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Chamber and committees

Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture Committee


Inquiry into the Scottish Government's international work

Overview

The Committee is looking at how the Scottish Government engages internationally and what it wants to achieve from this work.

This includes both its EU and wider international engagement, its support for international development and how its external affairs policies interact with UK government policies in these areas.

Background to the inquiry

You may find the following information and links helpful in reading and responding to the Committee’s questions.

Before the elections in May 2021, the previous committee recommended this Committee should consider undertaking an inquiry into the Scottish Government’s external affairs policy.

The inquiry will cover how the Scottish Government should engage with the European Union and the rest of the world following the UK’s departure from the EU.

The Scottish Government’s engagement with the EU is set in the context of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) which manages some areas of the UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU. You can find more information about the TCA in these frequently asked questions.

Call for views

To help the Committee with its inquiry, we asked for views on the following:

  • How should the Scottish Government engage with the EU and what should it seek to achieve from its engagement?
  • How might the EU-UK TCA affect how the Scottish Government engages with the EU and how will that engagement interact with UK government policy in this area?
  • What role should the Scottish Parliament have in scrutinising the operation of the TCA and how the TCA influences the Scottish government’s engagement with the EU?
  • What should the priorities of the Scottish Government be in developing its external affairs work and overseas presence, including its international development policy?
  • Does the Scottish Government’s budget for external affairs deliver value for money?
  • Please elaborate. What principles should inform the Scottish Government’s international engagement (e.g. economic, democratic, human rights, climate change or cultural / ‘soft power’ priorities)?
  • And should that engagement be based on geographical or policy focus? Please elaborate.
  • How do the Scottish Government’s EU and international policies interact with UK foreign and diplomatic policy in these areas?

Submissions received

This call for views closed at 5pm on 29 October 2021.

The Committee received 16 submissions to the call for views.

Read the submissions received.

The Committee also received the following submissions:

Papers by SPICe

The Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) has produced a summary of the written submissions received:

SPICe Summary of Written Submissions

For the Committee meeting on 16 December 2021, SPICe produced a paper on Scottish Government's international offices

Scottish Governments international offices

For the Committee meeting on 9 December 2021, SPICe produced a paper on European Parliament scrutiny of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement

European Parliament scrutiny of the EUUK Trade and Cooperation Agreement

For the Committee meeting on 25 November 2021, SPICe produced a paper on the Scottish Government External Affairs Policy Overview

Scottish Government External Affairs Policy Overview

Note: We aim to make all of the information we publish fully accessible. However, when documents are provided by external organisations this is not always possible. If you need the document provided in an alternative format please contact the Clerk to the Committee. Further information is available on our accessibility statement.

Oral evidence

13 January 2022

The committee took evidence from: 

Mark Majewsky Anderson, Director of Research and Innovation, Glasgow Caledonian University

Lewis Ryder-Jones, Deputy Chief Executive, Scotland's International Development Alliance

David Hope-Jones OBE, Chief Executive, Scotland Malawi Partnership

Committee papers

Papers for the meeting on 13 January 2022

Official Report (substantially verbatim transcript)

Official Report.of the meeting on 13 January 2022

16 December 2021

The committee took evidence from: 

Martin Johnson, EU Director, Brussels Office, Scottish Government

Dr Alexandra Stein, Head of Berlin office, Scottish Government

John Webster, Head of London Office, Scottish Government

Committee papers

Papers for the meeting on 16 December 2021

Official Report (substantially verbatim transcript)

Official Report of the meeting on 16 December 2021

 9 December 2021

The committee took evidence from: 

Anthony Salamone, Managing Director, European Merchants

Dr Fabian Zuleeg, Chief Executive and Chief Economist, European Policy Centre

David McAllister MEP, Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee, European Parliament

Committee papers

Papers for the meeting on 9 December 2021

Official Report (substantially verbatim transcript)

Official Report of the meeting on 9 December 2021

25 November 2021

The committee took evidence from: 

Dr Kirsty Hughes, Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE)

Dr Adam Marks, International Policy Executive, Law Society of Scotland

Professor Murray Pittock, Co-chair of Scottish Arts and Humanities Alliance (SAHA), University of Glasgow

Committee papers

Papers for the meeting on 25 November 2021

Official Report (substantially verbatim transcript)

Official Report of the meeting on 25 November 2021

Correspondence

COSLA contribution to Constitution Europe and External Affairs Inquiries

Letter from COSLA President to the Convener, 10 November 2021

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