HC Deb 27 January 1998 vol 305 cc204-5W
Mr. Swinney

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 20 Janaury 1998,Official Report, column 502, (1) 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; [25574]

(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; [25573]

(3) what representations he has received from other Government Departments concerning the format and aims of non-statutory agreements 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; [25575]

(4) when discussions 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. [25572]

Mr. Milburn

Discussions are being held between departments, both at official level and at Ministerial level, on all matters relating to non-statutory agreements between the United Kingdom Government and the Scottish Executive. These discussions are in their early stages because such agreements cannot be finalised until the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Executive are established. Parliament will be kept informed on progress on these matters.