Reforming Intergovernmental Relations in the United Kingdom


Centre on Constitutional Change & Bennett Institute for Public Policy Report

Nicola McEwen
Michael Kenny
Jack Sheldon
Coree Brown Swan

Experts from the Universities of Edinburgh and Cambridge have called for far-reaching reforms to the UK’s system of intergovernmental relations (IGR). The report, Reforming Intergovernmental Relations in the United Kingdom, provides the framework for a new system of intergovernmental machinery built around principles of respect, transparency and accountability.

The report’s authors, Prof Nicola McEwen and Dr Coree Brown Swan (Edinburgh) and Prof Michael Kenny and Jack Sheldon (Cambridge) drew on the experience of other countries to identify options for the UK. By doing so, they were able to address many of the challenges faced by the UK, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Governments in communicating with each other. The report also suggests means of addressing the asymmetry caused by England lacking institutional representation.

The authors argue that Brexit has exposed the weaknesses in the UK’s system of IGR, and added urgency to the need for major reform.


  • About the author

    Professor Michael Kenny, Inaugural Director, the Bennett Institute for Public Policy

    Professor Kenny leads research in place and public policy, and re-making government in the 21st century.   Learn more

    Mike Kenny
  • About the author

    Jack Sheldon, Research Assistant - Between Two Unions

    Jack Sheldon works at the Bennett Institute Public Policy as a researcher on the ESRC-funded project ‘Between Two Unions: The Constitutional Future of the Islands after Brexit’. His work on the project focuses on intergovernmental and interparliamentary relations, and on understandings of the UK Union ...   Learn more

    Jack Sheldon