process already this morning, and the minister has made some valid points about that. I am also sympathetic to the points that Ross Greer makes with regard to amendments 33 and 34. The issue is about striking a balance and ensuring that the necessary transparency is in place. For those reasons, I would be happy to support amendments 33 and 34.

Annabelle Ewing

Paragraph 45 of the committee’s report says:

“whenever an enforcement officer seeks external expert assistance, the police should be notified in advance.”

Can the minister therefore clarify when he winds up—because it was not clear to me from his initial comments on the section—how he considers that the amendments in his name meet the spirit of what the committee recommended that he do?

Claire Baker

My question follows on from Annabelle Ewing’s question and relates to section 17. Amendment 13 refers to “the officer’s direction”. I assume that that means an enforcement officer, rather than a police officer. Is that correct?

I have some sympathy with what has been said about delay, but I am not convinced that what is proposed would cause delay. The requirement is for the police to be notified, not for approval to be given by the police. In the circumstances that have been referred to—the minister referred to a tow truck and Ross Greer referred to a cherry picker—you would expect a certain amount of disruption on the street, and it would seem reasonable for the police to be aware that that was about to take place. The minister talked about the need for action to be prompt, effective and safe, and I think that it is probably sensible to notify the police of such things, so that they can do whatever is necessary to ensure that there is a safe environment. It would be helpful if the minister could discuss that when he winds up.

Ross Greer

In response to the interesting points that Stuart McMillan made about whether amendment 13 does essentially what I intend amendment 33 to do, I inform him that it does in part, but not entirely. I gave the example of an enforcement officer requiring the assistance of a cherry picker operator in proximity to a crowded area. Amendment 13 clarifies that anyone who is acting with the enforcement officer is acting under their direction. Of course, it does not clarify that the members of the public are acting under the direction of the enforcement officer. In that circumstance, if action involving large vehicles were to take place in a crowded area, the police could quite reasonably believe that the presence of police officers would be useful. My amendment is about ensuring that the police have the opportunity to make a decision about that, because they will have been made aware of the action. It does not require them to send police officers there, because that is an operational decision, but it ensures that they have the opportunity to do that. We should leave such issues as matters of judgment for police officers, who are trained to make such decisions.

Ben Macpherson

I thank all members for their comments. In response to the point that Claire Baker raised, I reiterate that amendments 13 and 18 are about clarifying and emphasising that any party that is used to assist an enforcement officer will be under the direction of an enforcement officer.

On Ross Greer’s amendments 33 and 34, I remain of the view that my amendments better address the concerns that were raised by the committee, because they create a consistent requirement for an objective test of necessity to be carried out by an enforcement officer on any occasion on which they are considering seeking assistance. My amendments also explicitly state the original policy intention that someone who is assisting an enforcement officer is under their direction.

I thank Ross Greer for his explanation of why he lodged amendments 33 and 34, and I thank other members for their comments on those amendments. However, I am not persuaded that they would improve the bill, and I believe that they could introduce delay in practice. I think that judgments about notification are best left as operational matters for Glasgow City Council and Police Scotland because, for example, the police will sometimes not need to know about the assistance that is being undertaken by a third party under the direction of an enforcement officer. Depending on the form of notification that is made, someone in the police might follow up with an enforcement officer to question the decision, while other notifications may not be read until after the assistance has already taken place. That has the potential to create inconsistent treatment, which might be detrimental and would certainly not be beneficial.

Claire Baker

I appreciate that a range of different assistance might be required, and that some of it might be minor while some of it might be more significant. Do you have any examples from the Commonwealth games, given that we are discussing the same sort of legislation? Was it common for assistance to be required?

Ben Macpherson

Do you mean examples of where assistance was required?

Claire Baker

The legislation for the Commonwealth games was pretty much the same as the legislation that we are discussing today. During the Commonwealth games, was it common for enforcement officers to have to call in additional support, and do we have any feedback on whether police were required to be present or whether there was any large-scale disruption?

In your opening statement, you mentioned that there was little analysis done of how the legislation worked previously. Is it just that we do not have any understanding of how things would work in practice?

Ben Macpherson

I do not have to hand the number of incidents that there were, but I am aware of abseilers being used to remove something that infringed the advertising provisions in the 2014 legislation.

Claire Baker

That is a helpful example. Do you know whether the police were contacted about that or how arrangements worked on the ground?

Ben Macpherson

I cannot speak with authority on that right now. I would have to check that after the meeting.

There is another consideration around notification. What if police on the ground were not present or were otherwise engaged? That could lead to delay, or to the police being distracted from other safety and security matters that they might be dealing with.

For all the reasons that I have set out, I still think that amendments 33 and 34—

Mike Rumbles

If I may make a brief intervention, do you think that it would be useful for the police to know what is going on?

Ben Macpherson

I think that that would be a question for Police Scotland. My understanding is that there is already dialogue between Glasgow City Council and Police Scotland on these matters. That process is already well formed and well understood by both parties.

In conclusion, for the reasons that I have stated, I ask the committee to reject amendment 33 and 34 and support amendments 12, 13, 17 and 18.

Amendment 12 agreed to.

Amendment 13 moved—[Ben Macpherson]—and agreed to.

10:15  



Amendment 33 moved—[Ross Greer].

The Convener

The question is, that amendment 33 be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members: No.

The Convener

There will be a division.

For

Stewart, Alexander (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
Rumbles, Mike (North East Scotland) (LD)
Greer, Ross (West Scotland) (Green)
Cameron, Donald (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
Baker, Claire (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)

Against

McMillan, Stuart (Greenock and Inverclyde) (SNP)
McAlpine, Joan (South Scotland) (SNP)
Harper, Emma (South Scotland) (SNP)
Ewing, Annabelle (Cowdenbeath) (SNP)

The Convener

The result of the division is: For 5, Against 4, Abstentions 0.

Amendment 33 agreed to.

Amendment 14 moved—[Ben Macpherson]—and agreed to.

Section 17, as amended, agreed to.

Section 18 agreed to.

Section 19—Power to enter and search

Amendment 15 moved—[Ben Macpherson]—and agreed to.

Amendments 3 and 4 not moved.

Amendments 16 to 18 moved—[Ben Macpherson]—and agreed to.

Amendment 34 moved—[Ross Greer].

The Convener

The question is, that amendment 34 be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members: No.

The Convener

There will be a division.

For

Stewart, Alexander (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
Rumbles, Mike (North East Scotland) (LD)
Greer, Ross (West Scotland) (Green)
Cameron, Donald (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
Baker, Claire (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)

Against

McMillan, Stuart (Greenock and Inverclyde) (SNP)
McAlpine, Joan (South Scotland) (SNP)
Harper, Emma (South Scotland) (SNP)
Ewing, Annabelle (Cowdenbeath) (SNP)

The Convener

The result of the division is: For 5, Against 4, Abstentions 0.

Amendment 34 agreed to.

Amendment 19 moved—[Ben Macpherson]—and agreed to.

Section 19, as amended, agreed to.

Section 20—Use of reasonable force

The Convener

Amendment 20, in the name of the minister, is grouped with amendments 21 to 23.

Ben Macpherson

This group of amendments responds to the points that were raised during the stage 1 process about making explicit in the bill what the process is around consent and, where that is not granted, the use of reasonable force. I would particularly like to thank Ross Greer for the constructive conversation that we had last week on that and other matters. I have also taken the opportunity to further strengthen the safeguards on assistance by a third party where reasonable force is being used.

Amendment 20 makes explicit what was previously implicit in the bill, namely that the potential use of reasonable force would take place only for enforcement action under section 17 or 19 where permission is not granted by the person who is able to grant that permission. I have done that to respond to feedback from the committee during stage 1.

Before I move on to amendments 21, 22 and 23, I want to be clear that it is already the case that, where the use of reasonable force takes place, a police constable must always be present. That recognises the seriousness of using reasonable force, whether or not a warrant has been granted by a sheriff.

Amendment 21 removes the power in section 20(1) for an enforcement officer to use, or authorise the use of, reasonable force. It replaces and reframes that so that only a police constable, who is already required to be present where reasonable force is used, may authorise that use of reasonable force, both by an enforcement officer and by any person assisting an enforcement officer, such as a locksmith.

In addition to making clear the importance of the police constable’s role, the amendment further strengthens the safeguards that are in place where the use of a third party for enforcement action takes place. As I mentioned during our discussion of the previous group of amendments, in doing so, I have gone further than the Scottish Government had indicated that we would go in response to the committee’s stage 1 report. Our response had already committed to strengthening the test for receiving assistance from a third party from one of reasonableness to one of necessity.

The amendments in group 6, combined with amendment 21, significantly strengthen the safeguards that are in place where a third party assists with enforcement action.

Amendment 22 makes a minor change to section 20(2)(a) to make it clear that the constable is to accompany the enforcement officer in cases where the use of reasonable force has been authorised by a sheriff through the granting of a warrant.

Amendment 23, similarly, is a minor change to section 20(2)(b) to make it clear that the constable is also to accompany the enforcement officer in cases where there is no warrant. In such cases, the bill further provides that the use of reasonable force is permitted only if that same constable on the ground is of the view that the potential delay that would be caused by seeking a warrant for the use of force would defeat or prejudice the purpose of taking enforcement action.

I urge members of the committee to support the amendments for the reasons that I have set out, and I move amendment 20.

Mike Rumbles

I think that this is a really good example of committee members and the minister working together to improve the legislation, because the things that we want to do should not be implicit in legislation; they should be explicit. The minister’s amendments make the issue absolutely explicit in the bill by stating that the constable and not the enforcement officer is the person who may use force or authorise the use of force. I welcome that because, as I said, it shows the committee and the minister working together to achieve the right result.

Ross Greer

I thank the minister and his officials for working with us on this issue. Like Mr Rumbles, I think that this is an excellent example of the committee working collectively to improve the bill. Previously, there was a slightly odd position around the use of force being granted. For us to empower anyone to use force is a significant thing to do, and it should only be done sparingly. As drafted, the bill placed us in an odd position in which the use of force could be authorised in a situation in which a police officer was present, but it would not be the police officer who would authorise that use of force. Police officers are by far the most qualified individuals in that regard. They are the individuals who we should trust in relation to such matters, and they are also the individuals who have the cleanest lines of accountability in relation to any judgments that they make. The amendments in this section, particularly amendment 21, provide useful clarity on where the authorisation for the use of force is coming from and state that, in those situations, that power rests with the police constable, who is the individual who has the most appropriate level of training and the most appropriate lines of accountability, which will be relevant in situations in which their decisions are questioned. Therefore, I welcome all the amendments in the group.

Ben Macpherson

I thank Mr Rumbles and Mr Greer for their comments and engagement.

I hope that I have made clear how seriously I take considerations around the use of reasonable force when taking action related to the offences contained in the bill. However I also want to be clear that it is important that the use of reasonable force is available to ensure that effective enforcement action can be taken and that it is not possible to easily circumvent the restrictions that the bill puts in place on trading, advertising and ticket touting.

If these amendments are accepted, the bill will clearly set out the safeguards that are in place when use of reasonable force is being considered and on where it then takes place. That includes recognition of the important role of the police constable in the process. For all those reasons and those mentioned throughout the debate on this group of amendments, I would urge committee members to support these amendments.

Amendment 20 agreed to.

Amendments 21 to 23 moved—[Ben Macpherson]—and agreed to.

Section 20, as amended, agreed to.

Section 21—Further restrictions on entering houses

The Convener

Amendment 24, in the name of the minister, is grouped with amendments 27, 28 and 30. I invite the minister to move amendment 24 and speak to all the amendments in the group.

Ben Macpherson

This final group contains Government amendments that make minor and technical changes to the bill. Amendments 24 and 30 correct minor typographical errors. Amendments 27 and 28 change the cross-references to delegated powers in section 31 so that they refer to specific subsections in order to provide greater clarity and consistency. I ask members of the committee to support the amendments.

I move amendment 24.

Amendment 24 agreed to.

Section 21, as amended, agreed to.

Section 22—Power to obtain information

Amendment 25 moved—[Ben Macpherson]—and agreed to.

Section 22, as amended, agreed to.

Section 23—Requirement to produce authority

Amendment 26 moved—[Ben Macpherson]—and agreed to.

Section 23, as amended, agreed to.

Sections 24 to 30 agreed to.

Section 31—Regulation-making powers

Amendments 27 to 29 moved—[Ben Macpherson]—and agreed to.

Section 31, as amended, agreed to.

Section 32—Regulation-making powers: consultation and relevant considerations

Amendment 30 moved—[Ben Macpherson]—and agreed to.

Section 32, as amended, agreed to.

Section 33—Interpretation

Amendment 31 moved—[Ben Macpherson]—and agreed to.

Section 33, as amended, agreed to.

Section 34—Commencement

Amendment 32 moved—[Ben Macpherson]—and agreed to.

Section 34, as amended, agreed to.

Long title agreed to.

The Convener

That ends stage 2 consideration of the bill.

Members should note that the bill will now be reprinted, as amended, and will be available online and in hard copy from 8.30 am on Monday. The Parliament has not yet determined when stage 3 proceedings will take place, but members can now lodge stage 3 amendments at any time with the legislation team. Members will be informed of the deadline for amendments once it has been determined.

10:30 Meeting continued in private until 10:37.  



UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill with Stage 2 amendments

Additional related information from the Scottish Government on the Bill

More information on the powers the Scottish Parliament is giving Scottish Ministers to make secondary legislation related to this Bill (Supplementary Delegated Powers Memorandum)

Stage 3 - Final amendments and vote

MSPs can propose further amendments to the Bill and then vote on each of these. Finally, they vote on whether the Bill should become law

Debate on the proposed amendments

MSPs get the chance to present their proposed amendments to the Chamber. They vote on whether each amendment should be added to the Bill.

Documents with the amendments considered at this meeting on 17 December 2019:

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Debate on proposed amendments transcript

The Deputy Presiding Officer (Linda Fabiani)

The next item of business is stage 3 proceedings on the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill. In dealing with amendments, members should have with them the bill as amended at stage 2, the second revised marshalled list and the groupings of amendments.

The division bell will sound and proceedings will be suspended for five minutes for the first division of the afternoon and the period of voting for that first division will be 30 seconds. Thereafter, the period will be one minute for the first division following a debate.

Members who wish to speak in the debate on any group of amendments should press their request-to-speak buttons as soon as possible after I call that group.

Section 20—Use of reasonable force

The Deputy Presiding Officer

Amendment 1, in the name of the minister, is in a group on its own.

The Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development (Ben Macpherson)

Amendment 1 will make a change to section 20(2) that I believe will be beneficial as a result of changes to section 20(1) on the use of reasonable force that were made at stage 2.

The stage 2 amendments resulted from constructive discussions that I had with Ross Greer about the important role of the police constable where the use of reasonable force is being considered. The amendments, which were agreed to unanimously, provided that only a constable can authorise the use of force.

Given that we have reframed the original power, we need to reframe the limit on the power. Amendment 1 makes it clear that, in exercising that power of authorisation, the police must not authorise an enforcement officer, or third-party assister, to use force against an individual. Therefore, an enforcement officer or third party who used force against an individual would be acting unlawfully. That was the case as the provision was originally drafted, with the amendment simply ensuring that the manner in which the restriction is imposed is consistent with the way that the power is granted.

I move amendment 1.

The Deputy Presiding Officer

No other member has requested to speak on amendment 1. However, I am obliged to invite the minister to wind up.

Ben Macpherson

I simply ask all members to support amendment 1, which will improve the consistency of the approach in section 20 and ensure that the police constable is central to the authorisation of force.

Amendment 1 agreed to.

Section 31—Regulation-making powers

The Deputy Presiding Officer

Amendment 2, in the name of the minister, is grouped with amendment 5.

Ben Macpherson

This group contains Government amendments related to the commencement of the regulation-making powers in the bill.

Amendment 5 extends the sections of the bill that it will be possible to commence through commencement regulations to include the sections required to permit regulations to be laid on the extent and dates of operation of the event zones, trading and advertising, compensation for enforcement action and further enforcement processes.

The bill already provides for the sections required to allow the ticket-touting regulations that are to be made to be commenced through commencement regulations. In lodging amendment 5, my aim is to give certainty, as soon as possible, to those whom we expect to be affected by the regulations, so that they have time to understand them and to prepare, where required.

I want to lay regulations towards the end of January 2020, subject to the date of royal assent and to parliamentary approval of amendment 2. That would mean that the regulations could be enforced towards the end of March 2020. Under the bill’s current provisions, the regulations are unlikely to be enforced much before the end of May 2020, and the championship period begins on 1 June.

The trading and advertising offences can, of course, be committed only on the effective dates, which will be specified in the regulations and which must be between 1 June and 12 July. Amendment 5 does not change that; it simply provides for the regulations to deliver that to be confirmed further in advance of the beginning of the championship period. That will provide greater notice to those affected, which will allow them to understand and to prepare.

I think that waiting two months after royal assent, as is provided for in the bill at present, would be counterproductive, as it would create a period in which the content of the act is confirmed but businesses and others with an interest are not clear on the extent of the offences. That is particularly important for the trading and advertising offences, exceptions to which will be set out in regulations—as will the maps of the event zones and the dates on which they are in operation.

I shared illustrative regulations with Parliament on 17 October to show how the Scottish Government expects to use its powers. The Scottish Government has been working to refine the illustrative regulations since October. That work has included seeking feedback from key stakeholders. We have already incorporated some of the feedback from the lead committee, such as that we should make an exception to the street trading offence to allow busking.

There is also a requirement in the bill for Glasgow City Council to publish guidance on advertising and trading restrictions. In addition, the council will need time to process authorisations to trade or advertise in the event zones. Such authorisations will, for example, permit charity collections. Neither of those things can happen until the regulations are in force. Being able to lay the regulations sooner after royal assent, as amendment 5 proposes, will mean that the council will have more time to undertake that activity and respond to any queries that it receives.

Amendment 2 provides that the commencement regulations that are to be made under section 34(1A), as modified by amendment 5, are not subject to section 31. Section 31 sets out whether negative or affirmative procedure should be followed when making regulations under the bill. It also provides that regulations under the bill may include ancillary provisions. Those two aspects are not required for commencement regulations, because they will be subject to no procedure aside from being laid in Parliament, as is standard practice for commencement regulations, and because there is no need for the ancillary powers in relation to commencing the bill.

I therefore ask members to support amendments 2 and 5.

I move amendment 2.

The Deputy Presiding Officer

As there are no requests to speak, the minister may wind up.

Ben Macpherson

I urge all members to support amendments 2 and 5 so that businesses, charities and the public as a whole can, in good time, have certainty about the restrictions and enforcement processes that will be in place during the championship period before it begins on 1 June.

Amendment 2 agreed to.

Section 32—Regulation-making powers: consultation and relevant considerations

The Deputy Presiding Officer

Group 3 is on the names of bodies. Amendment 3, in the name of the minister, is grouped with amendments 4 and 6.

Ben Macpherson

This group contains Government amendments that will make minor and technical changes to the bill.

Amendments 3 and 4 replace the references in the bill to “Police Scotland” with its proper statutory name, “the Police Service of Scotland”. “Police Scotland” is only that body’s common name, rather than its formal legal name as set out in the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012.

Amendment 6 adds “European” before “Championship” in the long title of the bill, ensuring clarity and consistency with the rest of the bill, specifically section 1 and the short title.

I move amendment 3.

The Deputy Presiding Officer

I have no requests to speak. Do you want to support your own amendment, minister?

Ben Macpherson

I simply urge Parliament to support the amendments in the group.

Amendment 3 agreed to.

Section 33—Interpretation

Amendment 4 moved—[Ben Macpherson]—and agreed to.

Section 34—Commencement

Amendment 5 moved—[Ben Macpherson]—and agreed to.

Long Title

Amendment 6 moved—[Ben Macpherson]—and agreed to.

The Deputy Presiding Officer

That ends consideration of amendments.

Final debate on the Bill

Once they've debated the amendments, the MSPs discuss the final version of the Bill.

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Final debate transcript

The Deputy Presiding Officer (Linda Fabiani)

As members will be aware, at this stage the Presiding Officer is required under standing orders to decide whether, in his view, any provision of the bill relates to a protected subject matter; that is, whether it would modify the electoral system and franchise for Scottish Parliament elections. The Presiding Officer’s view is that no provision of the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill relates to a protected subject matter. Therefore, the bill does not require a supermajority for it to be passed at stage 3.

Next is a debate on motion S5M-20221, in the name of Ben Macpherson, on the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill.

15:17  



The Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development (Ben Macpherson)

It is a great pleasure to address the chamber this afternoon at this key milestone for the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill.

First of all, I thank my officials, the committee clerks, committee members and, indeed, all the other members who have engaged on the bill. I think that we have collaborated well; the parties coming together to make legislation stronger and more effective shows Parliament at its best.

For the first time ever, in the middle of next year, cities across Europe will host championship matches as part of the 60th anniversary of the championship, with Glasgow joining the likes of Rome, Munich, Amsterdam and London. The championship is the third-biggest sporting event in the world and will further enhance Glasgow and Scotland’s reputation as the perfect stage for major events, when Hampden park holds four matches in the summer of 2020.

The Hampden roar will no doubt be in force, and we hope to see some iconic moments in the famous stadium. Who can forget Zinedine Zidane’s stunning goal in the 2002 champions league final, or, for a different generation, the amazing spectacle that was the 10-goal European cup final thriller of 1960?

The European championship has provided many incredible moments over the years. My personal favourite is Ally McCoist’s winning goal for Scotland against Switzerland at Euro 96, when I was in secondary 2. Moments like that live long in the memory, and Euro 2020 promises to bring supporters more memorable occasions that we will be able to relive time and again.

We already know two of the countries that will play at Hampden—Croatia, the world cup finalists, and the Czech Republic. The supporters of Croatia, in their striking red chequered tops, and the Czech Republic will bring colour and noise with them. We sincerely hope that Scotland will also be joining the party following the play-offs next March. We look forward to welcoming all the fans to Glasgow—and to Scotland as a whole, as an outward-looking European nation.

We saw our women’s national team reach the world cup finals earlier this year and it would be fantastic to watch the men follow suit by qualifying again for a major championship.

Regardless of that, we look forward to welcoming Europe to our shores next summer, and to showcasing Scotland as the outward-looking, progressive and diverse country that we are. The benefits of bringing Euro 2020 to Scotland will be significant not just for our economy, but for our international reputation.

Hosting international events often involves meeting certain requirements of the rights holder. The bill seeks to ensure successful delivery of Euro 2020 in line with UEFA’s requirements for all 12 host cities. The bill will protect commercial rights in relation to ticket touting, street trading and advertising, and it contains measures for enforcement of those commercial protections.

I thank the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee for the constructive way in which it considered the bill throughout the stage 1 evidence sessions and at stage 2. We based the provisions in the bill on the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Act 2008, while also responding to UEFA’s specific requirements. The bill provides for three event zones in Glasgow where the street trading and advertising restrictions will apply—at Hampden park, George Square and the Merchant City.

The Scottish Government has been engaging with those who have interests to ensure that they can benefit from the opportunity that the event presents, and we will continue to look for opportunities to raise awareness about the restrictions that will be in place. The committee heard from a range of stakeholders. I again thank those organisations for contributing to the process.

The proposals on ticket touting have been broadly supported. We are determined to support fair access to tickets so that as many fans as possible can enjoy the matches. To that end, the bill will make touting tickets for championship matches a criminal offence.

Members’ scrutiny was beneficial in refining and clarifying the bill. At stage 2, 35 amendments were lodged, 28 of which were Scottish Government amendments that sought to respond to the recommendations in the committee’s stage 1 report—in particular, those relating to enforcement provisions. I am confident that, working together, we have improved that aspect of the bill through amendments at stages 2 and 3.

I know from the stage 1 debate, and from one-to-one meetings that I have had, that members recognise the significant benefits of Glasgow and Scotland hosting Euro 2020. The Scottish Government and our partners for the event are delighted to be involved in “The Euro for Europe”. The bill will help to ensure successful delivery of the event. For that reason, I urge members across the chamber to support the bill at decision time.

I move,

That the Parliament agrees that the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill be passed.

15:22  



Rachael Hamilton (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire) (Con)

I thank the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee and its clerks for all their hard work.

As has been mentioned, the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill will enable a fantastic sporting event to come to Scotland. To celebrate the tournament’s 60th birthday, 12 cities across Europe have been chosen to host the Euro 2020 championships. I speak on behalf of Conservative members when I say that I am absolutely delighted that Glasgow was selected. Glasgow will be able to take advantage of the opportunities that will come from fans visiting it and the surrounding area, which will bring in more tourism and contribute to the local economy.

At this final stage of the bill, it is important to remember that it will address areas of Scots law that do not meet UEFA’s standards with regard to protecting sponsors’ commercial interests. We will support the bill at the final stage to ensure that the Euro 2020 championships can take place next year. However, before we do so, I will provide a brief recap of the various stages.

At stage 1, although Conservative members supported the bill in principle, it became clear that there were initial concerns, especially around enforcement officers and their powers; we felt that their powers were too broad and not clear enough. We welcomed amendments that provided clarification of those powers and that stated that, where “reasonable force” is to be used, a police constable must always be present.

I expressed my concerns about event zones and the implications for local people and their businesses. Mount Florida Community Council, Police Scotland and others offered suggestions as to how the bill could be strengthened to ensure that businesses and the local community around Hampden would be comfortable with the new legislation and its implications for them. I am grateful that the minister took on board those concerns and that amendments were lodged at stage 2 to address them.

The major problem of ticket touting was also addressed at stage 2. Ticket touting remains a large problem for major sporting events. At stage 1, I said that ticket touting should not spoil the experience of people who attend the UEFA matches, so I am thankful that amendments were lodged to address the issue. Scots law already included some restrictions on ticket touting, but they relate only to causing public annoyance to persons being approached to purchase tickets. I was glad that the Association of Tartan Army Clubs, Supporters Direct Scotland and the Scottish Football Supporters Association wrote to the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee in October to express their wish for better measures on ticket touting. As the measures were not sufficient for UEFA’s requirements, it was necessary to make provisions in the bill for that.

Mike Rumbles lodged amendments at stage 2 on ways to approach ticket touting. One of his amendments was about ensuring that UEFA 2020 would not be exempt from measures on ticket touting. The amendment did not mention UEFA specifically, but was a broad amendment that covered all bases. Although it was defeated, it was encouraging that similar amendments from the minister, Ben Macpherson, were passed in order to strengthen the bill and tackle ticket touting. I believe that there has, going forward, to be a broader discussion in Scotland about how we tackle ticket touting so that fans are not negatively impacted by it in the future. However, that is a conversation for another day.

The Scottish Conservatives raised concerns during stage 1 about the details in the bill regarding enforcement officers. We felt that the bill did not sufficiently outline how regulations would set out the criteria for selecting appropriate persons to become enforcement officers. Amendments that were passed at stage 2, however, will ensure that local authorities will take charge of employing enforcement officers in order to ensure that they have the relevant experience and training to enable them to fulfil their role to the best of their ability.

The Scottish Conservatives will support the bill at decision time. Amendments at stage 2 were instrumental in providing clarity on a wide range of issues. Many members across the chamber raised concerns about enforcement officers, event zones and use of reasonable force. I believe that the weaker parts of the bill, on which many members touched at stage 1, have been strengthened and improved, which means that we can support the bill in its final stage.

We know that the passing of the bill will bring much opportunity to people and businesses in Glasgow and the wider area, from what will be a brilliant sporting event. UEFA Euro 2020 has the potential to deliver more jobs, encourage increased tourism and promote the best of Scotland. The Scottish Conservatives want to harness the energy of that major event to ensure that it leaves behind some sort of legacy and positive impact, which is a matter that I am sure we will talk about again in the future.

The Euro 2020 championship will be an even greater success if we bring everyone along, in the process. Communities near Hampden and in central Glasgow are counting on Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government to ensure that everything is in place so that the operation is slick and efficient. We cannot let them down. I thank them for being so supportive during the evidence taking for the bill.

Again, I hope that the UEFA Euro 2020 championship will be an absolute roaring success. It will be fantastic to see Glasgow buzzing with a lively atmosphere like the one that we saw back in 2014 for the Commonwealth games.

I reiterate that the Scottish Conservatives will support the bill at decision time.

15:29  



Claire Baker (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)

I am pleased to open the debate for Labour. The Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee has given careful consideration to the bill and we can expect parliamentary support this afternoon for a necessary piece of legislation to enable the UEFA Euro 2020 championship to include Glasgow as a host city. It is a significant achievement for Glasgow to be included as one of the 12 host cities in 2020, which will be the championship’s 60th year. To recognise that landmark, in 2020, it will take place across Europe.

The success of the Commonwealth games proved that Scotland could host a modern, inclusive tournament. We provided good infrastructure, a friendly welcome, top-class facilities and a sporting spectacle that provided many special moments. Since the Commonwealth games, Glasgow has hosted the world gymnastics championships, the European championships and the European short-course swimming championships. The city has, rightly, earned a reputation as a fantastic host for major events and has been officially recognised as one of the top sporting cities in the world.

Securing such events means working in partnership. As was the case with the Commonwealth games, securing host city status for the UEFA championship required there to be close working relationships between the Scottish Government, local government and other key stakeholders. During its evidence sessions, the committee heard about the concerns of local residents’ representatives. Therefore the partnership approach that I have mentioned must include them and they must be provided with clear information as the event proceeds.

To secure such events Scotland also needs to demonstrate ambition, leadership and vision. Our increasing confidence in the field is helping to secure our position as a competitive location. Increasingly, organisers desire to expand venues and opportunities, and we are well placed to take advantage of that. Sport has the capacity to bring people together. The UEFA championship is one of the world’s largest sporting events. As well as those who attend the matches, millions around the globe will be watching on television, which will provide positive exposure for Glasgow and Scotland. There will be economic benefit for our accommodation and hospitality sectors. We must do all that we can to persuade people to extend their stay in Scotland, and provide a positive experience that could encourage them to return in future.

Although the UEFA championship has parallels with the Commonwealth games, including those between the legislation on the games and the bill that the Parliament is considering today, the games were a different proposition that offered more substantial cultural involvement and volunteer opportunities. Now that the mechanisms for the UEFA championship are in place, consideration should be given to how we can celebrate the event and include it in Scotland’s cultural calendar.

I am pleased to see that, throughout the tournament, Glasgow will host a UEFA festival, with 31 days of free festivities celebrating the arts, culture and music in addition to football and other sport. From the beginning of the tournament on Friday 12 June, George Square is set to become the main fan zone in the city, with an additional fan zone in the Merchant City on Hampden match days. Visitors to the fan zones will be able to watch matches on giant screens while enjoying local food and drink, live music and other entertainment. The football village will also offer taster activities such as walking football and mini-kickers, which will encourage visitors to try the sport whatever their age.

As well as a number of paid opportunities, there will be a host city volunteer team that will consist of some 600 volunteers who will have a key role to play in providing information, helping fans move around and giving a warm Scottish welcome to all those who will visit the city.

While Glasgow is a host city, we should also be thinking about the opportunities that we can create for visitors to extend their trip beyond the tournament itself, and beyond the city to the rest of Scotland. In leaving the European Union, the United Kingdom will not only reduce its political involvement in EU countries but be at risk of weakening its economic and social relationships. International events that bring people together through sport will be important for fostering co-operation and understanding, and for recognising our continuing place in Europe. Our participation in European cultural and social structures will be important in the future, and our hosting of matches in Glasgow and in London, with the final taking place at Wembley, has the potential to be symbolically important and to demonstrate that we are still part of the European family.

Before we hear other members’ speeches, I want to comment on the bill’s measures against ticket touting, which is a practice that must be stamped out. It is unfair on fans and exploits their passion because, rather than offering them access to events at consistent prices, it inflates them so that the touts make additional profit from which neither fans nor performers and organisers benefit. Although Scottish Labour supports any effort to address ticket touting as part of the UEFA championship, it is a more widespread problem that affects other sporting and music events, with resellers too often being able to take advantage of fans who seek tickets.

It would be welcome if, in his closing remarks, the minister could give clarity on the possibility of a framework bill, to which he referred when he appeared before the committee, and how our devolved powers might enable such a bill. I look forward to hearing the rest of the debate.

15:34  



Ross Greer (West Scotland) (Green)

It is good to see the bill being finalised in a form that works for everyone. Our hosting matches for next year’s UEFA championship has the potential to bring significant benefits to communities in Glasgow and across Scotland. It is therefore vital that the legislation that will enable the matches to take place does that in a manner that is fair and proportionate for those communities.

I am mindful that UEFA wants to protect the corporate sponsorship deals that it has secured and that a number of very large corporations stand to make a significant amount of money out of the event. That means restricting other businesses that are already operating in event areas, which are largely local and small businesses run by people who are rooted in our communities. We obviously all hope that many of those local businesses will also benefit, but that will not be the case for all and we should always be hesitant before restricting the operation of small businesses for the benefit of a few large ones. However, that is a condition that comes with hosting UEFA matches. Profit for multinational brands is not what football is about but, as well as being a sport, football is inevitably now an industry, and big business is a significant part of that.

It is also about people enjoying the game, watching top teams perform and, we hope, being motivated to get out and play themselves—and we should not lose sight of that opportunity. However, we have to bear in mind that the Scottish Government and this Parliament exist to stand up for our communities, including when their interests go up against the profit seeking of large corporate players. When the bill was first introduced, it did not stand up for our communities: not only that, in some cases, it went further than even UEFA would have asked for in its efforts to protect corporate sponsors.

The bill originally sought to grant extensive police-like powers to local authority officials, who are not police officers—powers that were designed to prioritise the protection of corporate profit without giving due regard to the rights of people or local businesses. Those issues have largely now been addressed, and I commend the Government and the minister for listening to and working with the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee and individual MSPs to address our concerns with the bill as introduced.

The vast majority of issues that I and others raised were agreed in advance of stage 2 and addressed by Government amendments that were lodged by the minister. As an example, we have introduced measures to protect individuals against personal searches and searches of their electronic devices by enforcement officers. To be clear, the police already have such powers and set procedures with safeguards are in place when the police suspect that a crime has been committed. The potential expansion of those powers to council officials for trading and advertising offences would have been an unnecessary violation of privacy rights. Although I accept that that was not the Government’s intention, the ambiguity was concerning enough to merit the explicit exclusion of those powers.

We also introduced measures to restrict the authorisation of the use of force to police officers only. Again, such powers already exist for the police, who are trained to a higher standard and have far clearer lines of public accountability than council staff. The original intention in the bill of allowing council officials to authorise the use of force was both a step too far and unnecessary, given that it would apply in situations in which a police officer would be present. If a police officer is present, it should be that officer, as the most qualified individual involved, who makes any decisions that are required about the use of force. That is the kind of power that Parliament should be willing to extend only sparingly and with appropriate safeguards.

Provisions have also been introduced to ensure that the powers that are granted to council officials to search premises are based on the consent of whoever owns or manages those premises. That was the Government’s intention, but the case was successfully made by committee members that an implicit intention was insufficient and that the position must be made explicitly clear on the face of the bill.

We have also clarified that the bill must include exemptions for public protest and additional safeguards have been introduced for when council officials call on other private individuals, such as locksmiths, to assist them. A stricter test will be applied with regard to whether that is appropriate and the police will have to be notified in advance, although, of course, what further action they take is an operational decision for them to make.

Even with the condensed timescale, which meant that Parliament took limited evidence on the bill, the benefit of scrutiny by MSPs is clear. We have agreed changes that protect people and local businesses from excessive interference, we have introduced safeguards on the powers that are given to officials and we have ensured that the civil liberties of individuals and communities are protected. That is exactly the effective work for which our committee system was designed.

I am pleased that the Parliament and the Government have been able to resolve those concerns almost entirely by consensus, leaving us with a bill with which we can all be content, and one that the Greens will certainly be happy to support this afternoon.

15:38  



Mike Rumbles (North East Scotland) (LD)

When the committee examined the bill at stage 1, it was quite obvious to all its members that the bill needed to be amended—it just was not exactly in the right place.

In particular, I was concerned about the provisions in the bill as introduced that gave pretty extensive legal powers to council enforcement officers to enter and search premises.

Section 19 said that an enforcement officer could

“without warrant, enter any place”,

except a house, and may search it where the officer believed a championship offence “has been ... committed”—past tense. If agreed to without amendment, that power would have exceeded the powers that a police constable has available to him or her in such circumstances, as a police constable must always apply for a warrant to search premises.

During the stage 1 evidence session with the minister, he was at pains to stress that sections 18, 19 and 20 should be read together, with the bill implying that the power was not what it seemed. In response, I was at pains to say that legislation should not be about implying anything, and that it should be absolutely clear about what is and is not allowed.

There were other issues, too, which other members have highlighted. However, when we got to stage 2, I was pleased to see that the minister had responded to the points that members of the committee had made. He made the required changes to the bill, and I thank him for that.

In my view, there is only one issue that was not addressed very well by the minister—this is a slight criticism—and that is the explicit exemption of UEFA by name from the ban on ticket touting. In the evidence that UEFA gave to the committee, it made it absolutely clear that, as the organiser of the tournament, it had no intention whatsoever of ticket touting. How can the issuer of tickets be guilty of ticket touting? It cannot be, by definition. However, in banning ticket touting for the tournament, the Scottish Government exempted UEFA.

I am not convinced that the reasons that the Government gave for not accepting my stage 2 amendment on the subject were understandable. I still do not understand them now. It cannot be good practice to outlaw the activity and then give UEFA a specific exemption from it in the bill. However, I decided not to lodge an amendment on the subject at stage 3, particularly because I could not persuade Claire Baker to support such an amendment and it was unlikely to be agreed to anyway. I am a realist. However, I urge the Scottish Government to introduce a new bill—the minister hinted that it will do so—to completely outlaw the practice of ticket touting, and this time to apply it universally.

The UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill is, for the most part, a good bill. On almost everything, the minister in charge of it has listened to the evidence and changed the bill accordingly, and I commend him for that. This is a good example of a committee of the Parliament doing its job to improve Government legislation. Is it not good that the minister did not try to steamroller the bill through but listened and acted accordingly? Maybe I am going to get him into trouble, but I wish that other ministers who bring forward Government legislation would emulate his approach. I am thinking, of course, of the next stage 3 debate to be held in the chamber—on Thursday afternoon, on the Referendums (Scotland) Bill. However, I do not hold out much hope of Mike Russell doing with that bill what Ben Macpherson has done with the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill.

I say, “Well done” to the minister. We now have a bill that we can all support.

The Deputy Presiding Officer

We move to the open debate. I ask for speeches of four minutes, please.

15:42  



Joan McAlpine (South Scotland) (SNP)

Glasgow has become one of the world’s top cities for major sporting events. Its hosting of the 2014 Commonwealth games was not only a defining moment for Scotland and for the city but an enormous economic success. It is estimated to have added up to £740 million, in gross terms, to the Scottish economy. The 2007 UEFA cup final at Hampden—just one game—resulted in an estimated gross expenditure of more than £16.3 million.

UEFA’s European championship, which will celebrate its 60th anniversary next year, will add to Glasgow’s reputation as an international host city. It will attract 200,000 visitors, and no doubt many of them will take the opportunity to enjoy other parts of our beautiful country.

The Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee’s stage 1 report on the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill supported the bill in principle and welcomed the opportunity that the championships bring to the whole of Scotland. To date, five countries are using primary legislation to meet UEFA’s requirements for hosting 2020 matches, while other jurisdictions are using secondary legislation. It should have been clear at an early stage that Scotland would be one of those five countries, as there were similar requirements for the Commonwealth games.

The legislation for the 2014 Commonwealth games seemed to sail through Parliament, so it is quite baffling that the organisers of the 2020 matches did not anticipate the need for legislation far sooner, given that the matches were awarded back in 2014. There was perhaps an assumption that, because the legislation did not receive particular scrutiny or indeed challenge last time, it would be dealt with as a formality this time. However, the committee decided to call for evidence and to take oral evidence. Personally, I believe that all legislation that comes before this Parliament should be properly scrutinised even if it appears to be uncontroversial.

The committee learned rather a lot during the accelerated scrutiny process. For example, we are now all familiar with terms such as “ambush advertising”, which can involve banners near venues or the handing out to spectators of free branded merchandise such as T-shirts, which will then be on television and beamed around the world. That immediately causes a problem for sponsoring businesses, which have paid significant sums to secure the exclusive right to promote themselves and their goods and services associated with the event. That is why the bill was necessary.

We also needed the bill to protect fans from exploitation by ticket touts, as other members have said. That nefarious practice is no longer something that just happens in alleys near venues; it happens on the digital highway—the internet—and it needs sophisticated, robust policing. We heard in committee that our current laws are not considered robust enough by UEFA to give fans adequate protection from ticket touting. That is the other reason why the bill was necessary.

Committee members were keen to ensure, however, that the provisions would not restrict the citizens of Glasgow from going about their businesses lawfully or from participating fully in the celebrations. As a result of our scrutiny, we were able to ensure that more clarity was provided regarding the charity auctioning of tickets, for example. There had been a concern that such auctions could get caught up and end up on the wrong side of the law. I thank the minister for clarifying that matter.

There was concern that the apparent restrictions on entertainment in the controlled zones could impact on the many talented young people who busk on the streets of Glasgow. Coincidentally, we were considering that point as BBC Scotland was making “Emeli Sandé’s Street Symphony”, which was looking for Scotland’s best buskers. As Emeli Sandé said,

“Buskers bring such colour and joy to our streets. They don’t get the credit they deserve, but cities would be very grey places without them.”

I am pleased that, as a result of the concerns being highlighted by the committee during our evidence sessions, the colour and joy that are provided by young Glaswegian performers will add to the atmosphere of next year’s major event.

15:46  



Brian Whittle (South Scotland) (Con)

I am pleased to speak again on the bill as it returns to clear its final legislative hurdle. Although the amendments to the bill have been considerably fewer and less controversial than those that have been lodged for other bills that the Parliament has scrutinised, that does not diminish the bill’s importance.

In 2020, Glasgow will host one of the world’s most significant football tournaments, as well as the 26th conference of the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Although those events are very different in their aims and ambitions, both have the potential to deliver real benefits to Glasgow and to Scotland as a whole.

Hosting Euro 2020 can only serve to bolster Glasgow’s growing reputation as a top-tier venue for sporting events. In recent years, the city has seen a steady stream of major national and international championships, and I for one am excited to see what the future could bring. In particular, I draw the Parliament’s attention to a full indoor athletics programme in 2020 at the Emirates arena, which includes the UK Amateur Athletic Association championships. I am slightly jealous, as I never got the opportunity to participate in such an event in front of a home crowd. However, I would recommend the Emirates as a venue for international athletics to anybody who is excited by that kind of sport.

As the UK and Ireland work together on a bid to host the 2030 world cup, Euro 2020 is an important opportunity to showcase the contribution that Glasgow can make to such a bid, and I suggest that, in making the bid, there are many things that we could learn off the back of next year’s championship.

During stage 2 consideration, it was clear that the need for legislation had to be balanced against the impact on the communities that will be affected by the event, particularly with regard to enforcement powers and street trading. I welcome the amendments that Ben Macpherson has made in order to improve the drafting of the bill and to deliver greater clarity around the application of enforcement powers and the use of force. I would hope that, ultimately, there should be little or no need to use those powers. Indeed, I will be interested to know, following the event, whether it will be possible to find out where and how the various powers in the bill have been applied. That would provide a good learning opportunity for potential future events.

I will touch again on the need for public engagement and awareness ahead of the event. It is hugely important that those people who are affected by the championship and its associated event zones are fully informed ahead of the event taking place and are able to obtain support and advice quickly and easily should issues arise. I ask the minister to indicate, in his closing speech, whether he will be able to provide some detail about what public engagement is planned.

It will not be a surprise to members to hear that I welcome any opportunity to speak about sport in the chamber, not just because it is something that I pretend to know a little bit about, but because of the difference that sport can make to people’s lives. Sadly, in Scotland, discussions about football tend to centre on the blight of sectarianism and the damaging effect that it has on individuals and communities. However, at its best, football can bring people together in a way that few other sports can, and the passion and energy of the crowd at Hampden can do everything from being the basis of lifelong friendships with fellow supporters to being the inspiration that drives a young fan to train and become our next footballing superstar.

Euro 2020 is a major opportunity to show the best of what Glasgow and Scotland have to offer and, as my colleague Rachael Hamilton said, we will support the bill at decision time. I look forward to more world-class sport in Scotland, and I hope that it will mean a long-term impact on the health of our nation and that it will enthuse people into taking part in activity in the future.

15:50  



James Kelly (Glasgow) (Lab)

I am pleased to speak in support of the passage of the bill, which is an essential part of supporting the infrastructure for the UEFA 2020 championships.

The championships in Glasgow represent a major opportunity for the city and the country to hold and showcase a premier sporting event. It comes on the back of the successful 2014 Commonwealth games and the 2018 European championships. The minister is correct to point out that it is essential to have proper legislation in place to support the regulation of the championships.

The main parts of the bill look at ticket touting, enforcement, and street trading. Throughout the passage of the legislation, the minister has got the balance between all those provisions correct.

We all abhor the practice of ticket touting. People enjoy sporting events, pop concerts and other large public events, and there is nothing worse than people who trade outside the venues and prey on the emotions of people who want to get into those events in order to get them to pay over the odds. It is a totally unacceptable practice, and I am glad that Scotland is playing its part in supporting UEFA by making it clear that such practices are unacceptable, and that ticket touts will be routed out and brought to justice accordingly.

I am not a committee member. I spoke in the stage 1 debate and am speaking in the stage 3 debate, but it has been interesting to follow the legislation’s progress. Concerns about enforcement were raised at stage 1 and I am glad to see that the minister, working with individual MSPs and the committee, has been able to resolve those issues. I know that there were concerns in the Mount Florida and Hampden areas about how the legislation would be enforced and the impact that it would have on businesses and individuals. The agreement that any enforcement action has to have a police officer present has given significant reassurance on that. A balance has also been struck around trading not infringing too much on businesses.

All that is welcome, and the passage of the legislation tonight will allow us to look forward to the championships next year.

In his opening, the minister regaled us with some of his great sporting memories. I do not think that he was alive at the time of the 1960 European cup final with Real Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt, but I am sure that he will have watched all the goals on YouTube.

I first visited Hampden for a football match in April 1972, when Celtic defeated Kilmarnock 3-1 in a Scottish cup semi-final. For a bit of symmetry, my most recent visit to the stadium took place last month, when Scotland defeated Kazakhstan 3-1. In between times, I have made a lot of great memories with family and friends at that stadium. Come next year, I hope that we will see a fantastic event and some great matches, and I hope that Scotland is part of it.

15:54  



Annabelle Ewing (Cowdenbeath) (SNP)

I am pleased to have been called to speak in this stage 3 debate on the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill. As a member of the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee, the lead committee responsible for scrutinising the bill, I want at the outset to thank our excellent clerks. They were of enormous help in ensuring that the committee could discharge its responsibility, notwithstanding the accelerated timescale in which we had to carry out our work.

As we have heard, the bill is necessary to ensure that the appropriate work is in place for Glasgow to join the 11 other European cities that are to host Euro 2020 matches. The key provisions of the bill deal, first, with the prohibition of ticket touting. As we have heard, that is essential to ensure that as many fans as possible can go to the matches. In that regard, it is welcome that the minister has accepted the case for an express exemption for the charity auction of tickets.

Secondly, the bill is intended to protect the commercial interests of the sponsors by preventing so-called ambush marketing. To that end, there is provision for a prohibition on unauthorised street trading and unauthorised advertising within the three event zones when they are in operation. As the minister said, those are the Hampden park zone, the Merchant City zone and the George Square zone. The minister is to be commended for recognising the importance of buskers and charity collectors being able to go about their business: that is an excellent result for both and will allow for Glasgow’s day-to-day goings-on.

Finally, the bill sets forth various provisions concerning the enforcement of the provisions that I have just mentioned. It was that part of the bill that led to the greater part of the debate at stages 1 and 2. There was concern that the powers as drafted were potentially too wide. Again, I am pleased to note that the minister listened to the concerns and responded positively.

The bill will pave the way for Glasgow to host yet another major sporting event and puts it well and truly on the map as one of the world’s top cities for sporting events. Euro 2020 matches to be played at Hampden are expected to attract an estimated 200,000-plus visitors to the city. That will be, of course, not just good for sport in Glasgow, but great news for shops, hotels, restaurants and bars. It will add hugely to the cultural life of the city.

The icing on the cake for tartan army supporters in my constituency of Cowdenbeath, and indeed for tartan army supporters right across Scotland, would be for Scotland, first, to beat Israel in the 26 March play-off and then to win the play-off final on 31 March—for surely, we must always dream big.

15:58  



Claire Baker

I thank members for their contributions, as well as all those who worked on the bill and all those who provided evidence to the committee. Joan McAlpine provided a helpful reprise of the bill’s passage and reminded us of the challenges that the committee faced in having such a short timescale for scrutiny and the degree of frustration that that could not have been avoided. Brian Whittle made a good point about evaluation of the legislation after the event. That was raised during scrutiny of the bill. A bit more knowledge of how similar legislation worked during the Commonwealth games would have been helpful in our consideration of the bill.

UEFA is often open to criticism as an organisation, and football at this level is a serious business. Ross Greer spoke about the impact on small businesses and the reality of the corporate interests of UEFA in this kind of tournament. In terms of commercial rights and the impacts on existing businesses, trading and advertising restrictions are part and parcel of major sponsored events such as Euro 2020. The committee heard that the vast majority of UEFA’s income comes from broadcasting and commercial rights, part of which is signing major sponsorship deals that then need to be protected. The argument was made that sponsorship reduces the need for public funding.

The bill brings in offences around trading and advertising. They exist to protect UEFA-approved vendors and sponsors during the hours of operation of events. The bill sets out how that will be regulated and enforced.

As Annabelle Ewing said, more than 200,000 visitors are expected to come to Glasgow during the tournament, and local shops, bars, restaurants and businesses are all set to benefit. The vast majority of businesses in Glasgow will be able to operate as normal during the championship, and they should benefit from the influx of visitors to the city. However, critical to all businesses will be the timely provision of information, including on when restrictions will apply and any alternative arrangements for affected businesses. Awareness raising will be key to allowing businesses and individuals time to prepare and to adjust practices, if required.

On the enforcement of commercial rights, the bill draws on arrangements that were used for the Commonwealth games, and staff who acted as enforcement officers during the games should bring a degree of experience to the management of the tournament.

Returning to ticket touting, although offences to do with trading and advertising will apply only in event zones, the ticketing offence that the bill will introduce will be applicable across Scotland and, in the context of electronic sales, will even apply outside the country.

The UEFA championship should be a demonstration of sporting excellence and fair play, but there are many challenges in football. Incidents of racist behaviour must be dealt with. It must be made clear that such behaviour is unacceptable, and a strong response is needed, including from UEFA, to any such incidents during the tournament. It must be made clear in advance of the tournament that racist behaviour will not be accepted.

The recent announcement that Russia has been excluded from international competition for four years—although its team can participate in the championship—brings performance-enhancing drugs into the discussion about fairness in football.

Whether we are talking about grass-roots clubs or international tournaments, football is a game that needs to protect its reputation for fair play. As James Kelly said, ticket touting has no place in the world of sport, and the bill sets out that it is an offence and that there are consequences. Access to these sought-after matches must be fair, and I hope that the bill will be effective in achieving that aim. I say “hope”, because the amount of profit that is to be gained from ticket touting means that it remains an unscrupulous business. There also needs to be a public awareness campaign, and UEFA has an important role to play in making its policy clear. Fans who buy tickets that have been resold could find that they are not valid, and that needs to be made clear. I welcome the minister’s statement that regulations on the matter are to be introduced earlier, which I hope will raise awareness of the consequences of ticket touting.

In my opening speech, I mentioned the role of volunteers. During the Commonwealth games, the Big Lottery Fund Scotland introduced the volunteers support pot, the purpose of which was to provide resources to allow equal access to volunteering. I wonder whether any consideration has been given to whether there is a need for a similar resource for the upcoming championship. We know that 600 volunteers are expected to be recruited, and I would want us to make sure that everybody who was interested in performing that role was able to participate.

Although events such as the Commonwealth games have shown us that any anticipation of them having a legacy of increased physical activity across the country should be tempered—it is recognised how challenging it is to increase physical activity through the hosting of major events, and much work remains to be done in that area—they still have benefits in that regard and, as far as possible, we should encourage current fans, the young and others who are new to the sport not just to watch the matches but to participate in the sport. I hope that events will be held across Scotland that seek to encourage that, and I am sure that we would all love to see, years from now, a national team that was inspired by the 2020 UEFA championship having taken place in Glasgow.

16:03  



Alexander Stewart (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)

I am very pleased to close the stage 3 debate on the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill for the Scottish Conservatives.

As we have already heard, the bill is intended to address those areas of Scots law that currently do not meet UEFA’s standards on protecting the commercial interests of the event sponsors, but it raised concerns in relation to the European convention on human rights. Those concerns were that the restrictions on street trading and advertising could inhibit business. The Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee felt that the provisions in question represented a significant difficulty.

Equally, the powers that the bill granted to enforcement officers to search private property could have affected the rights of individuals. The impact on businesses’ ability to enjoy trading will be limited to the three event zones: the Hampden park zone, the George Square zone and the Merchant City zone. Given that those are large parts of the city of Glasgow, it is important that the bill proposes safeguards in relation to enforcement officers entering properties. That can occur with the consent of the occupier and if the enforcement officer is accompanied by a police officer or, as we heard earlier, if a sheriff has supported that.

We have heard from strong and committed members of Parliament, who have given their views on where they stand. The minister talked about a milestone. That is right: the bill is a real milestone. He and the members of the committee worked together and I certainly benefited from the meetings and the discussion. I thank the minister for the interaction, because that helped the process.

We will ensure that there is a positive impact from the event, and that the reputations of Glasgow and Scotland are enhanced. That is vital. My colleague Rachael Hamilton spoke about the real advantages to the culture and tourism sectors across the city of Glasgow and about the event zones ensuring that businesses have the opportunity to enhance their reputation.

We have also touched on ticket touting laws and the difficulties that they have caused.

The main issue, however, is ensuring that individuals and organisations get the chance to develop jobs and opportunities. That could be a real success. We saw such success in the Commonwealth games. That is very important.

Claire Baker, rightly, touched on the success of the Commonwealth games, which gave us an example of what we should be looking for as we examined the bill.

The co-operation between Glasgow City Council and the business community has been touched on many times. The conversations that we had with people, and those people who gave us evidence, were able to tell us what they wanted to see.

Ross Greer spoke about a “fair and proportionate” approach. It is right that we should look to ensure that individuals and organisations are given fair and proportionate support. Businesses need that. We want to ensure that small businesses are protected in the environment. That came through loud and clear from the negotiations and discussions that we took forward. Working together has ensured that there has been a real opportunity.

The Scottish Conservatives support the bill at stage 3. Our main concerns were about ticket touting and enforcement officers, but they have been broadly dealt with in amendments to the bill, which we welcomed, as they provided further clarity. As I said earlier, the minister liaised with and consulted us and other individuals and organisations to ensure that the amendments were supported. The intention of the amendments was to protect, and to ensure that we could welcome additional organisations and individuals and the amendments that dealt with ticket touting and UEFA’s restrictions will enable that.

Throughout the discussion with UEFA, there was positive feedback and praise for the Scottish Government’s determination that primary legislation would be necessary to meet the requirements of hosting the games in the 2020 championships.

As a member of the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee, I pay tribute to the many individuals and organisations who participated in giving us evidence and information about would happen and what they wanted to see.

Demand for tickets will exceed supply, and the bill’s aim is to provide a deterrent to anyone who would seek to make an illegal profit from the resale of tickets.

The championships will once again be a showcase for Scotland at its best. They will provide locals and visitors with the chance to participate, and that will enhance Glasgow’s reputation as a venue and Scotland’s reputation as a country, full of opportunities, that gives individuals the chance to develop and expand.

I am delighted to close on behalf of the Conservatives.

16:08  



Ben Macpherson

Many thanks to all members for their contributions to the debate.

It is clear that there is consensus across the chamber in recognising the significant opportunity in hosting Euro 2020 and what it will bring to Glasgow and Scotland as a whole.

From the introduction of the bill, there has been consensus that none of us wants to see match tickets being sold at inflated prices. The provisions on ticket touting will help to deter that and to ensure that action can be taken when it happens.

The provisions on street trading and advertising have been generally supported, which is very welcome.

As I said at the start of the debate, there has been less agreement about the provisions on enforcement. However, we have worked well together. I acknowledge again the constructive way in which members engaged with me throughout the parliamentary process to improve the provisions.

Members have made a number of points. First, many members talked about the significant benefits of having the Euro 2020 football matches in Scotland in June and July next year. As Claire Baker said, the UEFA festival and the fan zones in George Square and the Merchant City will not just bring extra economic activity for local businesses but encourage young people and others to take up football and engage in the spirit of the tournament. There will be benefits to small and medium-sized enterprises throughout Glasgow.

As well as the effect on the local economy, there will be wider effects. Rachael Hamilton made an important point about the effect on tourism, and Brian Whittle was right to talk about how the football matches could inspire the next generation, with social benefits and benefits for individual and public health. We need to think about that, and we must learn lessons for future events—that point was well made.

Joan McAlpine and Annabelle Ewing talked about the benefits of having 200,000 visitors to Glasgow, as well as the opportunities for buskers and charities, thanks to amendments to the bill that were made during the parliamentary process.

During that process and today there has been a debate about proportionality. I am glad that the consensus across the Parliament is that we got the enforcement powers right in the end. Much of that was to do with the need to bring clarity by improving the drafting of the bill. Our work together on that has been positive and has undoubtedly produced a better bill than we had at the start of the process and in the run-up to 2008. I am grateful for members’ engagement on the issue.

Rachael Hamilton and other members talked about engagement. The Get Ready Glasgow website is up and running and carries information about Euro 2020, including the draft map of the Hampden park zone. My officials spoke to residents recently at a broader Euro 2020 event and will raise awareness of the ticket touting, street trading and advertising provisions at similar events. We have liaised directly with Mount Florida Community Council, which James Kelly and Rachael Hamilton mentioned. Of course, the bill requires Glasgow City Council to publish guidance on the street trading and advertising restrictions. That will help businesses and the public to understand the provisions.

Along with partner organisations, we will continue to look for opportunities to engage with the public. We have spoken to a range of stakeholders. More than 2,300 local residents and businesses in the Hampden park area have been invited to attend information sessions, and we are being and will continue to be proactive on social media.

Claire Baker and other members talked about the potential for introducing a framework bill that would cover future major events. We discussed the issue at stage 2. I have said that the Scottish Government will evaluate the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill—if it passes today—in due course, before we give consideration to the appropriateness of a framework bill.

Work is under way to ensure that appropriate information is collected during the championship, to enable such consideration to take place. It will involve a number of organisations, including Glasgow City Council, Police Scotland and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service. We are considering how best to involve businesses and football fans in collecting the information that is needed. We expect to consider the implications carefully before we make a decision on a framework bill.

We also need to consider the broader issue of ticket touting at other events, taking devolved and reserved powers into account. We strongly oppose ticket touting. However, the Scottish Government will need to look carefully at the interaction with reserved powers, including on consumer protection, when considering whether a future framework bill that includes ticket touting could be progressed. I look forward to engaging on those points as we reflect on the legislation. A number of committee members raised that issue, and they were right to do so, because that could be a positive outcome as the Parliament considers legislation after this event.

Mike Rumbles

If we abolish ticket touting or make it illegal as part of this bill, surely, using devolved powers, we can make it illegal generally.

Ben Macpherson

There is a complicated balance between the specific application of the provisions to this event and the general considerations around consumer protection for a range of events, which we would need to look at if a framework bill were to be effective. We will want to consider that as an outcome of this bill. The Scottish Government wants to see this bill succeed, and that will help inform our thinking, as we go forward.

On the point that Mike Rumbles made about the exemption for UEFA, I do not want to go through the arguments that we had at stage 2, but I am grateful for the debate that we had on that point. In considering how we will go forward, and the future debate on a potential framework bill, that will be a useful dialogue to have had.

I assure members that, as we move towards laying regulations in early 2020 and publishing guidance, we will continue to raise awareness of the provisions in the bill. We have been working with event partners and others to engage with those who are affected and we will continue to do that after the regulations are in place, so that we can ensure that the restrictions are understood.

I thank officials and clerks for their input and members for their contributions. Hampden park has been home to Scotland international matches since 1906, and it still holds the European record for attendance at an international football match—that was achieved in 1937. Therefore, it is fitting that it will again be a fantastic home for European football next summer, with Glasgow city centre providing an epicentre for broader celebration of football and the championship.

The Scottish Government has welcomed scrutiny of the bill, and I am confident that together we have produced a piece of legislation that is fit for purpose and allows Scotland to deliver the gold standard for major events, once again. By passing this bill, Parliament will help to ensure that that happens. I commend the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill and I ask members to pass it.

The Presiding Officer (Ken Macintosh)

I am minded to accept a motion without notice to bring forward decision time to now.

Motion moved,

That, under Rule 11.2.4, Decision Time be brought forward to 4.18 pm.—[Graeme Dey]

Motion agreed to.

Final vote on the Bill

After the final discussion of the Bill, MSPs vote on whether they think it should become law.

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Final vote transcript

The Presiding Officer (Ken Macintosh)

There is only one question to be put. The question is, that motion S5M-20221, in the name of Ben Macpherson, on the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill, at stage 3, be agreed to. As this is a piece of legislation, we will have a vote.

For

Wightman, Andy (Lothian) (Green)
Whittle, Brian (South Scotland) (Con)
Wheelhouse, Paul (South Scotland) (SNP)
Watt, Maureen (Aberdeen South and North Kincardine) (SNP)
Torrance, David (Kirkcaldy) (SNP)
Tomkins, Adam (Glasgow) (Con)
Todd, Maree (Highlands and Islands) (SNP)
Stewart, Kevin (Aberdeen Central) (SNP)
Stewart, David (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
Stewart, Alexander (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
Stevenson, Stewart (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP)
Smyth, Colin (South Scotland) (Lab)
Smith, Liz (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
Smith, Elaine (Central Scotland) (Lab)
Simpson, Graham (Central Scotland) (Con)
Russell, Michael (Argyll and Bute) (SNP)
Ruskell, Mark (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Green)
Rumbles, Mike (North East Scotland) (LD)
Rowley, Alex (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
Ross, Gail (Caithness, Sutherland and Ross) (SNP)
Robison, Shona (Dundee City East) (SNP)
Rennie, Willie (North East Fife) (LD)
Paterson, Gil (Clydebank and Milngavie) (SNP)
Neil, Alex (Airdrie and Shotts) (SNP)
Mountain, Edward (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
McNeill, Pauline (Glasgow) (Lab)
McMillan, Stuart (Greenock and Inverclyde) (SNP)
McKelvie, Christina (Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse) (SNP)
McKee, Ivan (Glasgow Provan) (SNP)
McDonald, Mark (Aberdeen Donside) (Ind)
McArthur, Liam (Orkney Islands) (LD)
McAlpine, Joan (South Scotland) (SNP)
Mason, Tom (North East Scotland) (Con)
Mason, John (Glasgow Shettleston) (SNP)
Martin, Gillian (Aberdeenshire East) (SNP)
Maguire, Ruth (Cunninghame South) (SNP)
Macpherson, Ben (Edinburgh Northern and Leith) (SNP)
Mackay, Rona (Strathkelvin and Bearsden) (SNP)
MacGregor, Fulton (Coatbridge and Chryston) (SNP)
Macdonald, Lewis (North East Scotland) (Lab)
MacDonald, Gordon (Edinburgh Pentlands) (SNP)
MacDonald, Angus (Falkirk East) (SNP)
Lyle, Richard (Uddingston and Bellshill) (SNP)
Lockhart, Dean (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
Lindhurst, Gordon (Lothian) (Con)
Leonard, Richard (Central Scotland) (Lab)
Lamont, Johann (Glasgow) (Lab)
Kidd, Bill (Glasgow Anniesland) (SNP)
Kerr, Liam (North East Scotland) (Con)
Kelly, James (Glasgow) (Lab)
Johnstone, Alison (Lothian) (Green)
Halcro Johnston, Jamie (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
Johnson, Daniel (Edinburgh Southern) (Lab)
Hyslop, Fiona (Linlithgow) (SNP)
Hepburn, Jamie (Cumbernauld and Kilsyth) (SNP)
Haughey, Clare (Rutherglen) (SNP)
Harvie, Patrick (Glasgow) (Green)
Harris, Alison (Central Scotland) (Con)
Harper, Emma (South Scotland) (SNP)
Hamilton, Rachael (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire) (Con)
Griffin, Mark (Central Scotland) (Lab)
Greer, Ross (West Scotland) (Green)
Greene, Jamie (West Scotland) (Con)
Gray, Iain (East Lothian) (Lab)
Grant, Rhoda (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
Grahame, Christine (Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale) (SNP)
Gougeon, Mairi (Angus North and Mearns) (SNP)
Golden, Maurice (West Scotland) (Con)
Gilruth, Jenny (Mid Fife and Glenrothes) (SNP)
Gibson, Kenneth (Cunninghame North) (SNP)
Freeman, Jeane (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) (SNP)
Fraser, Murdo (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
Forbes, Kate (Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch) (SNP)
FitzPatrick, Joe (Dundee City West) (SNP)
Finnie, John (Highlands and Islands) (Green)
Findlay, Neil (Lothian) (Lab)
Fee, Mary (West Scotland) (Lab)
Fabiani, Linda (East Kilbride) (SNP)
Ewing, Annabelle (Cowdenbeath) (SNP)
Dornan, James (Glasgow Cathcart) (SNP)
Doris, Bob (Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn) (SNP)
Dey, Graeme (Angus South) (SNP)
Denham, Ash (Edinburgh Eastern) (SNP)
Davidson, Ruth (Edinburgh Central) (Con)
Cunningham, Roseanna (Perthshire South and Kinross-shire) (SNP)
Crawford, Bruce (Stirling) (SNP)
Corry, Maurice (West Scotland) (Con)
Constance, Angela (Almond Valley) (SNP)
Cole-Hamilton, Alex (Edinburgh Western) (LD)
Coffey, Willie (Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley) (SNP)
Chapman, Peter (North East Scotland) (Con)
Carson, Finlay (Galloway and West Dumfries) (Con)
Carlaw, Jackson (Eastwood) (Con)
Campbell, Aileen (Clydesdale) (SNP)
Burnett, Alexander (Aberdeenshire West) (Con)
Brown, Keith (Clackmannanshire and Dunblane) (SNP)
Briggs, Miles (Lothian) (Con)
Boyack, Sarah (Lothian) (Lab)
Bowman, Bill (North East Scotland) (Con)
Bibby, Neil (West Scotland) (Lab)
Beattie, Colin (Midlothian North and Musselburgh) (SNP)
Beamish, Claudia (South Scotland) (Lab)
Ballantyne, Michelle (South Scotland) (Con)
Balfour, Jeremy (Lothian) (Con)
Baker, Claire (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
Baillie, Jackie (Dumbarton) (Lab)
Arthur, Tom (Renfrewshire South) (SNP)
Allan, Dr Alasdair (Na h-Eileanan an Iar) (SNP)
Adamson, Clare (Motherwell and Wishaw) (SNP)
Adam, George (Paisley) (SNP)

The Presiding Officer

The result of the division is: For 110, Against 0, Abstentions 0.

Motion agreed to,

That the Parliament agrees that the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill be passed.

UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill as passed

UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill printing changes after the Bill as passed

Printing changes are changes to the text of a Bill. It will not change the legal effect of the Bill.

This Bill was passed on 17 December 2019 and became an Act on 23 January 2020. 
Find the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Act on legislation.gov.uk

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