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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-17559: Tom Arthur (Renfrewshire South)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 28 June 2018

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

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop 29 June 2018

On 22 June 2018, the Guernsey Government hosted a summit meeting of the British-Irish Council. The meeting was attended by Ministers from seven of the Member Administrations and was chaired by the Guernsey Chief Minister. The First Minister, the Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform and the Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe represented the Scottish Government.

Although ministers from the Northern Ireland Executive were not in attendance, officials from the Northern Ireland administration were present.

The meeting focused on the challenges facing the Marine Environment. Following a discussion by Environment Ministers where the Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change represented the Scottish Government, the First Minister informed the Council of the actions the Scottish Government is taking to tackle marine litter and the protection of Scottish waters, include the designation of 75 Marine Protection Areas covering over 20% of Scottish Waters and targets to reduce all waste by 15% by 2025.

Latest political developments were also discussed, including the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. The First Minister stressed the impact uncertainty was continuing to have on businesses in Scotland and voiced concern over the erosion of respect for the constitutional conventions underpinning devolution.

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

https://www.britishirishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/communiqu%C3%A9s/Thirtieth%20Summit%20Comminique%20-%20Guernsey_3.pdf