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Chamber and committees

Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture Committee


Legacy papers

Letter from the Convener to Cabinet Secretary for Constitution, External Affairs and Culture, 22 September 2021


Dear Angus,

Further to the helpful introductory session with you earlier this month, I wish to highlight a number of follow-up points arising from the legacy papers of our two predecessor committees.
The Europe Committee recommended that the Scottish Government, at Ministerial and official level as appropriate, should be present at Partnership Council meetings taking place under the governance framework that deal with devolved policy areas.

The Committee notes that the Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development attended the first meeting of the Partnership Council on Wednesday 9 June. The Committee also notes that the Minister “strongly set out that the Scottish Government should have a speaking role, particularly in relation to areas of devolved competence which the TCA directly impacts upon” but “this request was denied by the UK Government.”

The Committee would welcome an update on future involvement of the Scottish Government in the Partnership Council and the Specialised Committees including details of any further discussions which have taken place with the UK Government.

The Europe Committee recommended that scrutiny of new international trade agreements should be an on-going area of scrutiny, along with scrutiny of any regulations proposed by either UK or Scottish Ministers which intersect with devolved competences.

The Committee would welcome an update on whether there has been any progress in discussion with the UK Government on the involvement if the Scottish Government in trade negotiations which impact on devolved areas.

The Committee recommends that a successor Committee continue to scrutinise the implications of non-participation in Erasmus+ and the options that may be available for future participation by Scottish institutions and organisations in the programme.

The Committee would welcome an update on the implications of non-participation in Erasmus+ and the options that may be available for future participation by Scottish institutions and organisations in the programme.

The Constitution Committee legacy expert panel recommended that Parliament in consultation with the Scottish Government needs to clearly define its scrutiny role in response to Brexit. This should include consideration of an overall approach to the scrutiny of the policy development process in areas previously within EU competence which is proportionate and deliverable; the extent to which the Scottish Government can provide the Parliament and its committees with regular updates on developments in EU law within their respective remits; the appropriate and proportionate level of scrutiny of the operation of the future relationship with the EU, the keeping pace power, common frameworks and the market access principles and how these interact; meaningful scrutiny of inter-governmental working.

The Committee has asked our clerks to work with Scottish Government officials in taking forward this recommendation.

Robust guidance should be agreed between the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament on how transparent and meaningful scrutiny can be delivered in newly emerging areas such as the keeping pace power.

The Committee has asked our clerks to work with Scottish Government officials in taking forward this recommendation.

The Committee looks forward to your response and our continuing dialogue.

Yours Sincerely,
Clare Adamson, Convener of the Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture Committee


Related correspondences

Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture Committee

Legacy papers

Letter from the Convener to Cabinet Secretary for Constitution, External Affairs and Culture, 22 September 2021