Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

PM seeks ‘immediate reset’ of relationship with devolved nations on UK-wide tour

06 Jul 2024 4 minute read
Keir Starmer and Vaughan Gething – Image: Stefan Rousseau

The Prime Minister said he was seeking an “immediate reset” of the relationship between the Westminster Government and devolved nations as he embarks on a tour of all four corners of the UK.

Sir Keir Starmer insisted “respect” would be the key ingredient in the bond between the new UK administration and its Irish, Scottish and Welsh counterparts.

His first visit will be to Edinburgh on Sunday, where the PM will say he wants to “turn disagreement into co-operation” with the SNP north of the border.

“People across the United Kingdom are bound by shared beliefs. Fundamental values of respect, service and community which define us as a great nation,” Sir Keir said.

“That begins today with an immediate reset of my Government’s approach to working with the First and deputy First Ministers, because meaningful co-operation centred on respect will be key to delivering change across our United Kingdom.

“Together we can begin the work to rebuild our country with a resolute focus on serving working people once again.”

Tribalism

Using his first 24 hours in office to set the tone for his new Government, Sir Keir has promised to turn his back on “tribalism” in politics and usher in an era of “stability” and “moderation”.

Part of that will be an effort to “push power and resource out of Whitehall”, and open his door to those with “skin in the game” who know what is best for their communities, the new Prime Minister has suggested.

Sir Keir’s whistlestop tour of the four nations comes ahead of a packed first week in office, with little time to settle in at Number 10 as he prepares to head to the Nato summit in Washington on Tuesday.

Ahead of travelling north of the border, where he is expected to meet First Minister John Swinney for talks, he said: “Our UK Government will place Scotland back at the beating heart of everything we do.

“To the people of Scotland, my message is simple and clear: You are at the heart of how we unleash prosperity across the country. We will rebuild a strong Scotland at the forefront of our decade of national renewal.

“My offer to the Scottish Government is the same. We can turn disagreement into co-operation and, through meaningful co-operation and a genuine seat at the table, deliver change for a generation.”

Earlier on Saturday, Sir Keir announced during a Downing Street press conference that he would also squeeze in a meeting with the metro mayors on Tuesday before heading to the US.

He said his “door is open” to regional leaders of all political stripes as he outlined plans to “discuss with them their part in delivering the growth that we need across the United Kingdom”.

Grilling

Facing his first grilling from the media after becoming PM, Sir Keir also said:

– When pressed about tax hikes, that he will have to take “tough decisions” and approach challenges with a “raw honesty”.

– The previous government’s controversial plan to send migrants to Rwanda was “dead and buried before it started”.

– He would chair cross-departmental “mission delivery boards” to “put into action the plans that we have set out in our manifesto”.

– It was “impossible” to say the Government would stop the early release of prisoners, saying overcrowding was a “monumental failure of the last government” and “we can’t fix it overnight”.

– The Government has already started to work on fixing the “broken” NHS, and that the effort to get 40,000 extra appointments a week up and running as pledged “starts straight away”.

After sweeping to a historic victory at the polls, Sir Keir said his party had received “a mandate to do politics differently”.

“This will be a politics and a Government that is about delivery, is about service. Self-interest is yesterday’s politics,” he said.

Sir Keir will make his debut on the international stage as Britain’s premier when he flies to Washington for the Nato gathering next week, which is expected to include discussions on support for Ukraine.

The Prime Minister, who continues to receive calls from world leaders, will also host the European Political Community summit in the UK on July 18.

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary David Lammy flew to Germany for his first trip abroad as the UK’s top diplomat.

He will travel to Poland and Sweden on Sunday as he seeks to bolster ties with European partners – one of the key priorities of the new administration.


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
31 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sneb yn gwbod.
Sneb yn gwbod.
7 days ago

Keir and Vaughan great partnership. Shame Emily is not part of it she is the most most politically astute politician of the age.

Alwyn
Alwyn
7 days ago

If you believe that….

Mawkernewek
7 days ago

“People across the United Kingdom are bound by shared beliefs. Fundamental values of respect, service and community which define us as a great nation,” Sir Keir said.

a great nation (singular)

Nia James
Nia James
7 days ago
Reply to  Mawkernewek

Starmer regularly uses that singular term. Caroline Lucas recently commented that Starmer hasn’t a clue about what England is and how it differs from the UK (or from GB). Notice how he is equating First Minsters with regional Mayors in England – frightening! He also spoke about Labour having a mandate in “all four nations of the UK”. Really? Presumably he thinks that the people of Ulster making Sinn Fein the major party is an endorsement for Labour. He needs a few history and geography lessons.

Mawkernewek
7 days ago
Reply to  Nia James

I took it as recognising that Cornwall now has 4 labour MPs

John Ellis
John Ellis
7 days ago

The Prime Minister said he was seeking an “immediate reset” of the relationship between the Westminster Government and devolved nations …’

We’ll see. Let’s hope so. Arguably things could hardly be worse than they’ve been over the last few years.

But Jo Stevens’s remarks in her interview with Catrin Haf Jones in Y Byd yn ei Le give rather scant grounds for confidence.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
7 days ago
Reply to  John Ellis

The “reset” he speaks of is a stamping of his authority on all four nations of the UK.

Labour, like the Conservatives, is above all, a Westminster party with England as its’ focus.

Why would people think that this would change just because the colour of the party’s rosettes have changed?

John Ellis
John Ellis
6 days ago
Reply to  SundanceKid

I’m inclined to agree with you. Right now, and despite the ostensibly warm words from Starmer, that looks to me how it’s likely to be.

And the situation is hardly improved when we have a first minister who appears to lack the confidence of some of his own Senedd members, let alone his government’s opponents. He’s hardly in a position to resist the diktat of the Westminster Labour establishment, even were he to wish to do so.

Annibendod
Annibendod
7 days ago

“People across the United Kingdom are bound by shared beliefs. Fundamental values of respect, service and community which define us as a great nation,” Which nation? England? Scotland? Wales? If he means the UK or Britain, he has already disrespected our nation. Stop trying to force British Nationalism on us and the pretence that it is “patriotic”. I’ve absolutely no problem identifying with Britishness as a geographical and broad cultural identifier, in the same way as being European. But it is not my nationality no matter what semantics UK fanatics want to throw my way. The UK is a Union… Read more »

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
7 days ago

Respect means listening to the wishes and wants of the Welsh people and their representative i.e Welsh Government. The Welsh Labour have been elected numerous times on a manifesto of the devolution of Policing , Criminal Justice, power over Air Tax Duty and right to create a national holiday to celebrate Saint David’s Day among other powers & levers enjoyed by the Scotland , Northern Ireland and England but denied to Wales. If Keir Starmer wants a reset, that’s all good, but don’t talk reset but single out Wales for special treatment when before UK Labour even won the general… Read more »

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
7 days ago

So is Mr Starmer now going to accept and implement, in full, the recommendations of the Commission on Wales’ Constitutional Future?

Charles Coombes
Charles Coombes
7 days ago

So when will he visit the four corners? Edinburgh is not a corner! Suppose Cardiff not a corner! And Belfast? Whers the fourth?
Oh! of course Washington DC

karl
karl
7 days ago

Or Jerusalem

Adrian
Adrian
7 days ago

Starmer has a new ‘constitution’ planned which will devolve power all over the UK, place it into the hands of quangos and idiots like Gething, and enshrine it in law so it can’t be overturned. Remember PFI? Well it’s coming back and anyone with savings or a pension will be paying for it. Your kids are already being indoctrinated into the twin fairy tales of climate catastrophe and gender ideology: that’s now going to be ramped up. Remember guys – you voted for this!

https://labour.org.uk/updates/stories/a-new-britain-renewing-our-democracy-and-rebuilding-our-economy/

Adrian
Adrian
7 days ago
Reply to  Adrian

Could I respectfully ask that, instead of down-voting, you engage in a grown-up debate?

Last edited 7 days ago by Adrian
John Powers
John Powers
7 days ago
Reply to  Adrian

You went from constitution to climate denialism in one breath. Sure you can handle grown up debate?

Adrian
Adrian
7 days ago
Reply to  John Powers

I am blessed with ability to hold more than one idea in my head at the same time. Do you have an argument, or just insults?

John Powers
John Powers
7 days ago
Reply to  Adrian

If you want a debate you need to make one point that can be engaged with.

Adrian
Adrian
7 days ago
Reply to  John Powers

OK, well to kick things off, did you look into the document I provided a link to? Are you not aware that the bulk of UK schools are teaching the scientifically-baseless gender identity hypothesis as if it’s fact? I can give you links if you need help. Are you aware that there is not one shred of empirical evidence to support the idea that we are facing an imminent climate catastrophe?
You accused me of climate denialism: you clearly didn’t read my comment properly. I denied the catastrophe, and science agrees with me. Over to you.

CapM
CapM
7 days ago
Reply to  Adrian

Education is a devolved matter and Cwricwlwm i Gymru started to be implemented in 2022. So you’re too late on that one.
What’s your definition of a “climate catastrophe”?

Adrian
Adrian
7 days ago
Reply to  CapM

It’s the same story with education in Wales I’m afraid: the research has been done, so you’re a bit behind.

https://merchedcymru.wales/2024/03/18/welsh-schools-and-trans-guidance-hung-out-to-dry/

My definition of catastrophe isn’t relevant: the Welsh Government declared a ‘climate emergency’ in 2019 but they’ve yet to explain what it actually is. That’d be a good place to start.

Last edited 7 days ago by Adrian
CapM
CapM
7 days ago
Reply to  Adrian

If you desire a “grown up debate” and think that your definition of “catastrophe” is irrelevant to your contention that ” climate catastrophe” is a “fairy tail”
It might be that it’s not only multiple ideas that your head is full of!

John Powers
John Powers
7 days ago
Reply to  Adrian

This article is about Mr Starmer touring the devolved nations. So how are these points relevant? You started well by mentioning the constitution but when pressed to make one point disappeared down a rabbit hole. Do you have anything to say about constitutional matters or are you just looking for any old chance to rant about your obsessions?

Last edited 7 days ago by John Powers
CapM
CapM
7 days ago
Reply to  Adrian

“I am blessed with ability to hold more than one idea in my head at the same time.”

Good for you.
However others might feel cursed by your impulse to cram them all into one paragraph.

Llewz
Llewz
7 days ago

Opposite side of the same coin.

karl
karl
7 days ago

Given only england mandates Tories and Starmer has gone right to court them, we have little shared values really.

Neilyn
Neilyn
7 days ago

Nothing new in the messaging here from the Knight of the Realm is there? England IS the Country / UK, and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland are regions of THAT Great Nation generously provided with local governments of their own. That fiction will be maintained at all costs (Union, Saltire and Ddraig Goch flags ONLY to be seen in Downing Street as the new boy greeted his excited fan base). The AngloSupremacist Brits [sic] sense of self-worth, their power and privilege on the wider global stage apparently depends on it (Frost, ex. Brexit Minister “Scotland and Wales are NOT nations… Read more »

John Powers
John Powers
7 days ago

There needs to be more than a reset. There needs to be a complete rethink of intergovernment relations so that the next Johnson can’t don his FM of England hat and abandon the PM role. Other decentralised sovereign states don’t fall apart when there’s a different colour government in each corner.

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
7 days ago

He can start by giving us parity and treating Wales the same as Scotland and Northern Ireland with the money they receive and the power they have and give Cardiff Airport the same chance as the English airports IN OTHER WORDS A LEVAL PLAYING FIELD

Rob
Rob
7 days ago

Relationships between the devolved nations and Westminster only work when you have the same party in power in each institution. Improved relations between Cardiff and Westminster is not really an achievement when Starmer and Gething are both in the same party.

In the past Labour would blame their failures on the Tories, whereas the Tories would strip the Senedd of its economic competence and then go on to blame Labour for the state of the Welsh economy. What is needed is for the Joint Ministerial Committee to be empowered by a neutral arbiter.

CapM
CapM
7 days ago

Interviewer – Sir Keir how do you see the relationship between your government and the devolved nations of the UK developing under your leadership?

Sir Keir – Football’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming home.

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.