ALISTER Jack has revealed the so-called “transgressions” that resulted in the UK Government taking a tougher stance to visits involving Scottish ministers and overseas governments.

Speaking at the Scottish Affairs Committee meeting on Monday, the Secretary of State for Scotland listed six supposed breaches – including by former first minister Nicola Sturgeon and External Affairs Secretary Angus Robertson.

Committee chair and SNP MP Pete Wishart dismissed them as “meagre fare” and asked, incredulously: “We had a fall out because of this?”

READ MORE: Alister Jack insists UK international representation benefits Scotland

James Cleverly last month wrote to UK officials, instructing them to take a “strengthened approach” to visits involving Scottish ministers and overseas governments, urging them to ensure Westminster representatives were also present for any talks.

But the move angered Robertson, who accused the Foreign Secretary of making “misleading” statements as he called for the guidance to be withdrawn.

Robertson also wrote to Cleverly, raising concerns that it could damage “Scottish trade, cultural exchanges and education and Scottish interests in general”.

During the meeting, Jack insisted that Scotland “benefits hugely” from the UK Government’s international work, claiming that Scottish ministers talking about independence or “breaking up” the UK didn’t encourage investment and made foreign consuls “uncomfortable”.

The Tory MP for Dumfries and Galloway then went on to list the so-called breaches.

He said: “The first one is in Washington. Nicola Sturgeon, who may be a person of interest to this committee, was clear that she discussed the constitution with the US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman during a visit to Washington DC in 2022, when she tweeted that she had ‘discussed the situation in Ukraine and the resulting refugee crisis, the Northern Ireland Protocol and the constitutional future of the United Kingdom.’

“During a meeting with the French EU minister, Angus Robertson discussed the EU Erasmus Scheme and the UK Turing Scheme and commented that there was ‘no alternative other than Scotland to be part of the EU again’."

Jack said: “Such criticism of UK policies clearly undermines our relationship with international partners.”

He went on: “Ivan McKee (SNP MSP) said at a trade event in Poland that was attended by a European secretary of state in a ministry of economic development and technology that Brexit was a mistake, that he looked forward to Scotland joining the EU as a full member in due course and showing the rest of the UK the benefits of membership.”

“Robertson described Brexit as a calamity and said it posed additional challenges for Scotland, not least because Scotland was pro-EU.

“At a St. Andrew's day reception, Robertson said that Scotland would rejoin the EU as an independent nation and criticised the impact of the EU exit on student exchange programs to Scotland.”

“Finally, an FOI release at the end of November showed that Scottish Government offices overseas have been used to correspond with the EU on constitutional matters which are reserved.”

Jack said that there were more supposed breaches, but added that he was unable to reveal them due to their “sensitive” nature. He added that they “were wrong” and “undermined” Scotland’s place in the UK.

Wishart the dismissed the claims as “meagre fare”.

He said: “You described them as ‘blatant breaches’, they sounded pretty much like meagre fare. A tweet from Nicola Sturgeon, Ivan McKee saying Brexit was a mistake. Everybody in Scotland, or most people, think that it was a mistake.”

“Come on Secretary of State, anybody asked a question about Brexit who is Scottish is likely to say it was a mistake.”

He added, incredulously: “We’ve had a fall out because of this?”