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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-12905: Ash Denham (Edinburgh Eastern)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 21 November 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what the outcome was of the recent summit meeting of the British-Irish Council.

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop 22 November 2017

On 10 November 2017, the Jersey Government hosted a summit meeting of the British-Irish Council. The meeting was attended by Ministers from six of the Member Administrations and was chaired by the Jersey Chief Minister. The First Minister, the Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe and I represented the Scottish Government.

Although ministers from the Northern Ireland Executive and Welsh Government were not in attendance, officials from both administrations were present.

Discussions at the meeting centred on latest political developments including the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union and the recently released ‘Paradise Papers’.

In relation to EU exit, the Scottish Government voiced the concerns felt by businesses and citizens across Scotland at the lack of certainty and stressed the urgent need for clarity on the UK’s positions, including on transition arrangements.

The First Minister said the Paradise Papers highlighted the need for an approach to taxation that ensures that people pay what is due and for transparency.

The Council also discussed Creative Industries, on which the Jersey Government has been leading collaborative research in recent years. I welcomed the Creative Industries Work Sector report and highlighted the significant contribution that the creative industries makes to Scotland’s economy – in the year to 2015 we have seen GVA in the sector increase by 23.6%. I informed the Council of this Government’s continued commitment to support and grow our creative economy and reflected on the potential negative impacts that leaving the EU could have on this sector, which currently benefits significantly from freedom of movement and access to markets across the EU.

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/Communique%20Jersey%20Summit.pdf