The first JMC with the new UK Government

Yesterday’s plenary meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee appears to have gone well. One person involved described it privately as ‘intergovernmental in character’, making it quite a change from previous plenary meetings. The Scottish Government’s news release, including the text of the official communique, is here, and it’s also available from the Welsh Assembly Government here.   (Neither the Northern Ireland Executive nor the UK Government have yet put it on their websites, and indeed looking  at the various UK Government sites you’d never know a JMC meeting had taken place at all.)

There are news reports from the Scotsman here, the Western Mail here, BBC News here, and a discussion by Brian Taylor on his blog here.

Although the headline on several stories and news releases relates to progress on the ‘respect agenda’, the meeting clearly looked at a wide range of other issues.  The key points from it are:

  • a work programme for further meetings for the coming year, and publication of an annual report on the previous year’s work of the JMC.
  • ‘full involvement’ of the devolved administrations in work on the UK Comprehensive spending Review, which appears to be done through the Finance Ministers’ Quadrilateral meetings.
  • referral of the dispute about the regeneration funding  for the 2012 Olympics to the formal dispute resolution procedure, agreed in March.
  • greater willingness for the UK Government to allow the devolved administrations to attend and speak at EU Council of Ministers’ meetings.

The plenary JMC was followed by a meeting of the JMC Europe, though this hasn’t been publicly announced and no communique has so far been issued.  (That’s no surprise – it’s standard practice for such meetings.)  That may explain the large delegation from the Scottish Government for the plenary JMC meeting, with Alex Salmond, John Swinney and Fiona Hyslop all attending.

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3 Comments

Filed under Devolution finance, EU issues, Intergovernmental relations, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Whitehall

3 responses to “The first JMC with the new UK Government

  1. Keith McBurney

    Alan,

    Catching up with your outsider insider’s work at DM in cutting to the quick that noises off stage by the mainstream media hyped reporting of routine miss in the scheduled underlying motive of meeting evinced by agendas and minutes of what has largely been agreed in advance and so happening out of the public eye, which is probably why it does. I never attended or ran similar without knowing the outcome, so conclude most you speak of are opportunities for informal discussions about beyond what next.

    So how about hazarding some thoughts on attendees similar or varying directions of poltical and pragmatic travel?

    Also, other than as minders and own party/parties in coalition go-betweens, what real functional responsibilities do the NI, Scottish, and Welsh Secretaries have, and of that what could not be devolved?

    And at what state of readiness are the NI, Scottish and Welsh institutions capable of exercising further degrees of self-governance and autonomy? Could elements be by-passed straight to councils?

    I know the CU looks at this stuff, but it is rarely other than in retrospect, and seems grudgingly resistant to looking forward. But perhaps that’s not what they are funded for?

  2. Pingback: Timing of the new Scotland bill « Devolution Matters

  3. Pingback: Joint Ministerial Committee meets in dispute-resolution mode « Devolution Matters

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