Prime Minister: Meeting with First Ministers

Debate between Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale and Lord Greenhalgh
Wednesday 20th October 2021

(2 years, 8 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Portrait Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale
- Hansard - -

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when the Prime Minister will next meet the First Ministers of the United Kingdom’s devolved Governments, and what they will discuss.

Lord Greenhalgh Portrait The Minister of State, Home Office and Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (Lord Greenhalgh) (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The Prime Minister met the First Ministers on Monday to discuss the next steps of Covid recovery and the upcoming COP 26 summit. He expects to meet them again early next year.

Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Portrait Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale (Lab)
- Hansard - -

My Lords, next Wednesday the Chancellor will present his annual Budget to Parliament. I understand that that Budget was not on the agenda, despite some economic references in the items discussed on Monday at the meeting with the First Ministers. After 22 years of the devolution settlement, which has since expanded the tax-raising and tax-varying powers of the Scottish Government and others, surely it is time for Budgets to be prepared in the United Kingdom on a slightly different basis, with some consultation and engagement in advance with all levels of government, including the devolved Governments.

Lord Greenhalgh Portrait Lord Greenhalgh (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I know that the intergovernmental review is specifically looking at arrangements for the development of Budgets. I point out that there have been a number of meetings between the UK Government and the devolved Governments in the run-up to the spending review.

Minister for Intergovernmental Relations

Debate between Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale and Lord Greenhalgh
Monday 18th October 2021

(2 years, 8 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Lord Greenhalgh Portrait Lord Greenhalgh (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My Lords, I accept that it is important that all government decisions should be based on sound analysis and data, which I am sure will be the case as we look to work closely with the devolved Administrations to spend money that was previously as a result of our membership of the European Union.

Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Portrait Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale (Lab)
- Hansard - -

My Lords, I hope that we can all agree that good intergovernmental relations are based on strong mutual respect, so will the Government please stop referring to the devolved Governments as devolved Administrations and call them Governments, which they clearly are?

Wales: Replacement Funding

Debate between Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale and Lord Greenhalgh
Wednesday 3rd March 2021

(3 years, 3 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Lord Greenhalgh Portrait Lord Greenhalgh (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My Lords, the whole purpose of the UK levelling-up fund of some £4.8 billion is precisely to provide the funding to underpin the regeneration required to make areas in Wales as competitive as possible. Of course, we keep changes in the industrial landscape under close scrutiny.

Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Portrait Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale (Lab)
- Hansard - -

My Lords, the partnership between local communities, the devolved Governments and other local authorities in England inside the UK and the European Commission was a real strength of the old structural funds. They had their problems but they also had those strengths. Why have the Government moved away from that model? There was a real opportunity here to set a structural fund-type analysis for the whole of the UK and priorities that could be shared within this shared prosperity fund, and then to implement it in practice with the devolved Governments and regional and local authorities throughout the UK. That partnership will be missing from this new model and simply sticking a UK flag on a fund then distributed straight to Scotland or Wales will not solve the problems the United Kingdom has in terms of respect in Scotland and Wales right now.

Lord Greenhalgh Portrait Lord Greenhalgh (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My Lords, I underpin the commitment to collaborate very closely with the devolved Administrations. That is why they will be an important part of the governance structure of this new fund. The new fund gives us opportunities to improve on the funding approach used by the EU structural fund, not least because there are now only two layers of government that need to work closely together.