Date lodged: 18 December 2018
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the work of the Joint Ministerial Committee (EU Negotiations) in 2018.
Answered by: Michael Russell 8 January 2019
In 2018 there have been nine meetings of the JMC (EN). We have continued to meet our commitment to issue letters to convenors of the relevant Scottish Parliament committees both before and after each meeting and the communiqués for each JMC(EN) are available on the Scottish Government website, providing further information on individual meetings.
Since the EU referendum we have sought to engage meaningfully and in good faith with the UK Government on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and we have been clear that we will continue to respect the terms of the engagement, which are laudable in principle. The discussions in the JMC (EN) have however fallen short of the original aim of the committee and of the Prime Minister's own commitment to 'full involvement' of the devolved administrations. Indeed throughout the Brexit process there has been far too little meaningful consultation with the devolved administrations and we have continued to be frustrated by the quality of engagement to date.
The Committee last met on 19 November 2018 and at that meeting the Scottish Government said that it had been completely unacceptable that the devolved administrations did not see the detail of the draft agreement between the UK and EU before it was published on the 14 November 2018. That has unfortunately been characteristic of the UK Government’s approach to engaging with the devolved administrations since the EU referendum.