Yesterday the Prime Minister met with the First Ministers of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to discuss the United Kingdom’s Covid recovery.
They were joined by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (CDL). The Secretaries of State for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland joined virtually, along with other ministers and officials from the devolved administrations.
Ministers agreed that the meeting provided an important opportunity for dialogue between the UK Government and devolved administrations.
The Prime Minister reflected that, while there are divergent views on the question of the United Kingdom's constitutional future and the UK Government and devolved administrations will not always agree, these differences should not prevent us from working together to ensure a strong recovery for all parts of the country.
The Chancellor set out the direct UK-wide support provided by HM Treasury in response to COVID-19, which was worth around £352bn across 2020-21 and 2021-22, and how the sacrifices of the British people coupled with our comprehensive support package and on-going vaccine rollout have laid the foundations for recovery. Looking forward, he said as we gradually lift restrictions to ensure we maintain control of the virus, there are reasons for cautious optimism with data showing our Plan for Jobs is working.
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster said that collaboration between the UK Government and devolved administrations on Covid recovery would allow us to emerge from the pandemic stronger. Ministers acknowledged the benefits of mutual aid and burden sharing on healthcare and agreed that there was a clear value in sharing data and best practice.
Summing up, the PM emphasised the importance of establishing a structured and regular forum for ongoing engagement between the UK Government and the devolved administrations to deliver tangible outcomes in the interests of people throughout the UK and of completing the Intergovernmental Relations Review.
- Prime Minister (Chair) – Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP
- Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster – Rt Hon Michael Gove MP
- Chancellor of the Exchequer – Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP
- Secretary of State for Northern Ireland – Rt Hon Brandon Lewis CBE MP
- Secretary of State for Scotland – Rt Hon Alister Jack MP
- Secretary of State for Wales – Rt Hon Simon Hart MP
- First Minister of Wales – Rt Hon Mark Drakeford MS
- Minister for the Economy, Vaughan Gething MS
- First Minister of Scotland – Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP
- Deputy First Minister – John Swinney MSP
- Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy – Kate Forbes MSP
Northern Ireland Executive
- First Minister of Northern Ireland – Rt Hon Arlene Foster MLA
- Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland – Michelle O’Neill MLA
- Junior Minister – Gordon Lyons MLA