Mark Drakeford MS, First Minister
Following years of intensive work by Ministers and officials during the joint Review of Intergovernmental Relations, the Welsh Government, along with the UK government, the Scottish Government, and the Northern Ireland Executive, have agreed to use the package of reforms which has emerged from the Review as the basis for the conduct of intergovernmental relations.
The package has been published and is available at: The review of intergovernmental relations on GOV.UK
The package makes important progress in advancing the objectives the Welsh Government set out in ‘Brexit and Devolution’ and ‘Reforming our Union’, and as such is a welcome development which can bring benefits for all 4 governments and the 4 nations.
The final package of reforms builds on the draft set of proposals that was published on 24 March last year. Further progress has been made since then to strengthen the package, focusing on the concerns we expressed with the earlier proposals. In particular, we believe the new structures and process can enable more meaningful dialogue among governments across areas of mutual interest – including on finance, UK-EU relations, trade and international affairs – and underpinned by a clearer, fairer dispute avoidance and resolution mechanism. These arrangements will all be overseen by a new “Prime Minister and Heads of Devolved Governments Council”.
Overall, the package has the potential to deliver significant improvements, if the spirit and content as set out in the package is translated through into consistent approaches and actions, based on respect, parity of participation and parity of esteem, and a desire to reach agreement through discussion (and indeed compromise) not imposition. All 4 governments have a responsibility to live up to these principles.
We will keep Members informed, in accordance with the inter-institutional relations agreement, as we implement the machinery and processes set out in the package.