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29/10/13 14:59

Media Briefing - Tuesday 29 October 2013

Post Cabinet Media Briefing by the First Minister’s Official Spokesperson (FMOS) and the First Minister’s Special Adviser (FMSA): Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The FMOS welcomes journalists to the briefing and ran through the updates, following the meeting of the Cabinet that morning.

The FMOS said that Cabinet had welcomed that Scotland had been identified as a top-three world destination for 2014 by Lonely Planet. As well as the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup, Year of Homecoming and the Edinburgh Festival, the Referendum was included as a highlight of the year to come.

She noted to journalists that Health Secretary Alex Neil had not attended today’s Cabinet as he was travelling to Estonia to meet with Mr Rõivas, Estonian Social Affairs Minister. While in Estonia Mr Neil will be delivering a keynote speech on the Scottish Government’s position on alcohol minimum pricing, which the Estonian Government is supportive of. Mr Neil will also be seeing Estonian developments around e-health services.

The FMOS highlighted the organ donation campaign launched today, and advised journalists that it is supported with a powerful case study of a man who died in a motorcycle accident at Knockhill whose family are very keen to support the campaign. The individual’s heart, liver, pancreas and kidney were all donated to different individuals.

Asked about whether the SG would be responding to the UK Government paper on security, the FMSA said that a statement was available in Mr MacAskill’s name. He stressed that there is nothing new to the paper; and that Scotland already has a fully independent justice system, with substantial cross-border cooperation on police matters and security. Asked about Teresa May’s claims that current cross-border cooperation would stop, the FMSA refuted this would be the case and that this was simply playing politics.

Asked about timing and plans for the White Paper publication, the FMOS said a press briefing would take place and that journalists would be informed of timing. She stressed that we will ensure that notice of arrangements is provided to the media well in advance.