The British state has disclosed new structures which, it says, will reinforce the relationship between London and the devolved governments in the form of a new council structure.

Recent global events, including the pandemic, have highlighted the weaknesses under the current system where different regions under their administrations have all instructed various decisions at different times, causing confusion in sectors like travel, medical and hospitality. The new structure should in effect minimise the differences by coordinated action.

The Intergovernmental Relations Review will see the establishment of a new council made up of the heads of the devolved powers and administered by the prime minister.

The new three-tiered architectures will be supported by an autonomous secretariat made up of civil servants assisted from all four departments with the aims of serving central the devolved powers equally.

The new council will examine issues that involve people across the UK, notably where they cut across deferred and devolved policy, or are of shared.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “When team UK pulls together in common cause, spirit and endeavour we will always be at our very best.

“We’ve shown time and time again the combined strength we have in facing off the shared challenges before us, while also seizing the opportunities ahead for the benefit of the whole United Kingdom.”

Minister for Intergovernmental Relations Michael Gove said: “By working together even more effectively, we can better overcome the challenges we face, create greater opportunities and improve people’s lives for the better.”

Secretary of State Brandon Lewis said the new structures would “enhance the positive working relationship” between the British government and the Stormont executive, to the benefit of everyone in Northern Ireland.