House of Lords Constitution Committee Report Published

The House of Lords Constitution Committee published its report “Respect and Co-operation: Building a Stronger Union for the 21st Century” on 20 January. This was derived from the Constitution Committee’s inquiry into the future governance of the UK.

Baroness Taylor of Bolton, Chair of the Constitution Committee said:

“The Union marks its centenary in 2022, and after the challenges of Brexit and Covid-19 we believe there is a clear opportunity to reset relationships to achieve a better functioning Union which can keep pace with the rapid changes and address the many challenges that confront its nations and regions in the 21st century.

“The Government needs to articulate a compelling vision and narrative for the United Kingdom in the 21st century. The Committee’s vision is of a more cooperative Union based on a renewed sense of respect and partnership between the different layers of government and a new emphasis on shared governance in the interests of all its citizens. But for this to be a success requires good faith and a constructive approach from central, devolved and local government.

“We believe a significant culture change is required in Whitehall, including the end of its top-down mindset. This will be critical if the new intergovernmental arrangements and any extension of devolution across England is to be a success. Fostering greater respect and cooperation between Whitehall and the different parts of the United Kingdom will be even more important in strengthening the Union.

“We believe that the Union’s strength historically has been its ability to adapt to changing circumstances. The Union should continue to do so, so it can achieve its full potential in the 21st century and fully demonstrate its benefits to all its nations and regions.”

Richard Honnoraty, for Transforming Yorkshire, said: “Whilst there is much to welcome in this report, we still believe that the constitutional arrangements in the UK are not fit for purpose. The Committee has attempted to address many of the criticisms within the current framework, so it is good to hear that they have listened to ourselves and others and are attempting to provide solutions. On the other hand, in many respects, the framework is the problem, so most of the key points made in our original submission in May still stand.”

Follow the link to our original submission.

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