Publication - FOI/EIR release

Correspondence regarding President Trump's visit to the UK: FOI release

Published: 16 Aug 2018

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
16 Aug 2018
Correspondence regarding President Trump's visit to the UK: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/18/01948
Date received: 18 July 2018
Date responded: 16 August  2018
 
Information requested
 
Any and all correspondence between the Scottish Government and White House regarding President Trump's visit to the UK and Scotland.
 
Any and all correspondence between the Scottish Government and the US State Department regarding President Trump's visit to the UK and Scotland.
 
Any and all correspondence between the Scottish Government and the US Embassy (London) and US consulate (Edinburgh) regarding President Trump's visit to the UK and Scotland.
 
This should include, but not be limited to, details of any phone calls/meetings, letters and emails - and copies of any letter and emails.
 
Please include all correspondence, which should include anything regarding the visit, possible meetings with the First Minster, cabinet secretaries, ministers or officials and planning for the visit.
 
Please also include any letters or emails sent which were not responded to, by either side.
 
Response
 

President Trump’s visit to Scotland was discussed in four written exchanges between the Scottish Government and the U.S. Consulate General Edinburgh. Copies of these email exchanges are attached in Annexes A-D. A readout of a call between the Scottish Government and the U.S. Consulate General Edinburgh is attached in Annex E. The content of the Annexes is as follows:

Annex A - E-mail exchange between Scottish Government Official and U.S. Consulate General Edinburgh Staff – 5 July 2018

Annex B - E-mail exchange between Office of Cabinet Secretary for Justice and U.S. Consulate General Edinburgh Staff – 9 July 2018 

Annex C - E-mail exchange between Office of Cabinet Secretary for Justice and U.S. Consulate General Edinburgh Staff – 11 July 2018 

Annex D - E-mail exchange between Office of Cabinet Secretary for Justice and U.S. Consulate General Edinburgh Staff – 12 July 2018 

Annex E - E-mail from Cabinet Secretary for Justice’s Office: Readout of Call with U.S. Consulate – 12 July 2018

Reasons for not providing information
 

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because exemptions under sections 38(1)(b) (personal information) and 30(b)(i) (free and frank provision of advise) of FOISA apply to some of that information. 

An exemption under section 30(b)(i) of FOISA (free and frank provision of advise) exempts some information from disclosure where disclosure would, or would be likely to, cause substantial harm to the free and frank provision of advice.

This exemption is subject to the “public interest test.”  Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered whether or not the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.  We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption.  We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, there is a greater public interest in allowing officials a private space within which to communicate as part of the process of exploring and refining the Government’s position, until the Government as a whole can adopt a decision that is sound and likely to be effective.

An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, ie names and contact details of individuals, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998.  This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. 

About FOI

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference 
Central Enquiry Unit 
Email: [ceu@gov.scot](mailto:ceu@gov.scot) 
Phone: 0300 244 4000 
The Scottish Government 
St Andrew's House 
Regent Road 
Edinburgh 
EH1 3DG