Devolution at 20 

Twenty years ago, devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland transformed the governance of the UK. Devolution is now a permanent part of the UK constitution, with the devolved governments exercising major powers over key public services and – increasingly – taxation. But the devolution settlements have developed in response to immediate pressures, with little consideration of the implications for the UK as a whole. Most recently, Brexit has put the relationship between the UK and devolved governments under pressure, raising questions about how the devolution settlements can adapt.

To mark 20 years of devolution to the nations, the Institute for Government has released new work assessing how the devolution settlements have evolved and what the next 20 years could bring:

  • Devolution at 20 – a data-driven look at how devolution has transformed the governance of the UK and how the devolved institutions have developed.
  • Ministers Reflect on Devolution – former ministers on the experience of governing in Scotland and Wales.
  • An interview with former Prime Minister Tony Blair, exploring his role in establishing the devolution settlements and his views on how devolution has changed the UK.
  • An edited collection of essays by leading thinkers examining whether and in what ways devolution has worked and where it could go next.

Our work on 20 years of devolution is supported by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd. These projects form part of our ongoing programme of work on the UK’s territorial constitution and how the devolution settlements have developed.

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