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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-09966

  • Asked by: Jackie Dunbar, MSP for Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party
  • Date lodged: 20 July 2022
  • Current status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Tom Arthur on 21 July 2022


To ask the Scottish Government whether it will report on the outcome of the recent summit meeting of the British-Irish Council in Guernsey.


On 8 July 2022, the First Minister and I represented the Scottish Government at the summit meeting of the British-Irish Council hosted by the Government of Guernsey in St Peter Port. The meeting was attended by Ministers from all eight of the BIC Member Administrations and was chaired by the Chief Minister of Guernsey, Deputy Peter Ferbrache.

The Summit focussed on Collaborative Spatial Planning: The revitalisation of Towns, and included a site visit to a regeneration area of St Peter Port which I attended with fellow Planning Ministers from the BIC member Administrations. I also participated in a meeting of Planning Ministers on the CSP theme ahead of the main summit to discuss the work being carried out in this area in our own jurisdictions.

During the main Summit meeting the Council reflected on the latest political developments, with the First Minister communicating views on the cost of living crisis, the Northern Ireland Protocol and the war in Ukraine.

The Communiqué that was issued by the British-Irish Council after the meeting can be found on its website at:

37th British-Irish Council Summit, Government of Guernsey

08 July 2022


The British-Irish Council (BIC) held its 37th Summit meeting today hosted by the Government of Guernsey. The heads of delegation were welcomed by the Chief Minister of the Government of Guernsey, Deputy Peter Ferbrache. Deputy Ferbrache extended a particular welcome to Alfred Cannan MHK who attended his first British-Irish Council Summit as Chief Minister of the Isle of Man. A full list of Ministerial participants is attached.

Latest Political Developments

The Council reflected on the latest political developments across their administrations, and took the opportunity to engage on a number of topics of mutual interest. These included the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the impact of the rising cost of living particularly in the areas of fuel and housing, shared climate and decarbonisation objectives, ongoing relations with the EU, and the continuing challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cooperation on matters of mutual interest

In advance of the Summit meeting, Ministers with responsibility for collaborative spatial planning met to share best practice across BIC administrations on the contribution of spatial planning to town revitalisation and the decarbonisation agenda. The Council held a further discussion on this topic during the Summit meeting, noting that an opportunity exists to revitalise our towns and make them places where people want to live, do business and spend their leisure time, while delivering on a range of wider outcomes including inclusive development, addressing climate change, supporting green recovery and promoting active and sustainable travel.

The Council also welcomed the recent Ministerial Meeting of the BIC Energy work sector, which considered shared challenges including the threat of climate change, the desire to make greater progress in energy efficiency, and the need to ensure energy security.

The Council took the opportunity to discuss the recent work of the Council across all of its Work Sectors and to take note of the ongoing collaborative work across all administrations. This work includes recent symposia on the topics of “Social Value as a Driver for Social Enterprise” organised by the Social Inclusion work sector, and “Working together to meet the health needs of people experiencing homelessness and substance use issues”, jointly organised by the Housing and Drugs & Alcohol work sectors.

Next Summit Meeting

The Council noted that the next BIC Summit will be hosted by the UK Government.

BIC Secretariat

08 July 2022

List of Ministerial Delegates Government of Guernsey

Chief Minister

Deputy Peter Ferbrache

Minister for the Development & Planning Authority

Deputy Victoria Oliver

Irish Government


Michel Martin TD

Minister of State for Planning and Local Government

Peter Burke TD

Isle of Man Government

Chief Minister

Alfred Cannan MHK

Minister for the Cabinet Office

Kate Lord-Brennan MHK

Government of Jersey

Chief Minister

John Le Fondré

Minister for External Relations

Ian Gorst

Northern Ireland Executive

Minister for Infrastructure

John O’Dowd MLA

Minister of Finance

Conor Murphy MLA

Scottish Government

First Minister

Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP

Minister for Public Finance, Planning and Community Wealth

Tom Arthur MSP

UK Government

Minister of State for Northern Ireland

Rt Hon Conor Burns MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office

Lord Caine

Minister of State for Building Safety and Fire jointly at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Home Office

Lord Greenhalgh

Welsh Governmen t

First Minister

Rt Hon Mark Drakeford MS

Minister for Climate Change

Julie James MS