Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs evidence session Scottish Parliament


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Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs evidence session

A Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs evidence session with Mike Russell, the Scottish Minister for UK negotiations on Scotland's place in Europe.


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The draft Article 50 letter must have existed by then. It was done in

:00:09.:00:17.

-- there was none in March or April, and are clearly won't be any inmate.

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I suppose it is possible one could be squeezed in by the end of June,

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but given everything that is happening, the Queen's speech will

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be on the 19th of June. I have made it clear I am available to attend

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the GMC by negotiation of any reasonable occasion. I suspect we

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may stretch into July at the earliest. In that period, there will

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have been only four of those meetings, which is a breach of

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commitments we have entered into. There is a suggestion that once

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negotiations begin, they will operate enough for weekly cycle. You

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will know the detail of what they have set. What proposals will you

:01:00.:01:02.

put to the incoming UK Government in terms of the relationship between

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that cycle and meetings of the GMC? It's a good question. The terms of

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reference refer to the oversight of the Gershon 's -- of negotiations.

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The president, I suppose, is in the JMCE, so that issues could be

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discussed between the devolved administrations and the UK

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Government. A developer top-heavy structure because it was a means by

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which ministers in Whitehall could find out about the European Council,

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so I once went to a JMCE in which there were 21 UK ministers myself

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and Rhodri Morgan, so it didn't work as it should have done. That would

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indicate, I suspect, that the agenda for negotiations each month should

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be discussed by the JMCE, and then the committee at its next meeting

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would have to review that progress and look forward. That would seem to

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be ideal. Thank you very much. That is helpful. Finally, just to relate

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will be critical in the months will be critical in the months

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ahead, to relate that to the relationship between yourself as the

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Minister and this committee and between the Government and

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Parliament. In your reply on the 4th of May on determining Scotland's

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future relationship with the EU, you said much that I would welcome, but

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perhaps the one thing I was most disappointed at what is your view

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that there was no need to expand on the written agreement between the

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Government and Parliament on informing Parliament of the

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progress. The example we have just considered shows the room there is

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for things of great importance to be withheld from Parliament under the

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current circumstances. I wonder whether you would reconsider that

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bold statement that there is no need for any difference in approach. Only

:03:14.:03:19.

cope perfectly well in terms of what cope perfectly well in terms of what

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I've talked about. The committee would expect to be informed of what

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takes place in each cycle, and it would be supplemented by the publish

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creation -- the publication of information. As is the EU side. We

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will publish information as we move forward. We will make it available.

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I don't think it's a question of withholding anything, I just think

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the structures we have, supplemented by the transparency we are committed

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to, would create a substantial and proper flow of information from

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ourselves to the committee. I am absolutely committed to transparency

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in this process. There will clearly be things that we will want to

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negotiate privately for a while, but on the vast majority of things, we

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will want people to know what our position is. We think the EU

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position is right. I have spoken TEU parliamentarians who are keen on

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that view. The role of the EU Parliament at the end of this is

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absolutely crucial, so this is about keeping the democratic forces

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informed, and this is one of the democratic forces. I accept much of

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that. I guess, my sense is that we find out in recent months after the

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event, when it is too late to bring any influence to bear. I feel the

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same way. But I wonder what the Scottish Government has taken to the

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table at the JMCEN. I wonder what you're putting in those negotiations

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as the vital interests of Scotland. Much has been made previously of the

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JMC in which we did not know which room would be hosting the meeting,

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let alone what would be discussed. I have only been accompanied by one

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other Minister to the floor, Michael Matheson, who came with me to the

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second one, and that was only because we did not know -- we did

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know that Justice and home affairs was to be discussed, and we knew

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that ten days in advance. Most of the time, we don't know what is

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happening. Even David Davis has only been to two of those. I think in the

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other two, he has popped in because he has been in House of Commons

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debates will stop it has not been a stable process. My Welsh counterpart

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compared the arrangements unfavourably to a community council

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within his constituency. I think he was being quite generous. As a

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supplementary on that, you had mentioned that one of the JMCEN

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meetings was cancelled, in your view, because the Government, the UK

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Government, did not want to discuss the Article 50 notification letter.

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Was there any consultation on that? It was a considerable matter of

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discussion from an early stage. Minutes have only appeared recently.

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I think they only appeared at the end of March for the previous two

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meetings. We had difficulty in getting minutes. I would have to

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check, but I think on every meeting there has been reference to the

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Article 50 letter. It certainly occurred in all my discussions with

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David Davis. It was a major subject of discussion at the JMC plenary in

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January in cover. The request was simple: That we should be consulted

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on the terms of a letter in whole or in part. The argument was that there

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was no letter, then that no decision had been made on whether it was two

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sentences or 20 pages. The length became an issue. And then there was

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no response to what was pretty much a formal request I make face-to-face

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in February for involvement in the process, and then nothing happens

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during March. The letter came the day before the white paper. There

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was a commitment, I think the week before, that we would see the White

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Paper two days in advance. We did not, just one day in advance, which

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was better than we had had with the previous White Paper, the Great

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Repeal Bill White Paper. We never got it until 40 minutes before it

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was published. I saw the Article 50 letter about half an hour after the

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Prime Minister had got up in the House of Commons. I could not see it

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in draft or any other text before that. Thank you very much. Jackson

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Carlaw. Is the stuff of politics flies freely in discussion and

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comment. I would like to go back to a remark you make, which is, we are

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where we are, that popular expression about what the Government

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now does. A lot of your energy, rightly, was in preparing the

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Scottish Government's contribution to the discussion that was to take

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place, and whatever one thinks of the response, we now have the

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response and we move forward from there. , structural point of view, I

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would be interested to know how you are approaching the next phase in

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terms of the Scottish Government, the civil service, the work streams

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that you are now preparing, the resource you feel you have and are

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bringing to those preparations in advance of whatever the next phase

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proves to be. I think it will be interesting, given the scrutiny we

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will have to apply as time goes on, just to have a better understanding.

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I understand from what you have said that you are not quite clear what

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the JMC process will be. What you are preparing now to do and the

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resource and structure you are putting in place to do that. It is a

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good question, and I am happy to answer it. There are three separate

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issues. There is the issue of what our position is. Your right to say

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that this was a substantial piece of work. We intend to continue with

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substantive work on the issues that will arise during the negotiation

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and the desired outcome. We have to think of what we need to get out of

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this situation. And you know, in some cases, it may be the same as

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what the UK wishes to get out of it, though perhaps we would go about it

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in a different way. So we are working on those things, and my job

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in that regard will be to coordinate the work across the Government of

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all the directorates and all the Cabinet secretaries, and to build

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that into a coherent whole so that we can both answer the question of

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what is the Scottish Government's position and what is good for hours,

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the right position I hold, and how we can ensure that is part of the UK

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negotiating procedure. The first part is easier than the second, so

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there is a process issue of how you influence the Government. We will be

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clear about what we want. And we will also be, in the process, when

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we know that, of building and developing the structures to deliver

:10:59.:11:02.

that where we are able to do so. An example would be in agriculture,

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where we would have to have our preferred position. We would have to

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have the ability to deliver that position, and we need to know that

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that position would work for the stakeholders. It is a complex

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process involving lots of people. I've been debating the future

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structure of agriculture with a constituent of mine in IE owner,

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Andrew Prentice, by Twitter this morning, and he has our view on what

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would work for remote islands. -- on Iona. We are preparing a position on

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negotiations in the round, knowing the detail of when issues will come

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up, knowing the process that will be followed. For example, the first

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issues we need to be clear about, the debt is one, the cost of

:11:49.:11:55.

leaving, our position on the Irish border, are position on EU

:11:56.:11:58.

nationals. Another issue, the role of the ECJ and what role it has in

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the whole process will The position on the frameworks on

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agriculture and fisheries and the de-Sir, the -- desire the Prime

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Minister's message have been different and talking about EU

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frameworks returning to the UK and then decisions about where they are

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and David Davis referring to consensus about new frameworks.

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There is an issue about what that means. We oppose the issue of EU

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frameworks coming back in that way. All compentencies should be looked

:12:45.:12:49.

at and we would want to work hard to make sure that happens. Then issue

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two the great repeal bill, the biggest legislative task any of us

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will take on. We have not seen the draft. The draft exists, it is meant

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to be published, the Queen's Speech around now it is off for a month it

:13:04.:13:14.

would be enormous helpful if civil servants shared that with our

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counter parts here and would give us an opportunity to prepare. Whatever

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happens, unless another government decides not the leave the EU we are

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going to have to go through that process. We need a good start and we

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have only seen the White Paper. There are issues we don't

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understand. We need to see that. Then we need to work out and it

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can't be a pronounment from London. It is conceivable there shouldn't be

:13:50.:13:55.

legislative consent. It covers areas that we legislate in. That is not

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clear. The UK Government's not said if that is the case A big burden of

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secondary and other legislation, the Great repeal bill is the first of

:14:11.:14:16.

several. Whether that allocation for resources is there and getting that

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through and this committee I suspect will... When it confronts the issue

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of the Great Repeal Bill will be concerned about the workload on the

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committee. And then this the third and widerish knew of influence and

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-- wider issue of influence. Fiona Hislop is involved as am I and that

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is something we will continue to do. There is no shortage of work being

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done. On the first of the points, minister, I mean, once the

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negotiations are under way, all of us have a vested interest in the

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best possible outcome for Scotland from those. We may at times disagree

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as to what that might be, but there may be times when the Scottish

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Parliament and the parties within it do agree on what the approach should

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be and I wonder how you intend to seek to identify and potentially

:15:20.:15:24.

ensure that the positions that are represented enjoy the widest

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possible support as and when that proves to be possible for you to do.

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How do you imagine in a sense that negotiation that can be tricky, that

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that influence is maximised? This committee would have a role and if

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that is an invitation to bring more debates to the Parliament, something

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you and your colleagues were complaining about. If it is an

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invitation to do, I'm happy to make sure the matters are debated in the

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Parliamentary chamber. I think there will be issues we will wish to

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develop support for. I think the question of agricultural structures

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is key and we have to make sure people are interested and bringing

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their points of view. Fergus Ewing will be key to that and will make

:16:19.:16:21.

sure there is support and discussion. The Parliament has a big

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role in influencing those things. There is no monopoly on wisdom and

:16:28.:16:31.

there will be views from people who have strong views on issue that

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bewill want to hear. It is a Parliamentary process, I'm keen to

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see it as a Parliamentary process and providing members do not become

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bored, debating Brexit, I'm always up for it. There is a distinction

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between debating speculatively and debating substantive issues as they

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are progressing through. You mentioned the Great Repeal Bill and

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you will have had conversations with other governments in the UK and we

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all appreciate the potential workload that could arise for the

:17:11.:17:15.

devolved administrations as a consequence. That is something for

:17:16.:17:18.

the Parliament to give consideration to. From the Government's point of

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view, how do you anticipate reconciling that with what the

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Government's work programme might have otherwise have been and how you

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manage, you imagine these two things will operate in tandem. That will be

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an issue for the UK Government as well as ourselves, the workload at

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Westminster will be enormous. They have greater resources. Our workload

:17:48.:17:52.

will be very large too. We will have to manage it. So we will have to

:17:53.:17:58.

find a way to do it. Because we can't afford on 29th March 2019 to

:17:59.:18:04.

find there are areas of law that are inoperable. The question of how it

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is done and how rapidly it can be done is taxing all of us. There is

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the issue of what is called south of the border Henry VIII process that

:18:17.:18:22.

is fast track secondary legislation that will be something they will

:18:23.:18:25.

need to do at Westminster, we don't know whether we will be able to do

:18:26.:18:28.

that or whether we would want too do that. Some things may be necessary.

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Our position is, our position will be perhaps in terms of requirement

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and resource more difficult than they have imagined south of the

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border, because it is not just 8.8% of all legislation, we deal with

:18:45.:18:49.

substantive areas of European legislation that the changes to

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which will be as complex as they are south of the border and we have our

:18:53.:18:58.

own legal system. I have had discussions with the Law Society and

:18:59.:19:06.

the Faculty of Advocates and been involved in meetings with Michael

:19:07.:19:10.

Matheson and we are aware of the problems and the problems that will

:19:11.:19:17.

be presented by not having certain types of European legislation

:19:18.:19:20.

available to us. There are issues you will know from your justice work

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for example in the... In the European arrest warrantses in, in

:19:28.:19:34.

some of the family law issues. There are complex systems in place. And if

:19:35.:19:38.

we are no longer part of those and revert to systems before they came n

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in we will be dealing with archaic systems and those are big questions.

:19:52.:19:59.

Thank you. Thank you minister, you covered some of what I was going to

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ask in regard too the Henry VIII powers, recognising what you have

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said about as yet being unsure if they're wanted or required in

:20:10.:20:14.

Scotland, what process would you envisage for the Scottish Government

:20:15.:20:18.

may have beeninging that decision? -- make nag decision. Ing -- making

:20:19.:20:28.

that decision? I haven't seen the UK proposals for those, because we

:20:29.:20:30.

haven't seen the detail of how they intend them to operate. Until I see

:20:31.:20:36.

that and this is an issue of seeing the actual repeal bill. It is there

:20:37.:20:41.

in draft form, I wish I was able to say having seen it, this is how it

:20:42.:20:47.

will operate, can we then, should we then dupe Kate those o' O'--

:20:48.:20:54.

duplicate those powers? My instinct is always against using powers that

:20:55.:21:00.

do not have adequate scrutiny. That is the wrong thing to do. The

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imperative is to have the work done so there is no collapse in the

:21:04.:21:09.

systems. If you look at some organisations, I had a meeting

:21:10.:21:13.

yesterday with the Scottish food standards body, I I think they had

:21:14.:21:19.

identified less than 3% of their work that isn't covered by European

:21:20.:21:24.

legislation. Unless we get that done in less than two years there will be

:21:25.:21:30.

a huge issue in term of food safety and food production and export. So

:21:31.:21:36.

we will have to do it. So the question is, once we see the powers,

:21:37.:21:45.

we have to ask ourselves if its possible to to operate without them.

:21:46.:21:49.

And I think that will require discussions right across the

:21:50.:21:55.

Parliament. On the potential outcomes of negotiations, there have

:21:56.:22:04.

been speculation about outcomes, considerable of evidence from

:22:05.:22:07.

figures such as Sir David Edwards that it is away with the fairies the

:22:08.:22:13.

idea you could sort it out in two years. The former ambassador there

:22:14.:22:18.

was there was a chance negotiations would fail. What planning is the

:22:19.:22:22.

Scottish Government doing for the worst case scenarios of failed

:22:23.:22:29.

negotiations or negotiations being resolved for exit but no

:22:30.:22:34.

transitional arrangements. The First Minister appointed a counsel of

:22:35.:22:38.

experts that includes John Kerr. There is a distinguished group being

:22:39.:22:46.

very thoughtful about this. I think that chances of the UK not sticking

:22:47.:22:53.

with a negotiations are high. I don't think they're necessarily 58%

:22:54.:22:57.

or 60%, but they're high. Therefore, it is in our mind that we would have

:22:58.:23:02.

to be prepared in those circumstances. All I can say is we

:23:03.:23:07.

have a range of scenarios that we look at regularly. You start

:23:08.:23:11.

probably with that issue and you work your way through hard Brexit,

:23:12.:23:19.

with detriment to devolution and hard brefbgt without detriment to

:23:20.:23:24.

devolution and moderate Brexit, through to independence, which we

:23:25.:23:27.

believe is the offering that should be made. We have thought through

:23:28.:23:31.

some of the issues. But if there is going to be a collapse in

:23:32.:23:35.

negotiations it will probably happen sooner rather than later. I think

:23:36.:23:40.

the real pressure points will be the debt. That would be the biggest of

:23:41.:23:46.

the pressure points. If they can get through then to the autumn, I think

:23:47.:23:51.

the prospects of negotiations going full term become better. Then you go

:23:52.:23:56.

into the European Parliament ratify xags and a process -- ratification

:23:57.:23:59.

that will involve most of the that will involve most of the

:24:00.:24:04.

Parliaments of Europe. So it is a complex process. Things could fail.

:24:05.:24:08.

And the year piano Parliament has -- European Parliament has been known

:24:09.:24:14.

to take an individual is tick views and set red lines early on and it

:24:15.:24:19.

would be foolish for them to be ignored. We think about it. I spend

:24:20.:24:24.

a loft time thinking about thing I would not like to think about. In

:24:25.:24:30.

the events of these scenarios playing out, at what point would bit

:24:31.:24:35.

appropriate for the Government to present proposals to Parliament?

:24:36.:24:42.

Specifically, proposals on? ? If we are looking likely that the

:24:43.:24:45.

negotiations would fail, my point would be it would be preferable for

:24:46.:24:49.

Parliament to be presented with the Scottish Government's plan before it

:24:50.:24:53.

happened. We would wants to make sure that the Parliament was not

:24:54.:24:58.

only fully consulted but we had a proposal for the Parliament to

:24:59.:25:03.

consider at the earliest possible stage. One thing the First Minister

:25:04.:25:07.

has brought is to have always thought through what the next steps

:25:08.:25:11.

are. The day after referendum, she said we knead to do this and this.

:25:12.:25:18.

She is determined that we should be clear in our thinking about all

:25:19.:25:21.

these matter and we will have a plan I'm sure of that. Thank you. Do you

:25:22.:25:32.

have a supplementary? Yes, the increasing number of references from

:25:33.:25:38.

the UK Prime Minister to the idea of no deal is better than a bad deal.

:25:39.:25:45.

Is it the case the Prime Minister is saying that more and what signals is

:25:46.:25:48.

that sending to the Scottish Governments? I think she is and some

:25:49.:25:54.

people would speculate she is saying that in order to strengthen our hand

:25:55.:26:01.

in negotiations. To make the rest of the, to make the 27 fearful of that

:26:02.:26:06.

and determined to give ground. Others say there is not much system

:26:07.:26:10.

in what she says and she is operate occasion a political basis and not

:26:11.:26:15.

thinking through the process. there shouldn't be any dubiety that

:26:16.:26:25.

no deal is considerably worse than any other option. That is a really

:26:26.:26:32.

bad option. There should also be new dubiety about the naivete with which

:26:33.:26:39.

many people think the UK Government has gone into this without a clear

:26:40.:26:42.

perspective of the point of view of the European Parliament. It is

:26:43.:26:47.

important to read European views more widely on this. It is a

:26:48.:26:54.

different view that is taken. Your own clerks produce for you a

:26:55.:26:59.

publication, the latest one of which has two articles specifically on

:27:00.:27:03.

this issue - the way in which this looks from elsewhere. I spent time

:27:04.:27:08.

in Brussels, as do colleagues, and what you hear there is obviously a

:27:09.:27:13.

very different view. The UK Government say, that is just the

:27:14.:27:19.

EU's view. But actually, the 27 Rabbit mystified why where this has

:27:20.:27:25.

gone -- the 27 are a bit mystified by where this has gone. They don't

:27:26.:27:31.

feel themselves to be hectored and pressured in the way that perhaps

:27:32.:27:36.

Theresa May thinks they would feel. There are bigger issues for the 27

:27:37.:27:41.

sometimes, and they are addressing them in that way. I hope there is a

:27:42.:27:44.

process that produces an outcome which is successful. Not unlike one

:27:45.:27:51.

of the pieces in your own paper, your own summary, I actually think

:27:52.:28:00.

in 20 years, if the UK does come out, the UK will be in the process

:28:01.:28:03.

of trying to be back in and it will have lost 20 years of influence,

:28:04.:28:08.

progress and prosperity. I think it is that foolish. Can I just say that

:28:09.:28:14.

I understand the minister has to be away 11am. 10am, sorry. I am at his

:28:15.:28:26.

disposal, not all day, and you wouldn't want me here to be all day!

:28:27.:28:33.

But I'm happy to be flexible. Good morning, Minister. Has the Scottish

:28:34.:28:37.

Government requested an official role in the negotiations in order to

:28:38.:28:43.

represent Scottish interests? Yes. The discussions we've had have been

:28:44.:28:49.

discussions where we've said we want a role, but that is already

:28:50.:28:53.

guaranteed, in a sense. The terms of reference for the JMCEN, which James

:28:54.:29:01.

has passed, and it is important to quote them, item three says: Provide

:29:02.:29:06.

oversight of negotiations with the EU to ensure as far as possible that

:29:07.:29:11.

outcome is agreed by all four governments are secured from these

:29:12.:29:15.

negotiations. Item for: Discuss issues stemming from the

:29:16.:29:22.

negotiation. There is already a definition of the role that the JMC

:29:23.:29:26.

would give to the devolved administrations. The exercising of

:29:27.:29:29.

that, in my view and in the view of colleagues, is that there should be

:29:30.:29:42.

an active involvement. It wouldn't be unusual for officials to be

:29:43.:29:44.

involved in complex discussions with Europe as part of UK teams. It does

:29:45.:29:49.

happen in a variety of areas, so it would not be that like there would

:29:50.:29:54.

be a precedent to make sure there was representation. Ministers do

:29:55.:29:58.

attend the European Council. I've been to the European Council in

:29:59.:30:11.

three different roles. I represented Richard Lochhead when he was on

:30:12.:30:14.

paternity leave, for instance. I have attended culture Council when I

:30:15.:30:20.

was culture minister. And I spoke Gaelic for the first time in the

:30:21.:30:25.

European Council. I was the first person to speak Gaelic in a speech,

:30:26.:30:35.

and that was in the culture Council. There is precedent for involvement

:30:36.:30:40.

and for speaking. That is also an issue that needs disgust. It should

:30:41.:30:47.

be obvious where we should be. The issue -- that is an issue that needs

:30:48.:30:54.

to be discussed. RB discussing devolved competencies or should it

:30:55.:31:01.

be wider? Example I might uses freedom of movement. -- use is

:31:02.:31:05.

freedom of movement. Increasingly, people are recognising... We should

:31:06.:31:11.

be in there when the issues of freedom of movement and migration

:31:12.:31:14.

are discussed, because they are of crucial importance to us. Your

:31:15.:31:19.

clarification is helpful, but certainly, the reason I posed the

:31:20.:31:26.

question follows on from Jackson's questions earlier, when he was

:31:27.:31:31.

asking what you would do to represent and highlight the various

:31:32.:31:35.

interests from Scotland. Sometimes the parties in the parliament can

:31:36.:31:41.

agree on particular issues. If the Scottish Government didn't have an

:31:42.:31:45.

official role in the negotiations, then it would be difficult for the

:31:46.:31:50.

Scottish Government to then put forward any interests from Scotland.

:31:51.:31:54.

With respect, it wouldn't be difficult to put it forward. We

:31:55.:31:57.

intend to be heard. We won't be silent in this process the fault --

:31:58.:32:05.

in this process. It would be better if there were any facts to us being

:32:06.:32:09.

heard, which would be we could take this in to discussion and in

:32:10.:32:16.

discussion with in the JMC to be able to seek positions which are

:32:17.:32:19.

advantageous to Scotland, so that is what we would seek to do. There is

:32:20.:32:23.

no question of us not doing or saying things. We will be doing

:32:24.:32:28.

that. A second area I want to question your news regarding the

:32:29.:32:33.

European Commission's proposed framework, and the four-week cycle.

:32:34.:32:40.

Just to get it on the record about the four-week cycle. Week one is

:32:41.:32:43.

dedicated to internal preparations and consultations. The second is for

:32:44.:32:49.

exchange of views between the two size. Three is for negotiation. And

:32:50.:32:56.

the fourth is for reporting back to the European Parliament Brexit

:32:57.:33:00.

group. As well as publishing information emerging from the tasks.

:33:01.:33:04.

In terms of the issue of the Scottish Government reporting back

:33:05.:33:08.

to the Scottish parliament and to this committee, and also on the

:33:09.:33:14.

issue of transparency, how can you reconcile that four-week cycle with

:33:15.:33:22.

what you can do to make sure the Parliament in Scotland is informed?

:33:23.:33:27.

As indicated at the start of the process, we would need to be

:33:28.:33:30.

involved in the discussion. At the end of the process, we would want to

:33:31.:33:33.

represent what the outcomes are in exactly the same way as the EU will

:33:34.:33:38.

represent those outcomes. We don't know what the UK Government will do.

:33:39.:33:43.

I think it fits pretty well. It is not a matter we can influence,

:33:44.:33:47.

frankly, so we will fit in with it and make sure we're doing it as

:33:48.:33:51.

constructively undemocratically as possible. I don't see any

:33:52.:33:55.

difficulty. There is a pressure in that, and you have to therefore

:33:56.:34:00.

respond to that pressure. There will be a pressure in showing if this

:34:01.:34:03.

committee were a committee that would regard itself as wanting to

:34:04.:34:07.

comment on it, it would have the structure itself in order to allow

:34:08.:34:13.

itself to do so. Would you anticipate regular updates and

:34:14.:34:17.

briefings to the committee and the chamber? . Yes. I am happy to go

:34:18.:34:27.

along with the structures, and we will supplement them with the

:34:28.:34:31.

publication of information. I am always happy to come to the chamber.

:34:32.:34:35.

We can do ministerial updates and statements, which we have done. I am

:34:36.:34:41.

keen to have more debates, if possible, because I know Jackson

:34:42.:34:49.

Carlaw is keen on those. Members can submit written and oral questions

:34:50.:34:55.

and ministers will respond. I was hoping we wouldn't stick to the

:34:56.:34:58.

strict ten o'clock deadline. There were a few areas I hoped to touch

:34:59.:35:04.

on. You mentioned a bit about the potential divorce Bill, what that

:35:05.:35:08.

might cost, and we heard about the House of Lords EU financial affairs

:35:09.:35:11.

committee report on that and their opinion that if we left with no

:35:12.:35:14.

deal, then that would mean that there might not be an obligation on

:35:15.:35:20.

the UK to pay anything towards the EU. Just to get your sense of that

:35:21.:35:26.

and what discussions have been held around that, if any. No discussions

:35:27.:35:30.

around that, in the sense that the issue of the bill has been

:35:31.:35:34.

studiously avoided by the UK Government, particularly in terms of

:35:35.:35:39.

the JMC discussion. To be fair, it is not the major issue we have been

:35:40.:35:44.

pressing so far. So far, it has been the Article 50 letter and

:35:45.:35:47.

negotiating process. Leaving without paying a bill is a bit like going

:35:48.:35:53.

out for dinner and not paying the bill. In the end, someone will catch

:35:54.:35:57.

up with you, and in the circumstances, it is unlikely, to

:35:58.:36:01.

say the least, that you would be able to move towards a construct of

:36:02.:36:05.

trade deal if you hadn't actually come to an agreement on the terms

:36:06.:36:09.

under which you would exit. What would be the incentive for the other

:36:10.:36:13.

countries to do so? There might be some small detriment to them, but

:36:14.:36:17.

they would have to make a point about the refusal to pay the bill.

:36:18.:36:22.

The results of a requirement. The European budget is set until

:36:23.:36:27.

2020-21, and there will be a gap that needs to be filled. Any

:36:28.:36:32.

reasonable negotiation would have to come up with a sum that was due. The

:36:33.:36:39.

difficulty in this is that some sums were being bandied about Burnley on,

:36:40.:36:43.

whereas the right thing to talk about was the methodology and how

:36:44.:36:47.

you come to a calculation of this. That is where the meeting between

:36:48.:36:56.

the Irish Prime Minister and the Dutch Government was significant. I

:36:57.:36:59.

think they have been struggling as a smaller group to see if they could

:37:00.:37:05.

suggest a methodology which would drive this, and it may well be that

:37:06.:37:11.

that is where the effort will go in, and it is in terms of finding

:37:12.:37:21.

methodology. If there is a build-up of resentment at a payment, that may

:37:22.:37:25.

create a huge political difficulty for the UK Government, whoever they

:37:26.:37:30.

are, to negotiate this. Some of the remarks from Ukip figures, and Ukip

:37:31.:37:37.

thinking is mainstream in the Conservative Party at the moment,

:37:38.:37:41.

that it's a bit like a golf club, where you say you will not pay your

:37:42.:37:45.

subscription. Actually, many golf clubs require you to pay a

:37:46.:37:49.

subscription even if you resign for a period, and many forfeit the

:37:50.:37:53.

deposit you've made if you walk out without due process. Even golf clubs

:37:54.:38:00.

have rules. That is the thing with it, because the figures do vary so

:38:01.:38:04.

wildly as to what that could be, so I think how that can be done will be

:38:05.:38:07.

one of the most important things. On another point, in terms of free

:38:08.:38:13.

movement and how the immigration setup might work, we were presented

:38:14.:38:18.

with a report a few weeks ago from Doctor Eve Hepburn about options for

:38:19.:38:26.

differentiating the UK's system. I wondered whether there had been

:38:27.:38:28.

discussions on that and what were the feelings of the UK Government in

:38:29.:38:33.

terms of that, and will that be a possibility for Scotland, going

:38:34.:38:40.

forward? The issue of differentiated migration was dealt with, and in my

:38:41.:38:44.

view, it was a positive compromise that we were offering. Such systems

:38:45.:38:51.

exist in Canada and Australia. I remember quoting David Davis at the

:38:52.:38:57.

previous committee on the nature of migration problems. It is not about

:38:58.:39:01.

borders. No one is proposing at this stage that this island should be in

:39:02.:39:06.

the Schengen area. The borders issue is about stopping people getting in.

:39:07.:39:10.

The migration issue being addressed is whether people have the right to

:39:11.:39:15.

stay. You can deal with that differentially by marketing people's

:39:16.:39:20.

passport or marking their papers that you only have the right to stay

:39:21.:39:23.

in Scotland, so it is not a difficult thing to do. However, we

:39:24.:39:26.

should not underestimate the fact that we're dealing with a Prime

:39:27.:39:30.

Minister who used be Home Secretary and has, frankly, an obsession with

:39:31.:39:35.

migration and is not prepared to countenance any weakening of that

:39:36.:39:40.

position, so this is a dead duck at the moment. It is the right thing to

:39:41.:39:43.

do, and it would have solved a problem for us and the rest of the

:39:44.:39:49.

UK, but a rational solution does not appear to be possible. The issue of

:39:50.:39:56.

EU citizens is tied up in this too, and that is increasingly a big issue

:39:57.:40:01.

and it is a considerable worry to me. As you probably know, I was in

:40:02.:40:07.

Angus on Monday, and I visited one of the big fruit companies, who had

:40:08.:40:13.

given evidence before to Parliament on some of these issues, and I had

:40:14.:40:18.

conversations with people from Bulgaria, Romania, and I was really

:40:19.:40:23.

concerned for them, because they are very distressed, and people are

:40:24.:40:30.

saying now what we thought would happen. Whatever the solution is to

:40:31.:40:34.

this, I am really fed up with this and I am doubtful whether I want to

:40:35.:40:39.

stay. Some people have bought flats, some are here permanently, but they

:40:40.:40:42.

are looking and saying, there are other places. One of the people I

:40:43.:40:46.

spoke to, who had worked there for a long time, quite senior, said, I

:40:47.:40:50.

have skills which are needed in Germany and elsewhere, and although

:40:51.:40:54.

I would like to beat you, I don't want to put up with this any longer.

:40:55.:40:58.

If I go back to Romania and I get on the plane, I don't know what will

:40:59.:41:03.

happen when I arrived in Scotland. I am nervous and fearful. The Romanian

:41:04.:41:08.

consul general was telling me there was a big increase in application

:41:09.:41:12.

for Romanian passports because people want something to prove who

:41:13.:41:17.

they are if they live here. So I am very worried about that. I was in

:41:18.:41:21.

Angus College, meeting staff and students, who are very concerned and

:41:22.:41:27.

are not getting answers. They had 11 months of this. We will see people

:41:28.:41:32.

who are enormously positive contributors to Scotland and who are

:41:33.:41:35.

passionate about Scotland deciding, in the end, that it's not the place

:41:36.:41:39.

they want to be, and that will be damaging to our reputation across

:41:40.:41:43.

Europe and the world. So, this is a really concerning area.

:41:44.:41:48.

I met with a rural business who had closed part of business, because it

:41:49.:41:59.

was relying on EU migrant labour. There are some businesses that

:42:00.:42:04.

cannot do without. If you look at Angus Soft Fruits, there is a

:42:05.:42:08.

thousand workers from other parts of EU and it is not possible for that

:42:09.:42:13.

to happen. The solution might be to move the business and the complexity

:42:14.:42:18.

of it is something I think we are only just getting to grips with.

:42:19.:42:26.

Many people who work in the soft fruits may work in the fish plants

:42:27.:42:33.

in the autumn and winter and some industries are dependent upon this

:42:34.:42:37.

labour and there is an affect in the businesses and those running the

:42:38.:42:41.

businesses. Somebody said to me, I'm worried for the people who work for

:42:42.:42:48.

me, but I'm worried for myself too, I may not have a job. Because I

:42:49.:42:54.

can't keep the business going. I guess the supplementary question was

:42:55.:42:58.

when we were presented with that report from Dr Hepburn, a lot of the

:42:59.:43:04.

other countries agreements they have which he already highlighted, we had

:43:05.:43:08.

them in detail in that report and a lot of the arrangements were

:43:09.:43:17.

dependent on political will. I was going to ask if you believed the

:43:18.:43:24.

will was there. It is also dependent on information. A lot of could have

:43:25.:43:29.

been dealt with a flow of information and policy commitments.

:43:30.:43:38.

Nobody knows what the policy of any prospective UK Government is about

:43:39.:43:42.

this. So it is the lack of information. Where do people get the

:43:43.:43:46.

information they need. They don't have it. Sorry. Thank you. Another

:43:47.:43:52.

point I would like to touch on as well, is in terms of funding, we

:43:53.:43:58.

hear about horizon 2020 and cutting payments and it is in terms of

:43:59.:44:02.

relation to some of the other funds that I would say local Government in

:44:03.:44:08.

particular depend on and communities as well. There is the interregular

:44:09.:44:16.

funding, the transnational fund and the leader that is vital for rural

:44:17.:44:24.

areas for in Angus it is worth 2.7 million and they provide vital

:44:25.:44:29.

projects in communities. It was just, I I know a lot is still

:44:30.:44:36.

unknown. But in terms of those funds in particular, are there any

:44:37.:44:42.

discussions on what the transitional a arrangements maybe. No, not with

:44:43.:44:50.

us and that is concerning. You know how vital these are and these

:44:51.:44:54.

connections, these access to this money and the connections it

:44:55.:44:58.

produces are vital. In my area in the west of Scotland access to DP

:44:59.:45:04.

money and agricultural support, infrastructure funding, all those

:45:05.:45:09.

things are really important. Now, you know Richard lochead will

:45:10.:45:12.

remember when we moved from one programme to another, there was a

:45:13.:45:17.

hiatus with the best will in the world, even if you know what the

:45:18.:45:21.

programme is, there is bit in the mid that will doesn't fit perfectly.

:45:22.:45:27.

We are in a situation where we know where the programme will finish. But

:45:28.:45:34.

we have no idea what comes in. Nor do we know the quantum that is

:45:35.:45:41.

talked about. Will there be a sum of money available across the UK to be

:45:42.:45:46.

allocated for these purposes? Will the purposes be priority purposes or

:45:47.:45:52.

will that money be allocated to the Scottish government by Barnett or in

:45:53.:45:56.

some other way. No knowledge. Because of that, there will be a

:45:57.:46:01.

hiatus of some sort. I mean, how big it is, what it look like we don't

:46:02.:46:08.

know. One example is in my constituency the island of Ling has

:46:09.:46:12.

been talked about a bridge for many years. But they have moved on to the

:46:13.:46:20.

extent they're wonding how it can be funded. Until now a European

:46:21.:46:23.

contribution would be needed. I don't know whether there will be a

:46:24.:46:28.

contribution of equivalent monies. Until you know that, nobody can plan

:46:29.:46:33.

for it to happen. There is a hiatus. Now, that is a flow of information.

:46:34.:46:37.

But it is also we also require to know what the objectives would be

:46:38.:46:42.

from the UK Government. If the UK Government said to us, look, in the

:46:43.:46:51.

last five years, X amount has been allocated to Scotland and we will

:46:52.:46:55.

guarantee X amount plus inflation will be guaranteed for the same

:46:56.:47:00.

purposes, you go ahead and set up those funds. That would be good. We

:47:01.:47:04.

would say, let's go ahead and we don't want to leave Europe, but yes

:47:05.:47:10.

we will set the things up. But we have no idea when that is going to

:47:11.:47:13.

happen or if that is going to happen. We can't say. We are saying

:47:14.:47:21.

to people, I had a conversation and said we were talking about the

:47:22.:47:28.

allocation of funds, I said, work out the ideas and come back to me.

:47:29.:47:33.

And let's see if we can develop some plan in the anticipation that we

:47:34.:47:37.

will need new structures. But what those are, you know, we don't know

:47:38.:47:41.

and the clock is ticking on them and it is concerning. Thank you. Sorry

:47:42.:47:50.

just one final point in terms of of trade and security. You touched on

:47:51.:47:57.

that answer earlier. One of the briefings we had if no agreement is

:47:58.:48:03.

used and using World Trade Organisation rules as a fall back

:48:04.:48:07.

plan, before we could begin training on World Trade Organisation rules

:48:08.:48:11.

the UK would need to establish its new status in that organisation and

:48:12.:48:15.

that requires agreement from all members. Is that something that can

:48:16.:48:22.

happen parallel to the discussions over the next couple of years or

:48:23.:48:28.

wait until we are out of the EU. I'm not a trade expert. I understand it

:48:29.:48:34.

the difficulty would not becoming a member of the WTO. We are a member

:48:35.:48:39.

any way. The difficulty would be the application of the interim tariffs

:48:40.:48:43.

before you negotiated that would take the standard tariffs as set.

:48:44.:48:49.

Some would be fine, some would be disastrous. There are huge

:48:50.:48:53.

agricultural tariffs. I don't think that is an option. Clearly the UK

:48:54.:48:56.

Government this it might be an option. But I think the difficulty

:48:57.:49:01.

would be great. The process of trade, I have had conversations with

:49:02.:49:06.

bodies like the chamber of shipping and people like that, one of their

:49:07.:49:11.

concerns is you know the continuation of tariff-free access

:49:12.:49:16.

to Europe with the minimum regulation means that you can flow

:49:17.:49:20.

as you are now. The moment that flow is interrupted, it has consequences.

:49:21.:49:27.

One is for Scottish shell fish, which are delivered promptly and if

:49:28.:49:32.

they're not delivered promptly they don't get delivered. Another is

:49:33.:49:37.

capacity. No port, no channel port has huge capacity to stack up

:49:38.:49:41.

lorries that can be inspected. That is why you get queues on motorways

:49:42.:49:48.

if you have a dispute. Now, that would become commonplace, you would

:49:49.:49:51.

haven't the capacity to deal with it. So those issues need resolved. I

:49:52.:49:58.

can't imagine on 30th March 2019 that barrier will come down. But we

:49:59.:50:03.

need to know what the policy intention is of the UK and have some

:50:04.:50:08.

confidence they can achieve it. That might bring us back to the approach

:50:09.:50:13.

of the Prime Minister, confident to achieve an intention is not enhanced

:50:14.:50:19.

if you're standing in Downing Street denouncing the people you're about

:50:20.:50:22.

to negotiate with. That makes it harder. You had a question? I have

:50:23.:50:30.

two questions. Firstly turning to the Secretary of State's letter, to

:50:31.:50:40.

you, on 29th March. He says, that Scotland's assertion to EFTA and the

:50:41.:50:44.

EE A would not be deliverable. To ask you are you aware of how he has

:50:45.:50:48.

come to that conclusion and who he has spoken to. And what is your

:50:49.:50:54.

response to it. No, I'm not aware of who he has spoken to. He does not

:50:55.:51:01.

speak on their behalf. Our paper makes it clear that would be a new

:51:02.:51:10.

departure for EFTA and the negotiation is worth attempting. We

:51:11.:51:15.

are clear on Scotland's place in Europe, the right way to proceed was

:51:16.:51:20.

to place a requirement for a solution into the Article 50 letter,

:51:21.:51:24.

which was, which would be the first step. Then to assist us in the

:51:25.:51:31.

discussions we would have using their good offices, one of the

:51:32.:51:34.

solutions would be to make use of their membership. In a way, not

:51:35.:51:40.

dissimilar to what the Greenland option that was described as, to

:51:41.:51:46.

piggyback on their membership. We had figures involved and knowledge

:51:47.:51:51.

which said the discussion should take place. But it has not taken

:51:52.:51:57.

place because this was submitted, we published this on 20th December.

:51:58.:52:05.

That letter is dated 29th March. I made a presentation based on this at

:52:06.:52:10.

the January JMC and officials went away and discussed various parts of

:52:11.:52:17.

it. We were unaware and then that process was "intensified" after the

:52:18.:52:28.

GMC meeting. I'm not aware of any barrier to this that arose. That ims

:52:29.:52:33.

not to say we came to agreement. But there was no deal-breaker was dealt

:52:34.:52:37.

with during the discussions. And then I get the letter which says,

:52:38.:52:41.

no, can't be done. I don't believe that. Well whoever deems the

:52:42.:52:47.

Scottish Parliament report enough to appear before perhaps we will ask

:52:48.:52:52.

him those questions ourselves. We are struggling to get him to appear

:52:53.:52:59.

before this committee. I want to ask about the UK's Government response

:53:00.:53:05.

to the idea of Scotland having a bespoke with Europe, which is no, we

:53:06.:53:10.

need a UK internal market that is something that appears to have come

:53:11.:53:15.

on to the agenda, the idea of a UK internal market. I wonder what you

:53:16.:53:20.

thought the agenda was for the UK Government and how that could be

:53:21.:53:27.

compatible, notwithstanding it may be necessary, how it is compatible

:53:28.:53:35.

with devolution and given how things decided here could be usurped or

:53:36.:53:40.

have to be compatible with a UK market. The phrase they have used is

:53:41.:53:44.

a UK single market. I have been sceptical of that phrase. Before I

:53:45.:53:49.

come to just say what I think the motivation is, I might draw the

:53:50.:53:55.

committee's attention to a paper in the judicial review, a paper by

:53:56.:54:01.

called Brexit as a constitutional shock. And there is, it is an

:54:02.:54:07.

interesting paper, because what it deals with is the question of how

:54:08.:54:12.

the devolution settlement is under threat and what that thet is and it

:54:13.:54:17.

is an interesting study of the problems and how they might be

:54:18.:54:21.

addressed. But I do think this concept of the UK single market has

:54:22.:54:26.

been overinflated by the Prime Minister for purposes of her own

:54:27.:54:31.

really. First, it runs contrary to what devolution is about. Devolution

:54:32.:54:38.

is about subsidiarity and the appropriate places for power to be

:54:39.:54:42.

exercised and sharing the arrangements as we are required to

:54:43.:54:46.

do. So that is how we operate now. There is a differentiated

:54:47.:54:48.

constitution and there has been since the act of union in 1707. So

:54:49.:54:55.

different yapted powers -- difference yapted powers that are

:54:56.:54:59.

exercised joint lip as required. It is a bit of a threat to two things.

:55:00.:55:04.

One is the sovereignty view of the UK Parliament that is held by Brexit

:55:05.:55:10.

ears that the UK Parliament is sovereign and must not be dictated

:55:11.:55:15.

by any other body, so you can't share power in Europe and can'ts

:55:16.:55:25.

accept the ECG and that is why devolution is not popular with them.

:55:26.:55:30.

There is another issue. If you look at the issue of agriculture it is

:55:31.:55:37.

strong. One of the ways the UK Government could be able to set up

:55:38.:55:43.

new trade deals elsewhere would be to trade away access to our food

:55:44.:55:47.

markets. They couldn't do that if those things were still controlled

:55:48.:55:52.

by devolved Parliaments, because te volcano ved Parliaments -- devolved

:55:53.:55:56.

Parliaments would say no. I have used the Welsh use the example of

:55:57.:56:01.

New Zealand land. They would not want to be in a position of not

:56:02.:56:06.

being able to secure those advantages in trade deals. So they

:56:07.:56:13.

have to control those things. Now, they're also, you know I've seen it,

:56:14.:56:21.

they're concern about what happened over the SITA treaty and for a short

:56:22.:56:30.

period it looked as if that might be scuppered by a devolved Assembly. If

:56:31.:56:34.

they have got trade deals to do and things to trade off, like fishing,

:56:35.:56:40.

which will be traded off, mark anybody's word that is what they

:56:41.:56:48.

intend, they can only do if feck if they can control the assets. So a

:56:49.:56:54.

major part is doing deal that are presently the responsibility of the

:56:55.:56:57.

Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly and the Northern Ireland

:56:58.:56:59.

Parliament. This is threatening for devolution,

:57:00.:57:10.

to the health of our agricultural industries, and to rule rule

:57:11.:57:13.

Scotland. This is not being inimical to devolution. It is about that, but

:57:14.:57:18.

it is also about having the power to trade away things that we would not

:57:19.:57:22.

trade away, and should not trade away, given that the interest of our

:57:23.:57:32.

farmers and fishermen are concerned. Going back to your answer to marry

:57:33.:57:39.

Evans on structural funding -- to marry Evans. One of the challenges

:57:40.:57:45.

after Brexit is, what is the relationship between schemes that

:57:46.:57:52.

have an application across the whole UK and particular interest here in

:57:53.:57:55.

Scotland? For example, structural funds at the moment are considered

:57:56.:58:01.

Europe-wide. The dynamics of the Highlands and Islands at one time

:58:02.:58:05.

had a different status from what the ad now, reflecting changes in social

:58:06.:58:11.

development. Is the Scottish element's preferred proposal to have

:58:12.:58:17.

a UK wide dynamic scheme where we might be net beneficiaries or

:58:18.:58:21.

contributors, depending on our stage of development relative to the rest

:58:22.:58:26.

of the UK? Or is it to freeze the situation as it is in 2020 and make

:58:27.:58:33.

that the permanent financial relationship between the UK and

:58:34.:58:37.

Scotland? Know, our ambition is to be an independent country that is

:58:38.:58:46.

taking part in the EU. So, your second preference... It is not the

:58:47.:58:49.

second preference, but in terms of how we would operate within the

:58:50.:58:57.

current situation and in Brexit, my principle is no detriment. Scotland,

:58:58.:59:04.

and particularly the Highlands and Islands, and my constituency has

:59:05.:59:09.

benefited disproportionately from European investment. That is right

:59:10.:59:13.

and proper that the Highlands should do so, because they have required

:59:14.:59:16.

special treatment, and in those circumstances, we want to make sure

:59:17.:59:21.

there is no detriment. The same principle of assisting areas to

:59:22.:59:23.

develop and assisting communities should apply, and also the priority.

:59:24.:59:29.

For example, in agricultural terms, one of the key issues of support is

:59:30.:59:35.

keeping people on the land. The crofting system has developed as a

:59:36.:59:41.

uniquely successful one of showing that -- ensuring that immunities are

:59:42.:59:46.

not decimated and the land is still in use, and that is a useful system

:59:47.:59:51.

to have. If you have a UK wide agricultural policy with virtually

:59:52.:59:54.

no variation, that would be the principal. Quite rightly, the

:59:55.:00:01.

principle will be about agricultural production in areas such as the East

:00:02.:00:05.

of England or Scotland, and other areas will lose out. So, no

:00:06.:00:09.

detriment, a policy that suits Scotland. I hear all the time from

:00:10.:00:15.

people in crofting and agriculture in my constituency that, above

:00:16.:00:22.

everything else, retention of a less favoured area system is crucial,

:00:23.:00:27.

because without it, they will not be able to operate, given that they

:00:28.:00:31.

live in less favoured areas, so we pay attention to the need, to what

:00:32.:00:35.

the stakeholders are saying, to the principle of no detriment, and I

:00:36.:00:40.

suppose I am saying it is a matrix of issues, based upon making sure

:00:41.:00:43.

the interests of the people who elected us are followed and that we

:00:44.:00:50.

are true to those. Does that mean that you take a snapshot at the

:00:51.:00:53.

point of Brexit and then keep it there? No, it doesn't have to be the

:00:54.:00:59.

existing system, clearly. If they work well, they should be retained.

:01:00.:01:04.

If they don't, they can be changed. I just want to say this, probably as

:01:05.:01:09.

my last answer, the preference is to continue, or to find a way to be a

:01:10.:01:14.

member of the EU, and taking part in the schemes which have been very

:01:15.:01:16.

positive for Scotland. I was at the positive for Scotland. I was at the

:01:17.:01:24.

Europe Day celebrations in Edinburgh on Tuesday, and they were vibrant

:01:25.:01:29.

and interesting and vital, but the people who were there, and were

:01:30.:01:35.

representatives of all 27 countries, were saying, what we want is to

:01:36.:01:40.

celebrate something which has produced peace and prosperity on our

:01:41.:01:46.

continent for all of our lives, and that's vitally important to us, and

:01:47.:01:49.

we shouldn't forget that. It's about peace and prosperity. Do you have

:01:50.:01:54.

time for one more supplementary from Ross Greer? In relation to the

:01:55.:02:04.

answer he gave to Ms Evans, you mentioned the time you spent in the

:02:05.:02:09.

rest of Europe meeting with other parliamentarians and goverments.

:02:10.:02:14.

There are two different perceptions about the relative strength of the

:02:15.:02:21.

UK's negotiating position. We recently met with a delegation from

:02:22.:02:26.

another European Parliament who were perplexed by what they had heard

:02:27.:02:30.

when they were at the House of Commons, the belief about the

:02:31.:02:33.

strength in the UK position on the basis of caste that we sell to

:02:34.:02:37.

Germany, for example. What have you picked up from the rest of Europe?

:02:38.:02:41.

What did they believe the strength of the UK position to be in

:02:42.:02:47.

comparison to the perception they have of the UK Government's self

:02:48.:02:51.

belief. But like everyone wants to resolve this in as positive as

:02:52.:02:56.

possible. I don't think there is any doubt about that. The language of

:02:57.:03:04.

the Article 50 letter from the Prime Minister implies that in some way

:03:05.:03:06.

there is another arrangement that is just as good, and that that will

:03:07.:03:12.

become too because they are owed this. That is not the view. The view

:03:13.:03:17.

is, this is a mistake, a profound mistake and it shouldn't be

:03:18.:03:20.

happening. But if it is happening, then let's get it done as well, as

:03:21.:03:24.

neatly and as carefully as possible, but it won't be the same. And the

:03:25.:03:29.

advantages of membership are not available to nonmembers. That is

:03:30.:03:33.

simply axiomatic. And the language being used is either that language

:03:34.:03:38.

of saying, we'll have a strong, constructive relationship and there

:03:39.:03:41.

will be some wonderful pot of gold that comes to us outside the EU,

:03:42.:03:50.

which is nonsense. And then there is the view that we know best and we

:03:51.:03:53.

know what we're doing. It is all a bit confusing, and sometimes I have

:03:54.:04:00.

heard it said, once by a very distinguished former European figure

:04:01.:04:05.

some weeks ago, in the end, they go. That's it. And it's a mistake and it

:04:06.:04:09.

shouldn't have happened, but it has happened, now let's move on. Thank

:04:10.:04:14.

you very much. You have been very generous with your time. Thank you

:04:15.:04:18.

for coming to give evidence to us today. We will now have a brief

:04:19.:04:22.

suspension and go into private session.

:04:23.:04:25.