HC Deb 09 July 2002 vol 388 cc732-3
26. Mr. Michael Moore (Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale)

What the purpose was of her recent official visit to Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale. [65323]

The Advocate-General for Scotland (Dr. Lynda Clark)

The purpose of the visit was to demonstrate the UK Government's continuing interest and involvement in the borders area by meeting local people involved in important borders industries such as tourism and the vibrant cashmere industry. I also accepted an invitation to attend the end of year show at Heriot-Watt university's school of textile and design in Galashiels.

In my legal advisory role, I am responsible for advising on both devolved and reserved aspects of Scots law, and it is important that I have regard to the practical implications of the devolution settlement.

The visit also enabled me to visit Abbotsford house, the home of one of Scotland's best known lawyers, Sir Walter Scott. That beautiful house is of interest to many of the international lawyers I meet.

Mr. Moore

I commend the Advocate-General for visiting the borders. Her visit was well received, not least because of her support for the cashmere industry and her attendance at the Heriot-Watt fashion show. In the past three years, it has sometimes been hard to pin down the hon. and learned Lady on her roles and responsibilities. Does her visit mean that we have trouble in the courts in the borders, or may we now table questions to her on employment, tourism and the fashion industry?

The Advocate-General

I have no trouble pinning down my role. The hon. Gentleman might get a better idea of it if he read my article in The Scots Law Times a few weeks ago. I am pleased that he acknowledges the fact that I, as a member of the UK Government and a Scotland Office Minister, was interested enough to come to his constituency. I have every intention of returning there if I am invited again, and I hope that he will come with me next time.

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