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This is an archived section of the Scottish Government website. External links, forms and search may not work on archived pages and content/contact details are likely to be out of date.

Scottish/UK relations

Relations with the UK Government and the Governments of the Devolved Administrations

The Scottish Government maintains very constructive working relations with the Governments of the United Kingdom and the Devolved Administrations.

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)/Concordats

The statutory framework for devolution set out in the Scotland Act 1998 is underpinned by the Memorandum of Understanding and four Overarching Concordats (on International Relations, the EU, Financial Assistance to Industry and Statistics) between the UK Government and the three devolved administrations (Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland).

There are also more detailed bilateral Concordats between the Scottish Government and individual UK Government Departments. The Concordats are non-legally binding agreements whose purpose is to facilitate good relations between the administrations.

Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC)

The Joint Ministerial Committee, provided for in the Memorandum of Understanding, is a mechanism that enables Ministers of the four administrations of the United Kingdom to meet and discuss policy issues together. The Joint Ministerial Committee meets in three formats: Plenary, European and Domestic. The Scottish Government considers the successful re-establishment of the Plenary, and establishment of the Domestic fora to be important facets of the relationship with the UK Government and the other devolved administrations.

Links with the Welsh Assembly Government and the Northern Ireland Executive

There are no formal concordats between the Scottish Government and the Welsh Assembly Government and the Northern Ireland Executive other than those attached to the MoU. Scottish Ministers meet Welsh and Northern Irish counterparts at the meetings of the JMC, the British Irish Council and bilaterally where appropriate, as is the case with Ministers of the UK Government.

Further information about the Northern Ireland Executive, the Welsh Assembly Government and the UK Government (including the Scotland Office, which is part of the UK Government and not of the Scottish Government) can be found on the relevant websites