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Constitution Committee calls for evidence on the governance of the Union

26 February 2024

The Constitution Committee would like your views on the governance of the Union, with a particular focus on co-operation, consultation and legislative consent.


Further to the House of Lords Constitution Committee's report ‘Respect and Cooperation: Building a stronger union for the 21st century’, published in 2022, the Committee is conducting a follow up inquiry into relations between the national and devolved administrations. In the context of numerous matters relating to the territorial constitution, the inquiry will focus on:

  • Co-operation via the new intergovernmental relations arrangements in place since January 2022;
  • Consultation by the UK Government with the devolved administrations; and
  • Respect for the Sewel convention.


These are some of the questions we would like your views on, but the Committee welcomes written submissions on any aspect of this topic, and particularly on the issues and questions set out in the call for evidence.

  • How effective are the new intergovernmental relations structures—introduced in January 2022—at maintaining and improving relationships between the UK Government and the governments of the devolved nations?
  • Is there scope to strengthen the role of the territorial departments (the Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland, the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales and the Northern Ireland Office) at official and ministerial level in order to improve communication and consultation between the UK and devolved administrations?
  • To what extent are the devolved administrations consulted prior to legislation being introduced in the UK Parliament that alters the executive competences of the devolved ministers? What impact has this had on the executive competences of the devolved ministers?
  • Has respect for the Sewel convention eroded or strengthened in recent years? If so, what has been the cause of any such development?
  • Is there any scope to strengthen the Sewel convention. If so, how?
  • The Sewel convention does not apply to delegated legislation. Within this context, what are the implications of the UK Government:

a) using delegated legislation in areas of devolved competence, with or without consultation or consent?

b) using Henry VIII powers to alter acts of the devolved legislatures?


 The deadline for submissions is 5pm on Monday 8 April 2024.

Further Information

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