Intergovernmental Agreement Welsh Government

The UK Government recognised the need for new forms of coordination, cooperation, decision-making and dispute resolution and stated that „[d] the governments of the United Kingdom, Scotland and Wales and the Northern Ireland Public Service are cooperating to promote the implementation of such agreements. The Minister also issued an intergovernmental support agreement setting out a number of additional commitments on how the amendments, if agreed, will work in practice. The JMC for European Negotiations was integrated in 2016 into the wider JMC agency to „work together to discuss each government`s requirements for future relations with the EU.” Amendments to controversial Article 11 of the European Union Withdrawal (Withdrawal) Act were passed last night in the House of Lords following an agreement reached last week between the UK government and the Welsh Government. Jack Sheldon and Mike Kenny explain the importance of this agreement to the United Kingdom as a whole and outline a number of unresolved issues it raises. The exit from the EU has exposed the lack of institutions and procedures to deal with increasing overlapping jurisdictions. The central government and its decentralised counterparts have recognised that, in the absence of the general framework of the European single market, decentralisation establishments are struggling to function in practice. It is in the interest of devolved administrations to maintain cooperative relations if they are to integrate their preferences into the policy of the British government. The Scottish Government has moved from its initial conflicting approach to a more cooperative approach, and officials have described the joint discussions as a consensus. This development places intergovernmental relations in the United Kingdom in an important new territory, and not yet chartered. In the past, ministers from decisor-based governments have been consulted on some issues, including the formulation of British positions ahead of the EU negotiations. There have also been important negotiations on the powers and funding of decentralized governments.

In the meantime, applications for approval were regularly sought when British governments proposed legislation that would introduce a decentralised jurisdiction. But in almost 20 years of decentralisation, important policies for the whole of the United Kingdom have never been formulated at the intergovernmental level as envisaged in the agreement between the United Kingdom and the Welsh Government.