Northern Ireland Agreement

Question Time — Scottish Executive — General Questions – in the Scottish Parliament at 11:40 am on 28 June 2007.

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Photo of Christina McKelvie Christina McKelvie Scottish National Party 11:40, 28 June 2007

To ask the Scottish Executive how the recently signed agreement between the First Minister and representatives of the Northern Ireland Assembly will benefit Scotland. (S3O-394)

Photo of Linda Fabiani Linda Fabiani Scottish National Party

Scotland's relationship with Northern Ireland is already good. It is the Government's intention to strengthen and develop our links for mutual benefit and common interest.

Photo of Christina McKelvie Christina McKelvie Scottish National Party

What work is under way to meet those objectives?

Photo of Linda Fabiani Linda Fabiani Scottish National Party

Senior officials in Scotland and Northern Ireland have been asked to draw up proposals for developing our co-operation as a matter of priority. On the basis of our discussions and the terms of our agreement, we will work together to raise awareness of each other's history and culture and to encourage education programmes that build on existing links between our universities and colleges. We will collaborate on tourism through the tourism group of the British-Irish Council. Renewable energy and its effects on the environment are of interest to us all. We also want to strengthen co-operation between the devolved Administrations. We have agreed that we will review progress in all those areas by the end of the year.