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Official Visits

Volume 474: debated on Monday 21 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what visits he has made in his capacity as Secretary of State for Scotland since July 2007. (190822)

My Ministry of Defence and Scotland Office diaries and public engagements are closely co-ordinated, it is therefore appropriate to cover both portfolios in the response for completeness.

On 10 July, I visited Berlin for a meeting with the German Defence Minister. On 12 and 13 July I was in Belgium to attend the Tyne Cot ceremony and for a meeting with Javier Solana. Between the 13 and 15 July, I visited Paris to attend Bastille Day celebrations. On 21 July, I was at the University of Strathclyde for the UK Youth Parliament annual sitting. On 1 August I visited Standard Life in Edinburgh, and on 2 August I visited Aegon and Selex Sensors in Edinburgh. On 3 August I went to visit Rolls Royce in East Kilbride, and on 4 August I had dinner with General Officer Commanding 2 Division, Edinburgh. The following day, I attended the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland performance in Glasgow. Between 6 and 10 August I was in Afghanistan. On 11 August, I attended the FEBA Highland Games event at Strathclyde country park, Motherwell, and then saw a performance of On Danfe at Edinburgh Playhouse. I visited WL Gore Co. Ltd. in Livingstone on 14 August, and on the 16 August I visited Seebyte in Edinburgh. The following day I visited Mahle Engine Systems in East Kilbride and watched the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela concert in Edinburgh. On Sunday 19 August I spoke at the Celebration of Indian Independence dinner in Glasgow. On Monday 20 August I visited Highland Spring. Later that day I visited the Diageo Bottling Plant in Glasgow and attended the Scottish Council for Development and Industry dinner in Glasgow. I was in Edinburgh on 22 August to visit a Waterfront regeneration project, and then travelled to Glasgow for an afternoon meeting with the STUC at their offices. On 23 August I visited REPower Aberdeen, and also visited a Scotch whisky distillery. Between 27 and 29 August I was in Greenland to meet the Danish Defence Minister.

On 12 September I hosted a Conflict Resolution Seminar at the University of Glasgow. On 13 September I visited 52 Brigade and a Medical Centre in Edinburgh. On 20 September I attended the opening of the new BBC building at Pacific Quay, Glasgow. On 25 September I paid a visit to the Royal Armoured Corps at Bovington. On 28 and 29 September I was in Lisbon for EU informal ministerial meetings. On 11 October I went to HMS Albion for a Project Compass dinner, and on 12 October I attended the armed forces memorial dedication ceremony in Staffordshire. On 13 October I was a guest at the Scotland versus Ukraine Euro 2008 qualifier at Hampden park. On 14 October I listened to the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland Futures performance in Glasgow. On 15 October I visited the UK Pinnacle Course at the Defence Academy, Shrivenham, and on 18 October, I was in Crawley for a debate on Trident. On 19 October I visited 12 Mechanised Brigade at Tidworth and Bulford. On 20 October I attended the Trafalgar night dinner on HMS Victory. On 24 and 25 October I was at the NATO informal defence ministerial meetings in the Netherlands, and on 26 October I attended the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce business breakfast and I was at the launch of Stagecoach's bio-diesel coaches in Kilmarnock.

From 29 October to 2 November I was in Iraq. On 9 November I visited Diageo, in Ochil, Stirling, before attending the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall on 10 November, and the Remembrance Sunday ceremony in Whitehall on 11 November. On 14 November I attended the SSAFA Corporate Friends reception at Chatham House. On 17 November I watched Scotland play Italy at Hampden park, Glasgow. On 19 November I visited Brussels for the General Affairs and External Relations Council meeting. On Friday 23 November, I addressed the State of the City Economy conference in Glasgow.

On 1 December, I visited Longannet Power Station, Alloa, and the Scottish Interfaith Week Come and Play the Diversity Game event in Edinburgh. On 5 December I attended the SSAFA carol service in London. Between 7 and 10 December I was in Afghanistan. On 13 and 14 December I attended the RC South meeting in Edinburgh. On 20 December I visited Bassingbourne for the Army Training Regiment Pass off Parade.

On 3 and 4 January I visited Brussels for meetings with the UK Representative to NATO, and on 5 January I visited headquarters in Northern Ireland. I watched the Cirque du Soleil with Canadian high commissioner at the Royal Albert Hall on 8 January. On 22 January I opened the ‘Scots in Quebec’ exhibition at Canada house, London, with Premier Charest of Quebec. On 25 January I visited 51 Brigade, Stirling, the Solve It project in Falkirk and the Glasgow Works project in Glasgow. On 31 January I visited Headley court and the Cavalry Barracks in Hounslow. I was in Geneva on 5 February for the Nuclear Disarmament conference and SERA new year reception, and then from 6 to 8 February I attended the NATO informal defence ministerial meetings in Lithuania. On 11 February I visited Babcocks at Rosyth Dockyard, and on 12 February I visited the Defence Academy at Shrivenham. On 15 February I visited Thales Optronics in Glasgow. On 21 and 22 February I was in Slovenia for EU informal defence ministerial meetings.