Scots HQ for British-Irish group
Published Date: 26 June 2010
By Scott Macnab

AN inter-governmental body will set up its headquarters in Scotland, it has been announced.
The British-Irish Council (BIC) will make its administrative base in Edinburgh to support and co-ordinate its work.

The news follows the latest meeting of the body in Guernsey yesterday, attended by First Minister Alex Salmond and other leaders from the devolved UK administrations.

Mr Salmond said: “I am delighted that the British-Irish Council has agreed to locate this secretariat in Scotland.”

The BIC was established in 1999 under the Good Friday Agreement. The secretariat, commissioned three years ago, will comprise six staff seconded from member administrations.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Tavish Scott said: “This is a welcome step for devolution, which shows the new relationship between the governments of the United Kingdom working.”

Mr Salmond was joined at yesterday’s meeting by Irish Taoiseach Brian Cowen, Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones, Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson and his deputy, Martin McGuinness, and representatives from Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.