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REF 84 - Brexit assessments

Request

 “…relates to the process of planning and preparing for a possible future when the UK may not be a member of the European Union (‘Brexit’)”

1.       How much has been spent on external consultants or support to advise on the implications and consequences of brexit, or recommend actions to mitigate any possible brexit impacts? If spend has occurred, please confirm the name of the supplier or suppliers and copies of any material produced by this process.

2.       Please supply copies of any brexit planning documentation held by the organisation or consumed by senior management. This may include, but should not be limited to, Risk Assessments, Action Plans, Meeting minutes, Reports and presentations.

3.       Please supply technical or advisory briefing documentation on brexit that has been produced by the organisation and supplied to other government agencies or bodies.

4.       Please supply copies of any technical or advisory documentation that has been supplied to the agency from other public bodies that relates to Brexit contingency planning

5.       Please supply details of any assessment that has been made of the financial impact on the organisation, either positive or negative, of the brexit process. Has the organisation set-aside a contingency fund or invested as a direct consequence of the brexit process? If so, please provide summary details

Response

1.       We do not hold any information because no spend has occurred

2.      & 3.  

We have one paper, from the Environment & Economy Leaders’ Group. An exemption under section 29(1)(a) of FOISA (formulation or development of government policy) applies the information requested because it relates to the development of the Scottish Government’s policy on future EU engagement.

This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, there is a greater public interest in high quality policy and decision-making, and in the properly considered implementation and development of policies and decisions. This means that Ministers and officials need to be able to consider all available options and to debate those rigorously, to fully understand their possible implications. Their candour in doing so will be affected by their assessment of whether the discussions on future EU engagement will be disclosed in the near future, when it may undermine or constrain the Government’s view on that policy while it is still under discussion and development

4.       We do not hold any information

5.       We do not hold any information; nor have we set-aside a contingency fund or invested as a direct consequence of the Brexit process