Scotland to host British-Spanish Forum for first time


Influential decision-makers from the fields of politics, academia and business from Spain and across the UK will gather at the Scottish Parliament this weekend.  

The British-Spanish Tertulias was established in 1986 to create an annual forum to discuss issues affecting both countries and the EU.

Delegates will take part in sessions exploring a number of themes including health, religion and Europe’s relationship with America.

On Saturday, Sir David King, Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government will lead a debate on, “How important is scientific development to political debate?” The debate will look at how scientific change presents new legal and ethical problems for society and the relationship between scientists and politicians.

Scottish Parliament Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson MSP said:

"This is the first time this important meeting will be held in Scotland and the Scottish Parliament is pleased to be hosting the event. The impact of scientific change is a key focus of this year’s meeting so it is fitting that it is taking place in Scotland, a nation with a proud record of scientific achievement.

"The event brings together an extraordinary range of leaders and opinion-formers from both Spain and the UK, which I’m sure, will contribute to our understanding of issues of common interest to both countries.”

This year’s event will commence with a reception on Friday 16 November and run until Sunday 18 November. The first two days will be held at the Parliament while Sunday’s sessions will take place at Hopetoun House.

Background Information

The Tertulias has met every year since 1986 alternating between Spain and the United Kingdom and brings together senior ministers, parliamentarians, scientists, business leaders and academics from both countries. The chairmen of the British-Spanish Tertulias are the Rt Hon Michael Portillo and Sr D Oscar Fanjul.


An opening ceremony will take place in the Parliament’s Debating Chamber from 9.15am until 10.00am on Saturday 17 November. The ceremony will feature the debate entitled, “How important is scientific development to political debate?"

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