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UK govt ‘will not intervene’ to stop pilot drug consumption room being launched in Scotland | UK News

The UK government will not intervene to stop a pilot drug consumption room in Scotland, Alister Jack has said.

The Scottish secretary said ministers at Holyrood now have “no more excuses” to act after he made the commitment in the House of Commons.

SNP MPs had pressed the Westminster government to outline its position after Scotland’s Lord Advocate paved the way for such a facility to be established.

Dorothy Bain KC made clear that prosecuting the users of such a facility for simple drugs possession charges would “not be in the public interest”.

Mr Jack told the Commons: “Drug consumption rooms are not the easy solution that honourable members may think. There is no safe way to take illegal drugs.

“Drugs devastate lives, they ruin families, they damage communities, and the UK government believes that the police and the procurator fiscal service should fully enforce the law.

“However, if the Scottish government and Lord Advocate decide to proceed with a pilot on DCRs – drug consumption rooms – the UK government will not intervene.”

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SNP Scotland spokesman Tommy Sheppard described the Lord Advocate’s statement as a “game-changer” as it removes “one of the major obstacles” to a pilot facility to help prevent overdoses.

He added to Mr Jack: “Let me give him another chance to get on the right side of history and to actually say that he will support and work with the Scottish government to see this pilot project through.”

Mr Jack replied: “I think I’ve been quite clear that the UK government’s policy is not to proceed with drug consumption rooms and we believe drugs devastate families and destroy communities.

“But I’m also very clear that the Lord Advocate and the Scottish government appear to have achieved a workaround that allows them to have a pilot drug consumption room, probably in Glasgow, and the United Kingdom government will not intervene in that.

“So you now have no more excuses.”

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