Scottish Secretary David Mundell says ‘devolution settlement not up for renegotiation’

© PAScottish Secretary David Mundell
Scottish Secretary David Mundell

David Mundell has said the devolution settlement “is not up for renegotiation” ahead of what is set to be a fiery appearance before the Scottish Affairs Committee today.

The appearance comes a month after the committee, which is made up of SNP, Tory, Labour and Lib Dem MPs, recommended a review of the Scotland Office and the position of Scottish Secretary.

In a cross-party report the committee concluded that relations had “broken down” between the UK and Scottish governments and advised that urgent constitutional reform was required to restore trust.

On the back of the report, Theresa May last week ordered Lord Andrew Dunlop to carry out a review of the structures of the UK Government and examine whether they are set up to “realise fully all the benefits of being a United Kingdom”.

Mr Mundell, speaking ahead of his appearance at the committee today, said: “I am very pleased the prime minister has appointed Andrew Dunlop to conduct a thorough review of how the UK Government supports the Union in all of its work.

“The UK Government will work constantly and whole-heartedly to strengthen the Union, and build on the bonds which hold our Union together. But let me be clear, the devolution settlement is not up for renegotiation. This is not a review of devolution.

“I believe – following the 2016 Scotland Act and the huge transfer of tax and welfare powers it delivered – the present devolution settlement strikes a good balance of powers for Holyrood, while Scotland benefits from being part of a strong United Kingdom. We have no plans to make changes to that settlement.

“The new review will ask the question: ‘Is the UK Government doing all it can to strengthen the Union?’ It is in all our interests that it does.”