Spotlight on British political landscape

How devolution has shaped politics and the future of the British political landscape will be debated on Friday (05 November) when the Scottish Parliament hosts the Irish-Scottish Forum.

Organised by the University of Aberdeen in association with Queen’s University, Belfast, the Forum brings together around 80 academic experts, civil servants, journalists and policy makers from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Delegates will gather in Holyrood’s Committee Rooms to explore and compare the consequences of devolution on matters including economic powers, relations with Westminster, and the voice of language and culture.

Speakers include Henry McLeish, former First Minister of Scotland; Rhodri Morgan AM, former First Minister of Wales; Lord Alderdice, former Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly; Paul Murphy MP, former Secretary of State for Wales; Lord Sewel, former Scottish Office Minister; Austen Morgan, barrister and Belfast Agreement expert; and the writer and activist Pat Kane.

Deputy Presiding Officer Alasdair Morgan MSP, who will chair the morning’s plenary session, said:

“The Scottish Parliament is delighted to host this prestigious forum which brings together an impressive calibre of expertise and experience from the fields of politics, academia and civil society.  I look forward to some interesting and enlightening discussion as we consider the future of devolution in the UK and reflect and compare experiences of the past eleven years.”

Professor Cairns Craig, Director, AHRC Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies, University of Aberdeen, said:

“The future relationship between Cardiff, Belfast, and Edinburgh is the big political issue facing all three devolved nations. We are delighted that the Parliament is hosting this timely and independent policy exchange.”