Scottish Affairs Committee questions Secretaries of State

27 January 2010

Jack Straw, Secretary of State for Justice, and Jim Murphy, Secretary of State for Scotland, appear before the Scottish Affairs Committee as part of its inquiry into cooperation and communication between the Scottish and UK governments. Watch live from 2.30pm.

Witnesses

  • Rt Hon Jack Straw MP, Secretary of State for Justice
  • Rt Hon Jim Murphy MP, Secretary of State for Scotland
  • Dr Jim Gallagher, Director General, Devolution, Ministry of Justice

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
  • How will the revised Memorandum of Understanding and concordats between the UK Government and Scottish Executive improve matters

Image: iStockphoto

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