The Scottish Parliament has now passed the Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Bill at Stage 3. Once implemented, the bill will set out new laws and guidance around the purchasing of fireworks in Scotland with the aim of curbing their misuse. These include the introduction of a new license, which you will be required to have to purchase most fireworks unless exempt, and new “control” zones in designated areas where fireworks cannot be used unless exempt, which local authorities will have the ability to set up.

I was proud to close the Stage 3 debate for Scottish Labour and indicate our support for the legislation, particularly as it now criminalises the supply of fireworks to under-18s, which we believe is important for public safety. However, I also raised the risks of a black market in unregulated fireworks being created once the new licensing scheme is in place. I was not convinced it was necessary to introduce a licensing scheme which we understand will cost £20 to £50 but set out why I believe all fireworks should be banned in the new designated control zones, including public displays, particularly near facilities such as hospitals, care homes and animal shelters. As a member of the Criminal Justice Committee and Scottish Labour’s Shadow Spokesperson for Community Safety, I intend to continue monitoring how these new schemes operate in practice and putting forth arguments on how they can be improved.