Gareth Thomas’ PIPS placement with the Scottish Parliament

Gareth Thomas has recently finished his UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Policy internship, which took place at the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe).

The role of SPICe is to provide impartial information to the Scottish Parliament on a range of topics, when holding the Government to account on various matters of parliamentary business. Gareth worked in the Brexit, Environment and Rural Unit. The bulk of the internship involved writing a policy briefing for the Scottish Parliament, which are detailed overviews on a particular topic. These briefings are used to provide advice to parliamentarians during committee meetings and debates to hold the Scottish Government to account on various matters, meaning it is important to be politically impartial.

Gareth’s main focus was writing a policy briefing for agricultural policy post-Brexit. As agriculture is a devolved power, agricultural policy in Scotland is under the control of the Scottish Parliament, rather than the UK (English) Parliament. You can also read Gareth’s blog on the subject.

Gareth also had a side project on the legal protection of beavers, which he wrote a blog about. Blogs are written by SPICe to provide a summary of information on a particular topic which are more timely, as they are often surrounding issues which could be coming up in a parliamentary debate.