MSPs to examine Scotland’s overseas relationship


The Scottish Parliament’s Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture Committee is launching an inquiry into the Scottish Government’s international work.

Post Brexit constitutional change has inevitably impacted on how the Scottish Government engages with the European Union and the wider world.

The Committee will examine what the Scottish Government is trying to achieve in its work with foreign governments, international organisations like the European Union and also with its international development efforts. The committee will engage with stakeholders, examine best practice and, where necessary, make recommendations to inform the Scottish Government Policy.

The Committee is seeking to engage with stakeholders on what the Scottish Government’s external affairs policy could look like, recommend what areas should be prioritised, and to learn from examples of best practice.

It will examine issues including the Scottish Government’s engagement with the EU set in the context of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, successful examples of non-EU nations and regions engaging with the EU, and asking how the Scottish Government’s overseas work interacts with UK foreign and diplomatic efforts.

Speaking as the call for views launched, Committee Convener, Clare Adamson MSP, said:

“The Scottish Government has an overseas footprint including representative offices in key cities, an international development budget and staff working to promote Scotland and its interests internationally.

“A key question for the Committee now that the UK has left the EU is Scotland’s future relationship with the EU.  This includes how Trade and Co-operation Agreement will impact on how the Scottish Government engages with the EU and how that engagement interacts with UK government policy in this area.

“We are also keen to look at good ideas and best practice from elsewhere, so we can make recommendations where necessary.”


You can respond to the call for views at this page.

The Committee is asking questions including:

• 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?

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