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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-10124: Dean Lockhart (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 3 July 2017

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the (a) discussions it is having and (b) action it is taking with the UK Government regarding the UK industrial strategy.

Answered by: Keith Brown 19 July 2017

The Scottish Government continues to engage with UK Government on the Industrial Strategy.

On 31 March 2017, BEIS and Scottish Government Permanent Secretaries’ held a roundtable with senior Scottish industry representatives and a separate round table with senior energy sector representatives.

I met with Rt Hon Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, on 11 April 2017 to discuss the Industrial Strategy and on the same day, Mr Clark also chaired a morning reception to engage with Scottish businesses.

On 26 June 2017, John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills and Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy met with the Chief Executives of RCUK and Innovate UK. The following day, a further meeting took place that also included Shirley-Anne Somerville, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science where discussions took place on the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

As Mr Wheelhouse highlighted in PQ S5W-08907 on 4 May 2017, the Scottish Business Growth Group will continue to provide a forum to discuss the Industrial Strategy.

I was due to meet with Mr Clark again on 2 July 2017 to discuss how best we could work with the UK Government to ensure that the planned UK Industrial Strategy and associated funding delivers maximum benefit for Scotland. Regrettably, this meeting was cancelled by the Secretary of State.

Many of the areas set out in the Industrial Strategy consultation paper, such as skills, business support and trade and investment support, are devolved to the Scottish Government and it is important that this is considered in how the Industrial Strategy is taken forward. We will continue to work closely with the UK Government to achieve this.

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