Long-awaited Union report calls for UK Government branding on all spending in Wales
A long-awaited report on relations between the UK Government and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland has recommended that any UK Government spending be clearly marked with their branding.
The review by Lord Dunlop, handed to the UK Government in November 2019 but only published today, also calls the intergovernmental relationship between the four national governments “not fit for purpose”.
The report was finally published alongside a letter by Cabinet member Michael Gove accepting the recommendations.
“The UK Government is the government of the whole UK and, if the relationship between the UK Government and devolved governments is to be fully mature, its role in all parts of the UK must be visible and transparent,” the report says.
“It is recommended, therefore, that spending by the UK Government in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should be clearly marked with UK Government branding.”
It goes on to say: “Although branding is a sensitive area, and overly nationalistic branding would be insensitive in some contexts, it is nevertheless important that the UK Government is visible in what it does and what it funds.
“The UK Government’s activities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should be clearly marked with UK Government branding. The role of the UK Government should be properly acknowledged.
“It is particularly important that signage, promotional material and media communications in any project include specific recognition of UK Government funding.”
Michael Gove responds in his letter to Lord Dunlop to say that the recommendation has been accepted.
“[The] Government accepts your recommendation about the importance of UK Government branding. Indeed, the Cabinet Office continues to work closely with other government departments to ensure that our communications in the nations are as effective as possible.”
The report also recommends the creation of a UK Intergovernmental Council to improve communication between the nations.
“There is a broad consensus, with which the Review agrees, that the UK’s intergovernmental relations machinery is not fit for purpose,” the report says.
It also suggests creating a senior Cabinet position with specific responsibility for the constitutional integrity and operation of the United Kingdom, with a status equivalent to one of the Great Offices of State (the Chancellor, Foreign Secretary, or Home Secretary).
It also calls for a staff interchange program between the civil services in Wales, Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.
“In order for the UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments to best realise the benefits of being one Civil Service, the UK Government should look to work with the Scottish and Welsh Governments to take steps to encourage more staff interchange between administrations,” the report says.