Strong and successful co-operation between UK and devolved governments highlighted in first annual report
First ever annual report on intergovernmental relations shows a year of collaboration and cooperation with the devolved governments
- First ever Intergovernmental Relations Annual Report highlights success of collaboration with devolved governments
- More than 440 ministerial meetings between UK government and devolved governments took place in 2021
- Key success of collaboration highlighted by COVID-19 response, COP26, City and Growth Deals and the British Irish Council
The UK government has today (31 March 2022) published its first ever annual report on intergovernmental relations, which shows a year of collaboration and cooperation with the devolved governments.
The Intergovernmental Relations Annual Report covers a historic year of January 2021-December 2021, as all governments battled the COVID-19 pandemic, brought action on climate change onto the global stage once more through COP26, and put levelling up at the heart of the national agenda through city and growth deals. None of these could have been successes without joint working with the Scottish Government, Welsh Government, and Northern Ireland Executive.
Secretary of State for Levelling Up and Minister for Intergovernmental Relations Michael Gove said:
"Regular, meaningful and sustained joint working between the UK and devolved governments over the last twelve months has delivered for people across the whole United Kingdom.
"We faced the COVID-19 pandemic together, co-operating on a world-leading vaccination roll-out which benefitted people in every corner of the UK. At COP26 in Glasgow, we stood as one in our determination to set ambitious climate change goals which will protect our planet for the future.
"While we do not always agree, we have shown in the most challenging of times that we can put our differences aside and work together in the interests of the people we serve."
The report highlights that in the last year there were over 440 ministerial meetings between the UK government and the devolved governments. This is alongside extensive daily engagement between civil servants across the governments.
The UK government reports on engagement between the governments on a quarterly basis, and the quarterly reports are available on gov.uk. The publications forms just one part of the UK government’s ongoing commitment to transparency of on intergovernmental relations to Parliament and the UK.
This is just the latest step in cooperation, and follows a landmark agreement published earlier this year between the UK government and devolved governments which established new ways of working.
The Intergovernmental Relations Review set up inter-ministerial steering groups and official-level working groups which will meet regularly throughout the year. The first inter-ministerial steering group, chaired by Secretary of State Michael Gove, met last week to discuss Ukraine and levelling up.
The new structure has a new mechanism for avoiding, escalating and resolving disputes; supported by joint secretariats and based upon consensus.