Boris Johnson to chair new council working with devolved governments

It is aimed at strengthening the work between the UK Government, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the Northern Irish Executive.

Boris Johnson to chair new council working with devolved governments Flickr

Boris Johnson is to chair a new council aimed at strengthening work between the devolved governments.

It comes after publication of an agreement setting out how the devolved governments will work to “deliver for people across the whole of the United Kingdom”.

The Intergovernmental Relations (IGR) Review aims to set out new structures on how the UK Government, Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive work together.

It will take the form of a “three-tired structure” and will formalise the new council, chaired by the Prime Minister, and made up of heads of the devolved governments.

They will discuss issues affecting people across the UK, particularly where they cut across reserved and devolved policy, or are of shared responsibility.

The new structures will be supported by an independent secretariat made up of civil servants seconded from all four governments and will serve the UK government and devolved governments equally.

It will also include a new mechanism for avoiding, escalating and resolving disputes.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “When team UK pulls together in common cause, spirit and endeavour we will always be at our very best.

“We’ve shown time and time again the combined strength we have in facing off the shared challenges before us, while also seizing the opportunities ahead for the benefit of the whole United Kingdom.

“Today’s announcements build upon that strength as we all continue to work together to deliver for the British people.”

Minister for intergovernmental relations Michael Gove insisted that by working together more effectively, the UK can better overcome the challenges it faces.

“Devolution has empowered communities and resulted in huge benefits across the United Kingdom,” he said.

“Today’s landmark agreement will build on the incredible amount of collaboration already taking place between the UK Government and the devolved administrations.

“By working together even more effectively, we can better overcome the challenges we face, create greater opportunities and improve people’s lives for the better.”

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said the “important agreement” will help to strengthen co-operation.

“Scotland has two governments, and people want to see them continue to work together to tackle Covid and drive our recovery,” said Jack.

“Throughout the pandemic, the Scottish and UK governments have worked closely together, to keep people safe, protect public services, and support businesses and jobs in Scotland.

“This important agreement will build on that and help strengthen cooperation further – as we work together to deliver the priorities of people in Scotland on jobs, prosperity and economic recovery.

“It also reflects the increased powers of the Scottish Parliament since 2016 and the UK’s vote to leave the EU.”

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