House of Lords
Lord Wigley (Plaid Cymru)
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there are staff designated to deal with issues specific to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in any of the United Kingdom's embassies and high commissions abroad.
Lord Howell of Guildford (Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Conservative)
As per the Memorandum of Understanding on devolved Administrations, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) represents the whole of the UK as foreign policy is not a devolved matter. No members of FCO staff are designated to work exclusively on issues related to the devolved Administrations. However, our network of embassies and high commissions also includes staff employed by the devolved Administrations.
The Scottish Government have, under the auspices of the Scottish Affairs Office, four staff (two locally employed) at our embassy in Washington and a further two in the British Consulate in Toronto. In our embassy in Beijing there are two accredited staff. There are also 12 staff working under the umbrella of the United Kingdom's Permanent Representation to the European Union (UKRep) in Brussels.
There are nine staff (two locally engaged) working within UKRep Brussels. Wales also has a United States Representative Office for the First Minister, based at our Consulate-General in New York, which houses five staff. There is also a Wales Affairs Officer in New Delhi and a Welsh Trade and Investment Officer working at our embassy in Dubai, both funded by the Welsh Government.
There are six staff (three locally employed) working for the Northern Ireland Bureau in Washington and New York. In Washington they are not located within our embassy but the officer in New York is based in the Consulate-General. The Northern Ireland Executive currently have five staff working under the umbrella of UKRep Brussels with a further four arriving shortly.