THE UK Government will “not intervene” in the safe consumption room pilot following the Lord Advocate’s statement, Alister Jack has said.

The Scottish Secretary said that while UK Government policy is against drug use and that safe consumption rooms are “not the easiest solution”, Tory ministers would not block the pilot set for Glasgow.

During Scotland Questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday, Jack acknowledged that the First Minister urged the UK Government not to block the pilot, and warned that without support from the Home Office it would only go ahead in a “limited” capacity.

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Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain earlier this week gave a pilot for a safe consumption facility the green light by stating that drug users would not be prosecuted for possession of illegal substances.

However she cautioned that her statement did not mean that the area would become “an exclusion zone whereby a range of criminality is tolerated”, and will not extend to any other criminal offences.

SNP MP Joanna Cherry initially asked regarding the devolution of drugs policy, with fellow SNP MP Marion Fellows pushing the Scottish Secretary on discussions that UK ministers had had with their Scottish counterparts regarding the pilot.

Speaking in the Commons, Jack said: “Drug consumption rooms are not the easiest solution Honourable Members may think.

The National: “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 the Lord Advocate decide to proceed with a pilot and on DCRs, drugs consumption rooms, the UK Government will not intervene.”

Earlier, the Scottish Secretary said there were “no plans” to devolve drug policy to the Scottish Government, despite a Home Affairs Committee report backing such a move if the UK Government refused to support a drug consumption room pilot in Glasgow.

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Jack also claimed that it was “disappointing” that the Scottish Government would not work with UK ministers on Project ADDER, the Tories drug policy that focuses on law enforcement.

“This offer was made with supporting funding, and the E in ADDER is for enforcement,” Jack told MPs.

“And I believe the police and the Procurator Fiscal Service should be enforcing the laws in Scotland, and not decriminalizing drugs because that helps drive people to health solutions.”

The National: Tommy Sheppard

Later, 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 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.”

The Scottish Secretary 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.

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“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.”

We told how the Lord Advocate (below) released a statement setting out that she would be “prepared to publish a prosecution policy that it would not be in the public interest to prosecute drug users for simple possession offences committed within a pilot safer drugs consumption facility”.

The National: Dorothy Bain KC

The pilot proposal was put forward by Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership and Police Scotland, facilitated by the Scottish Government.

Bain said she had not been asked to sign off on a specific pilot and that it would “not be appropriate” for her to do so, but her statement allows the plans to move forward for a city centre facility.

Police Scotland will still have the ability to “effectively police the facility” ensuring that the wider community, those operating the pilot and users of the facility are “kept safe”, the Lord Advocate added.

The UK Government has repeatedly rejected pleas for such a facility to be given approval, insisting that there is “no safe way to take illegal drugs”.

A Home Office spokesperson said it had "no plans" to consider safe consumption rooms in response to the FM's comments urging Westminster not to intervene.