Today (Monday) the Prime Minister hosts the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, at 10 Downing Street.
The meeting will include discussion about how the UK government and the Scottish government can co-operate even more effectively on security and intelligence matters, ensuring people in Scotland and the rest of the UK are protected equally from the threat of Daesh-inspired extremism.
Across the UK, the threat level from international terrorism is currently judged to be ‘severe’, meaning that a terrorist attack is highly likely, although there is no intelligence to suggest an attack is imminent.
The Prime Minister and Ms Sturgeon will also discuss Scotland’s new fiscal framework – the financial rules that will underpin Holyrood’s new tax and welfare powers. Under the Scotland Bill, the Scottish government is set to gain major new powers from Westminster and discussions are ongoing as to how this can be delivered in a way which is fair both to the taxpayers of Scotland and the rest of the UK.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, the Prime Minister said:
We know that Daesh pose a very direct threat to our country and our way of life. That threat applies across the UK and so it is essential that the UK government and the governments of our devolved nations co-operate in the most effective way. We are looking at a number of issues, including the use of intelligence information, and we also need to ensure co-operation at a legislative level as well.
We cannot afford to give terrorists safe spaces in which to communicate and we must give the police and security services the tools they need to keep us safe in the 21st century. I am hopeful that when we debate the Investigatory Powers Bill in the new year, we can achieve cross-party support for these fundamental concepts.
On the subject of Scotland’s fiscal framework, the Prime Minister added:
Both the UK government and the Scottish government are committed to getting a good deal for Scotland and these discussions are continuing in good faith. What I am absolutely clear on is that we must abide by the Smith Commission principles – that is the promise we have made to the people of Scotland. This means that the fiscal framework must be fair to Scotland, fair to the rest of the UK, and built to last.