§ 6. Mr. Charles Kennedy
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on his discussions with the Highland council in respect of the Skye bridge tolls. 
§ Mr. Kennedy
Will the Secretary of State take the opportunity to clarify the perhaps unfortunate impression given by the Minister with responsibility for transport in a television interview in Scotland last week when he was asked about the Labour party commitment that the discussions next week will take place against the backdrop of the unambiguous Labour party commitment—given locally during the election and nationally by the Minister—that it would work with the Highland council on a strategy for the abolition of the tolls? Will the Secretary of State confirm that that remains the context in which the discussions will take place? Does he agree that the atmosphere of those discussions would be assisted immeasurably locally if the Lord Advocate were to take early action to suspend, if not terminate and announce a complete amnesty on, the criminal charges against all those currently before the sheriff court?
§ Mr. Dewar
I appreciate the importance of the issue in the highlands and I recognise that the hon. Gentleman has long campaigned on it. I also appreciate the pressures that he is under from his constituents. We shall approach the talks constructively, but he must recognise that we have inherited a contract and any improvement will cost money that must be found from the Scottish block and, specifically, from the roads budget. That is a difficulty for us. All I can say is that the review will be intended to produce improvements, if possible, and a way forward by agreement, if that is possible. As for the hon. Gentleman's point about prosecution policy, the best way to solve that is for people not to break the law.
§ Madam Speaker
No. I have dealt with this issue before and the point of order must come after questions.
§ Madam Speaker
The hon. Gentleman is using up the time of other Members who have questions down and the right to put them.