First ministers of Scotland and Wales hold official meeting in Edinburgh

First ministers of Scotland and Wales hold official meeting in Edinburgh

The First Minister of Wales, Rhodri Morgan, has met with Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond during his two-day visit to Scotland last December 2007

Mr Morgan was in the Scottish capital on the 6th and 7th of December for a series of speaking engagements and met Alex Salmond at his official residence in Bute House.

This was the first official meeting between the Welsh and Scottish first ministers since the May 2007 elections which resulted in a Scottish National Party minority government in Scotland and a coalition government of Labour and Plaid Cymru in Wales.

Speaking following his meeting with First Minister of Wales Rhodri Morgan, Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond said: "I warmly welcome Rhodri Morgan to Scotland, as a long-standing friend and colleague. This morning, as usual, we enjoyed a wide-ranging discussion and were able to identify a strong sense of common cause.”

Mr Salmond voiced a need to update the constitutional structures of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in respect to the United Kingdom.

"It's now time for our devolved administrations to find the best way of working together and, when appropriate, pressing our case on Westminster. We need to find the best framework to do that and I believe that Ministerial committees provide a good framework to start from”, he said.

"I know the administration in Northern Ireland advocates a similar position and today the Welsh First Minister has agreed to consider the issue. He must now discuss this with his coalition colleagues. I look forward to continuing our efforts to find the best way of accommodating the new geography of these islands", he added.

Jobs and environment

On a visit to the Scottish Parliament, Rhodri Morgan focused on telling about his administration's approach to renewable energy and how the Welsh Assembly's coalition government plans to create jobs without harming the environment.

"How do we reduce greenhouse emissions by cleaning up the emissions from the smokestacks? Not by closing down the smokestacks, especially as they might simply move to less well regulated countries that have not signed the Kyoto Treaty", said Mr Morgan, as he highlighted that the Welsh economy depends far more on heavy-polluting industry than Scotland.

During his two-day visit to Scotland, First Minister Rhodri Morgan gave also a speech on Welsh devolution at Edinburgh University's politics society.

'Devolution and our Asymmetric United Kingdom'
Speech of Rt Hon Rhodri Morgan, First Minister of Wales, on 7 December 2007 at the Edinburgh University Politics Society

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