Can the devolution genie be put back in the bottle?

By Simon Gentry On a Zoom call with MPs representing seats in the North of England yesterday, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is reported to have said that devolution – by which he meant mainly in Scotland – has been a ‘disaster’.  Cue a Twitter meltdown with immense amounts of huffing and puffing from MPs…

The wars of the regions

By Simon Gentry, Public Affairs Devolution does strange things.  People who know a bit about American politics, and to some degree the EU, are aware of the inherent pressures that exist between the various levels of government there.  In the US there are frequent spats between the federal government in Washington DC and state governors…

A Disunited Kingdom

By Joe Cockerline Much has been made of the disparity in COVID infection rates between the North and South of England. Despite today’s news that London looks set to join some Northern cities as it enters Tier Two restrictions over the weekend, it does the issue a disservice to imagine there’s direct parity between the…

Perspectives on life under Covid from around the Kingdom

SEC Newgate colleagues have given their thoughts on how the latest Government announcements are affecting their region. We have views from Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and North West England. The view from BelfastBy Austyn Close Things seem to only get bleaker as we edge closer and closer to Christmas. Reports lay out that over the…

To save the Union is to save devolution

By Austyn Close Devolved matters have always been a site of controversy across the entirety of the UK. The delicate make-up of the union makes any flashpoint a red flag to a bull across the statelets.  Much has been discussed about Northern Ireland in the past four years since the EU referendum. During my lifetime,…

The State of the Union

By Tim Le Couilliard, Newgate Public Affairs A Panelbase poll published today has confirmed what many Conservative ministers have been fearing: that the Union of the four nations in the United Kingdom is looking more and more fragile.  Early in the lockdown there was a suggestion, first mooted by Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford that…

State of the Union: New leader, old battles

Former Cabinet Office Special Adviser Fraser Raleigh gives his take on what Douglas Ross, the new leader of the Scottish Conservatives, means for the party and the Union Douglas Ross, MP for Moray, has  been confirmed as the new Leader of the Scottish Conservatives, less than a week after Jackson Carlaw’s abrupt resignation after only a few months in…

The Welsh Assembly is dead – long live ‘Senedd Cymru-Welsh Parliament’

By Siân Jones, Associate Partner The National Assembly for Wales is dead and buried. On 6 May, exactly a year before the next set of Welsh elections, its name officially became ‘Senedd Cymru-Welsh Parliament’. The throes of a global pandemic are not the best circumstances for making such an announcement, but it was unavoidable: the…

Pressure on the UK Government as Wales and Scotland reveal lockdown easing plans

By Siân Jones, Associate Partner The Welsh and Scottish Governments have this week begun to set out their blueprints for easing coronavirus lockdown restrictions, continuing the trend of increased policy divergence in the devolved administrations and putting renewed pressure on the UK Government to reveal details of its coronavirus exit strategy.  This morning, Wales’ First…

Devolution confusion sets in as policies diverge

By Siân Jones We are starting to see increased policy divergence between the Welsh Government and the Westminster Government in their approaches to the coronavirus crisis. This week Wales’ First Minister, Mark Drakeford, announced a £1.1 bn package of support for the Welsh economy and public services, which included a £500m crisis fund for businesses,…