- 7 Feb 2019
Date received: 8 Jan 2019
Date responded: 5 Feb 2019
You asked for:
- “What work has the Prime Minister Theresa May done, in direct collaboration with the Scottish Government on Brexit?
- Has the Prime minister given the Scottish Government had any direct influence in decisions Theresa May has made on Brexit and if so, what was it?
- Can the Scottish Government give me an example of something Theresa May has done in regard to Brexit, that was achieved by collaborative work 'direct with Scottish parliament’?
- Can Scottish Government confirm that Theresa May has worked 'Directly with Scottish Government or Parliament' in terms of Brexit?”
Overall, in response to your request, the Scottish Government have been deeply disappointed with quality of engagement from the UK Government since the EU referendum. I have provided you with information on meetings between the Scottish Government and UK Government (which the Prime Minister had a direct involvement in) relating to EU exit, but this information does not amount to evidence of meaningful engagement or collaboration from the UK Government.
Below I have also provided information on:
- The Joint Ministerial Committee (Plenary) which is the formal intergovernmental relations mechanism between the UK Government and devolved administrations;
- meetings between the Prime Minister and First Minister since the EU referendum;
- the Joint Ministerial Committee (EU Negotiations) [JMC (EN)] and its Terms of Reference. The JMC (EN) was created following the EU referendum in order to give the Scottish Government and other devolved administrations oversight in the negotiations between the UK and EU; and
- the Ministerial Forum (EU Negotiations), which was established in May 2018, with the intention of giving the Scottish Government and other devolved administrations a Forum to discuss and influence key priority areas for the UK-EU negotiations in relation to the future relationship. The Ministerial Forum sits beneath the JMC (EN) and adheres to its Terms of Reference.
However, the Scottish Government has been consistently clear that despite this engagement taking place, the UK Government has taken little or no account of the position of the Scottish Government and that the level of engagement on EU exit has fallen short of that which was envisioned by the Terms of Reference of the Joint Ministerial Committee (EU Negotiations).
In recent weeks, the First Minster has made clear that a new approach which seeks to find a way forward by genuinely involving the four nations of the UK is needed. To meet the Prime Minister’s commitment to an “enhanced role” for the devolved administrations in the next phase of the negotiations between the UK and EU, the Scottish Government is firmly of the view that far more ambitious arrangements will be needed to reflect the significance of the issues.
Information available on the Scottish Government website.
Some information relating to meetings between the UK Government and Scottish Government on EU exit is available from the Scottish Government website. You may be particularly interested in the link below. This will provide you with joint communiques agreed between the UK Government and devolved administrations at meetings of the Joint Ministerial Committee (Plenary), the Joint Ministerial Committee (EU Negotiations) and the Ministerial Forum (EU Negotiations):
Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.
Information not held
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. I am aware you recently requested information on a similar topic from the Scottish Parliament, I hope this was helpful to you. The reasons why we don’t have the information are explained in the Annex to this letter.
REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION
The Scottish Government does not have the information.
The Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have asked for because the Scottish Government has no record of information in relation to your specific request on: ‘Something Theresa May has done in regard to Brexit, that was achieved by collaborative work direct with Scottish Parliament’. Information relating to this specific request may be held by the Scottish Parliament. As noted above, I am aware you have recently requested information from the Scottish Parliament.
This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House