The UK Prime Minister made his first biannual appearance before the Commons Liaison Committee last week. The Liaison Committee consists of the chairs of the various Commons Select Committees, and this two-hour session is the main opportunity for forensic examination of the Prime Minister’s policies. The Number 10 Press Release is here, BBC News’s sketch is here, and the full transcript is here.
It’s not surprising that much of the session revolved around the UK Government’s headline policies: the spending review, welfare reform, the strategic defence review and Afghanistan. What’s more telling is the lack of discussion of territorial issues. The chairman of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, Laurence Robertson, raised issues relating to security there (see QQ 72-5), and there was also some discussion of the impact of Ireland’s economic woes on the UK. But no issues relating to Scotland or Wales were discussed, despite the impact polices like the spending review, higher education funding and welfare reform have (all, of course, previously discussed on this blog: see for example HERE, HERE and HERE). Indeed the chairs of the Scottish and Welsh Affairs Committees don’t even appear to have been present.