UK Government lacks access to ‘crucial’ Brexit data from Scotland, Gove claims

By Katrine Bussey, PA Scotland Political Editor
·1-min read

Scottish ministers have not given the UK Government access to “crucial data” on Brexit preparedness, Michael Gove has claimed.

The Cabinet Office minister has written to Scottish Constitution Secretary Mike Russell on the issue, saying this had happened despite the devolved administrations receiving “detailed papers” from the UK Government.

Mr Russell said last month that there was now no trust between the Scottish Government and Westminster, complaining that dialogue between the two administrations had become “significantly worse since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister”.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has written to Scottish Constitution Secretary Mike Russell (Aaron Chown/PA)
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has written to Scottish Constitution Secretary Mike Russell (Aaron Chown/PA)

Mr Gove, a key member of Mr Johnson’s cabinet, said however there was now “intensified engagement” taking place as the UK prepares for the Brexit transition period ending in December.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been invited to “regular meetings” of the cabinet committee dealing with preparations and operational readiness for the end of the transition period, Mr Gove said.

But he told Mr Russell: “I note that despite this intensified engagement, UK Government ministers and officials have not been invited to any operational readiness meetings of the Scottish Government.

“I appreciate that is your decision but we still lack access to crucial data and have not had papers or other important planning materials shared with us.”

Mr Gove said this included information on how cash from the UK Government to support Brexit readiness had been spent, and how ministers at Holyrood were ensuring the businesses are ready for the change.