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How the machinery of devolution rusted beyond repair

The functional collapse of the Joint Ministerial Committee signals a deeper malaise in the state of the Union

By David McAllister  

Image: Pixabay

In the wake of the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, the Smith Commission was established to not only assess what further powers could be devolved to the Scottish parliament, but also the ways in which central government worked with the devolved administrations. In the intense media commentary that followed the publication of the commission’s recommendations in November that same year, however, one crucial proposal went largely unnoticed. Amid the outlines for powers over welfare and the Crown Estate was the much less glamorous suggestion that the Joint…

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