Scottish Affairs Committee: Press Notice

Announcement 38 of Session 2008-09

21 October 2009

Scottish Affairs Committee announces new inquiry

The Scottish Affairs Committee has agreed to conduct an inquiry on:

Scotland and the UK: cooperation and communication between governments

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.

Terms of reference

The Committee will be looking 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 welcomes written evidence from interested parties on any, or all, aspects of the inquiry by 12 November. The Committee will be arranging public oral evidence sessions, and details of these will be announced in due course.

Submissions should be in Word or rich text format and sent by e-mail to  The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address.  The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from.

Submissions must address the terms of the inquiry and should not as a rule exceed 2,000 words.  Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document should include an executive summary.                 


Committee Membership is as follows: Mr Mohammad Sarwar MP (Lab, Glasgow Central) (Chairman),  Alistair Carmichael MP (Lib Dem, Orkney and Shetland), Ms Katy Clark MP (Lab, North Ayrshire and Arran), Mr Ian Davidson MP (Lab/Co-operative, Glasgow South West), Mr Jim Devine MP (Lab, Livingston), Jim McGovern MP (Lab, Dundee West), David Mundell MP (Con, Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale), Lindsay Roy (Glenrothes), Mr Charles Walker MP (Con, Broxbourne), Mr Ben Wallace MP (Con, Lancaster and Wyre) and Pete Wishart MP (SNP, Perth and North Perthshire).

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