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Scottish and Welsh FMs urge PM to ensure “meaningful” Covid summit

Published: 25 May 2021 18:58

First Minister and her Welsh Counterpart have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and her Welsh Counterpart Mark Drakeford have today written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling for greater clarity and substance around a proposed four-nations Covid recovery summit currently scheduled for Thursday this week.  

The full text of the letter is below:

Dear Prime Minister,  

We are writing about the proposed 4-nations summit on Covid recovery, which you have suggested should take place this Thursday afternoon. 

We are both deeply committed to taking part in such a summit and to working appropriately together on Covid Recovery - but, as we are sure you do, we want the meeting to be a meaningful discussion with substantive outcomes, and not just a PR exercise.

Our view is that this will be best achieved if further detailed preparation is done in advance.

In particular, we would propose early discussion to reach agreement on the following -

  1. A detailed agenda. Your office sent a very rough proposed agenda only yesterday morning and our view is that further work is needed to agree key issues for discussion and any supporting papers to be prepared;
  2. What outcomes/further process we are seeking to achieve as a result of the summit discussion.

Further discussion between our officials - leading to the summit taking place on an agreed date, perhaps as early as next week - would allow for a much more meaningful exercise, and avoid the risk of it being just a PR or box-ticking exercise.  We are sure that is what we all want. 

We are copying this letter to Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill.