HC Deb 27 January 1998 vol 305 cc195-6W
Mr. Swinney

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, pursuant to his answer of 20 January 1998,Official Report, column 492, (1) when discussion began in his Department concerning the non-statutory agreement with the Scottish Executive; on what dates discussions took place; and who was present at such meetings; [25576]

(2) if he will publish the most recent drafts of non-statutory agreements with the Scottish Executive; when he proposes to publish the final document; and if the agreement will operate in the first instance for a trial period; [25578]

(3) in what areas a non-statutory agreement between his Department and the Scottish Executive will give the lead role in policy formation to his Department; to what extent

it will include mechanisms to harmonise policy between Scotland and his Department on devolved matters; and if he will make a statement; [25579]

(4) what representation he has received from other government departments concerning the format and aims of a non-statutory agreement between his department and the Scottish Executive; if he will list the number of representations from each Department; and if he will make a statement. [25580]

Dr. Howells

Discussions are being held between departments, both at official level and at Ministerial level, on all matters relating to non-statutory agreements between the UK Government and the Scottish Executive. In most cases, these discussions are in their early stages in the light of the fact that such agreements cannot be finalised until the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Executive are established. Parliament will be kept informed of progress on these matters.

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