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Drakeford and Sturgeon urge Johnson to ensure "meaningful" Covid summit

Mark Drakeford (Image: Getty Images). Nicola Sturgeon © ScottishPolitico (CC BY-SA 4.0).

First Minister Mark Drakeford and his Scottish counterpart Nicola Sturgeon have written to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday (25 May) calling for greater "clarity and substance" concerning a proposed four-nations Covid summit scheduled for Thursday this week.

The letter calls on Johnson and his team to provide a detailed agenda ahead of the meeting in order to ensure a "meaningful discussion with substantive outcomes, and not just a PR exercise."

The Welsh and Scottish First Ministers also copied in the First Minister of Northern Ireland Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Michelle O'Neill.

Read the full letter below:

Dear Prime Minister,

We are writing about the proposed 4-nations summit on Covid recovery, which you have suggested should take place this Thursday afternoon.

We are both deeply committed to taking part in such a summit and to working appropriately together on Covid Recovery - but, as we are sure you do, we want the meeting to be a meaningful discussion with substantive outcomes, and not just a PR exercise.

Our view is that this will be best achieved if further detailed preparation is done in advance.

In particular, we would propose early discussion to reach agreement on the following -

  1. A detailed agenda. Your office sent a very rough proposed agenda only yesterday morning and our view is that further work is needed to agree key issues for discussion and any supporting papers to be prepared;

  2. What outcomes/further process we are seeking to achieve as a result of the summit discussion.

Further discussion between our officials - leading to the summit taking place on an agreed date, perhaps as early as next week - would allow for a much more meaningful exercise, and avoid the risk of it being just a PR or box-ticking exercise. We are sure that is what we all want.

We are copying this letter to Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill.



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