Scottish Affairs Committee

Scotland and the UK: cooperation and communication between governments


Scotland and the UK: cooperation and communication between governments

Terms of reference

This inquiry will examine the arrangements in place for communication between the UK Government and the Scottish Executive when the UK Government formulates international policy which will specifically affect Scottish interests and devolved matters, with specific reference to the negotiation of the Prisoner Transfer Agreement between Libya and the UK and the case of Mr Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

The Committee will be looking in particular at:

  • Whether there are effective channels of communication between the UK Government and Scottish Executive to ensure that each is informed and can comment on decisions and policy of both administrations that affects the other;
  • In particular, whether there are satisfactory arrangements in place between the UK Government and Scottish Executive to assess effectively the impact of UK foreign policy on Scottish interests and vice versa;
  • How these arrangements functioned during the negotiations with Libya including the Prisoner Transfer Agreement (PTA) and the consideration by the Scottish Executive of the PTA application from Libya;
  • This inquiry will also include examination of the co-ordination between the UK Government and Scottish Executive in representing Scotland’s interests to the EU as well as Scotland’s interface with individual EU institutions. This was previously a separate inquiry which will now be included into the new inquiry;
  • How could the Joint Ministerial Committee be better used to improved the working relationships between the UK Government and Scottish Executive; and
  • How will the revised Memorandum of Understanding and concordats between the UK Government and Scottish Executive improve matters.

The Committee invited written evidence from interested partiesto be submitted  by 12 November 2009, the deadline for this has now passed.


Memoranda

Memoranda relating to the inquiry has been published on the internet.




Oral evidence

Previous sessions:

10 February 2010 
Chris Bryant MP, Minister for Europe, and David Slater, Deputy Head of the Communications, Institutions, Treaty and Iberia Group, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

27 January 2010 (Uncorrected)
Rt Hon Jack Straw MP, Secretary of State for Justice, Rt Hon Jim Murphy MP, Secretary of State for Scotland, and, Professor Jim Gallagher, Director General, Devolution, Ministry of Justice

12 January 2010 (Uncorrected)   
Alex Salmond MP, First Minister of Scotland and Sir John Elvidge KCB, Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Executive; Kenny MacAskill MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Robert Gordon CB, Director-General, Justice and Communities


Press notices

21/12/09 Evidence session with First Minister
21/10/09 New inquiry