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Brexit White Paper

Published: 20 May 2018 00:01

Devolved administrations must be involved.

Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe Michael Russell has written to the UK Government Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis calling for clarity over the drafting or their intended White Paper.

The full text of the letter:

Dear David,

 I am writing to you further to your stated intention to publish a White Paper in June containing detailed proposals for the future relationship between the EU and the UK. My understanding is that this White Paper will set out UK positions on the objectives for the future relationship across the range of topics identified and published jointly with the European Commission on the 4 May 2018.

 At the last Joint Ministerial Committee on EU Negotiations on 2 May, the UK Government tabled a proposal for discussions to take place between both officials and ministers on the detail of UK negotiation positions. It was intended, and has been described, as being ‘upstream’. My understanding of that is that the discussions to take place should do so in advance of the UK Government reaching decisions as to those positions.

 I would therefore like confirmation of your intended path towards delivering this White Paper, the scope it will have, and how the Scottish Government – as well as the Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Civil Service – will be involved in its preparation.

 I would also be grateful for your views on how the preparation of this document will be consistent with the Terms of Reference of the JMC (EN), in particular to seek to agree a UK approach to and objectives for Article 50 negotiations, and to provide oversight of negotiations with the EU, to ensure, as far as possible, that outcomes agreed by all four governments are secured from these negotiations. 2

 I am copying this letter to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Mark Drakeford, Cabinet Secretary for Finance in the Welsh Government, David Sterling, Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, and David Mundell, Secretary of State for Scotland.

Michael Russell