A Plenary meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee was held today in 10 Downing Street under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister, Rt Hon David Cameron MP.
The participants were:
- from HM Government the Deputy Prime Minister, Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, the Secretary of State for Scotland, Rt Hon Michael Moore MP, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, the Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Rt Hon Danny Alexander MP and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Wales, Baroness Randerson
- from the Scottish Government the First Minister, Rt Hon Alex Salmond MSP and the Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, MSP
- from the Northern Ireland Executive the First Minister, Rt Hon Peter Robinson MLA and the deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness MP MLA
- from the Welsh Government the First Minister, Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM and the Minister for Local Government and Communities, Carl Sargeant AM
The two principal agenda items at the meeting were the economy and the public finances, and the UK government’s aviation strategy.
On the first item, ministers discussed the current economic climate, including the global economic environment, and the state of the public finances. They agreed that, given the challenges facing the UK and the global economy, it was important to maintain close cooperative working. All administrations were working to secure the recovery, address unemployment and encourage economic growth. Ministers agreed that it would be important to maintain regular and positive dialogue, including through the Finance Ministers’ Quadrilateral forum.
On the second item, ministers discussed the UK’s future aviation policy. Ministers considered the strategic goals set out in HM Government’s draft Aviation Policy Framework. They agreed that aviation makes a strong contribution to economic growth in all parts of the UK and that it would be important to maintain connectivity between Heathrow, as the UK’s only hub airport and the rest of the UK and other initiatives to enhance connectivity. They also agreed on the need to address the local and global environmental impacts of aviation. Ministers stressed the importance of all administrations continuing to work together on the aviation strategy.
The meeting also covered the state of relations between the four administrations of the UK. Ministers reaffirmed the importance they each attached to the respect agenda, to effective inter-governmental relations and to the underpinning machinery such as the Memorandum of Understanding which established the Joint Ministerial Committee. Ministers agreed the JMC Annual Report, which summarises the activities of the Joint Ministerial Committee since the last Plenary meeting in June 2011. This will be published on each administration’s website. They further agreed amendments to the Memorandum of Understanding on responsibility for chairing JMC meetings, handling information in the context of information legislation and media handling of meetings dealing with inter-governmental disputes. Amendments were also agreed to the Concordat on Coordination on European Union Policy issues and to the Concordat on Financial Assistance to Industry. Finally, Ministers noted the successful resolution of the Olympics funding dispute, and the current position with regard to the disagreement on Northern Ireland’s capital allocation. The Prime Minister thanked the leaders of the Devolved Administrations for the close cooperation between all four administrations that had contributed to delivering outstanding Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Download: Joint Ministerial Committee - Annual Report 2011-12