Northern Ireland news

Intergovernmental Relations (IGR) Review aims to strengthen relations between central government and devolved administrations

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Picture by Frank Augstein/PA Wire

THE British government has unveiled new structures which it says will strengthen the relationship between Whitehall and the devolved administrations.

The Intergovernmental Relations Review will see the establishment of a new council made up of the heads of the devolved governments and chaired by the prime minister.

The new three-tiered structures will be supported by an independent secretariat made up of civil servants seconded from all four administrations with the aims of serving central the devolved governments equally.

The new council will discuss issues that affect people across the UK, particularly where they cut across reserved and devolved policy, or are of shared responsibility.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "When team UK pulls together in common cause, spirit and endeavour we will always be at our very best.

"We’ve shown time and time again the combined strength we have in facing off the shared challenges before us, while also seizing the opportunities ahead for the benefit of the whole United Kingdom."

Minister for Intergovernmental Relations Michael Gove said: "By working together even more effectively, we can better overcome the challenges we face, create greater opportunities and improve people’s lives for the better."

Secretary of State Brandon Lewis said the new structures would "enhance the positive working relationship" between the British government and the Stormont executive, to the benefit of everyone in Northern Ireland.

“By ensuring that we work together in the best way possible, we will build on the fantastic collaboration which has stood us in good stead as we continue to deliver together for local people," he said.

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