The memorandum of understanding (MoU) is agreed between the UK government and the devolved administrations. It sets out broad terms for how the 4 governments will work together on matters of mutual interest.
The MoU is not legally binding. It sets out procedures for avoiding and resolving inter-governmental disputes. It also contains overarching agreements (concordats) on:
- co-ordination of European Union policy issues
- financial aid to industry
- international relations.
The MoU applies equally to the UK government and the 3 devolved administrations. It is supplemented by bilateral concordats. These are agreements between individual devolved administrations and specific UK government departments.
The MoU establishes the Joint Ministerial Committee. The committee is a forum for consultation, discussion and dealing with disputes.