Devolution settlements must be overhauled to cope with Brexit
- Credit: PA Archive/PA Images
After Brexit the UK will have to go back to the drawing board over devolution, constitutional experts have warned.
Wrangles over sharing out cash for farmers will be one of the biggest challenges ministers face, according to the Institute for Government (IfG).
New agreements on how the environment, agriculture and fisheries are dealt with when powers return from Brussels are urgently needed, it said.
Failing to secure new ways to cooperate between the four governments will disrupt the economy and hit the environment, the think tank warned.
Jill Rutter, IfG Brexit programme director, said: 'The past year has shown the strain leaving the EU is placing on devolution arrangements designed on the assumption of UK membership.
You may also want to watch:
'It is time for an overhaul. It is in the interests not only of the UK government, but also the devolved governments, to develop firm foundations for future joint working – to promote collaboration and innovation.
'Only then will we have the right environment, agriculture and fisheries policies for the whole country after Brexit.'
- 1 Michael Gove claims Boris Johnson is a 'huge asset' to Scotland
- 2 Sky News presenter says Boris Johnson is 'gaslighting the nation' over Covid claims
- 3 Home Office launches voluntary repatriation scheme for EU nationals
- 4 Brussels politician says Boris Johnson should 'pay for EU workers to stay' in UK
- 5 Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid reject Boris Johnson's coronavirus claim
- 6 Nigel Farage reminded of claim that 'acid test of Brexit' surrounds fishing after clip resurfaces
- 7 Jeremy Corbyn loses bid to release Labour documents ahead of High Court battle
- 8 David Cameron's wife says Brexit has made trading 'difficult' for her business
- 9 Boris Johnson is the 'worst PM' and should resign, says Alastair Campbell
- 10 Pro-Brexit fishing campaigner says Boris Johnson's deal has left her with 'no fish'
The UK received £3.4 billion in Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) payments in 2016, with England allocated significantly less per person than the other nations.
According to the IfG, Northern Ireland received £177.64 per person, Wales and Scotland around £94 and England £41.46
As well as an agreement on how money should be allocated after Brexit, a decision must also be taken on what restrictions are placed on how the funding is spent, the IfG said.
Although some of it will fall under international rules, such as World Trade Organisation (WTO) regulations, they will not be enough to prevent market distortion within the UK.
'For example, current WTO rules would not prevent the Scottish government from substantially subsidising beef farmers, even if the UK government chose not to do so in England, which would give an advantage to Scottish beef farmers trading within the UK,' the report said.
The IfG called for an urgent review of the Joint Ministerial Committee, the forum for the UK and devolved governments to meet.
All four administrations need to agree news ways of dealing with international trade and processes for settling disputes, according to the report.
Westminster's parliamentary committees must hold joint probes with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in relevant areas, the IfG also recommended.
It said the creation of public bodies to replace EU institutions should be 'four-nation by default', including Environment Secretary Michael Gove's plan for an environmental watchdog for England.
Martin Harper, RSPB's director of global conservation, said: 'Nature knows no borders. For very good reason the EU has set common standards on a broad range of environmental issues that affect us all.
'It is vital that our governments work together to agree new shared frameworks for nature's recovery and new joint governance arrangements capable of holding them all to account.'
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.