26 Sep 22. MOD to prioritise improved understanding of the implications of Scottish devolution, following Committee intervention. Responding to a key finding of the Scottish Affairs Committee, the UK Government has confirmed that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) will seek to improve its knowledge and understanding of where its work impacts – and is impacted by – areas of devolved competence.
The commitment comes as the Scottish Affairs Committee publishes the Government’s response to its report, Defence in Scotland: Military Landscape.
In its report, the Committee argued that while defence is wholly reserved to the UK Government, decisions on military bases impact numerous areas of devolved competence, such as health, transport, education and other public services. As a result, the Committee called on the UK Government to adapt the approach it takes to basing decisions in England, recognising the different regulatory frameworks in Scotland and the role of the Scottish Government in devolved policy areas. It is therefore welcome that the MOD will seek to improve its understanding of devolution ahead of future military basing decisions.
The MOD has also committed to engaging with the General Teaching Council Scotland about the transfer of professional teaching qualifications for military spouses and partners so that they can transition teaching careers between England and Scotland more easily.
Scottish Affairs Committee Chair, Pete Wishart MP, said: “The UK Government has engaged positively with a number of our Committee’s recommendations. For too long, the UK Government has overlooked the important role that the Scottish Government has in terms of public services, and how military basing decisions taken in Whitehall can impact those areas – healthcare, transport, education – significantly. It is therefore welcome news that the MOD will seek to improve its understanding for future military basing decisions.”