Intergovernmental relations

Intergovernmental relations are non-statutory and do not create new, or over-ride existing, legal relations or obligations.  And neither are they justiciable.

In 1999 the UK Government and devolved governments agreed a memorandum of understanding aimed at co-ordinating the overall relationship between them.  To this end a Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC) was created, with sub-committees, at which ministers would meet.

On 13 January 2022 a Review of Intergovernmental Relations reported[1] and established new arrangements under which the JMC was abandoned in favour of a new structure comprising a:

  • top tier Council (the Prime Minister and Heads of devolved governments),
  • middle tier of standing committees, such as the Interministerial Standing Committee, and
  • lowest tier of interministerial groups formed to discuss specific policy areas.

[1] Review of intergovernmental relations, Cabinet Office policy paper, 13 January 2022.