Early day motion 2822
Dear Tom Harris,
I read this article today:
It brought to light again the fact that Gaelic is not represented at a
UK wide level, yet Welsh is.
Will you support Gaelic to be recognised as an official UK language
just as Welsh is? Perhaps you could raise an early day motion or
similar on my behalf?
Ensuring Gaelic is recognised officially by the UK would generate many
employment opportunities in Scotland as a whole as well as in your own
(Signed with an electronic signature in accordance with subsection 7(3)
of the Electronic Communications Act 2000.)
Dear Mr Wallace,
Thank you for contacting Tom Harris MP.
Gaelic does enjoy full legal status though responsibility now lies with Holyrood rather than Westminster.
In a written answer to the House of Lords on 12 June 2003 (Hansard WA70), Lord Evans of Temple Guiting stated on behalf of the then Labour Government: "The United Kingdom Government ratified the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in March 2001. As a signatory to the Charter, the Government have signalled their clear commitment to maintain and promote the use of indigenous minority languages across the United Kingdom, including Gaelic. The Gaelic language has, therefore, official status within the United Kingdom, although the Scottish Executive has devolved responsibility for the development of the language within Scotland."
In April 2005, the Scottish Parliament unanimously passed the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 which was then given Royal Assent in June 2005. The Act recognises Gaelic as an official language of Scotland, commanding equal respect with English. The Act establishes Bòrd na Gàidhlig as a statutory body and requires the creation of a national plan to provide strategic direction to Gaelic development in Scotland. The Act also provides a framework for the creation of Gaelic language plans by Scottish public authorities. The legislation is designed to promote the use of Gaelic, secure the status of the language and ensure its long-term future.
Parliamentary Assistant to Tom Harris MP
Sgrìobh mi air ais air 9mh latha an Gearran:
Thank you for that information, however I already knew of that.
The response still does not address my original query in that Gaelic, although having official status in the UK, is only an official language in Scotland and not the UK. Welsh for example is an official UK language and can be seen and us used in public organisations such as DVLA and DirectGov, Passport Office and other areas which are not devolved to Scotland.
My question therefore for Tom Harris and all Scottish MPs is if they will push for such areas not currently devolved to the Scottish Parliament to embrace the Gaelic language and see its UK status changed to an official UK language. I believe such an amendment can be introduced to the Scotland Bill that is going through just now.
Agus fhuair mi an freagairt seo air ais:
Thank you for your email.
Tom was unaware of this problem and thinks that this should be addressed. To that end he will table an EDM in the Commons on the issue.
Hopefully this will raise awareness of the situation and put pressure on the Government to act.
Parliamentary Researcher to Tom Harris MP
Feumaidh sinn feitheamh a-nis airson taic bho BhP eile agus freagairt bhon riaghaltas! Chì sinn...