WESTMINSTER is still adjusting to devolution in Scotland 25 years on from the re-convening of the Scottish Parliament, according to a review of the UK’s constitution.

The Institute for Government think tank undertook an 18-month review of the constitution, taking advice from former supreme court judge Baroness Hale as well as former UK Government ministers Robert Buckland and David Lidington.

It concluded that a new parliamentary committee dedicated to the constitution should be set up alongside measures which would strengthen the civil service.

However, the report – co-authored with Cambridge University’s Bennett Institute for Public Policy – also claimed that the apparatus of the UK Government was still “adjusting” to devolution.

It read: “25 years on [from devolution] Westminster and Whitehall are still adjusting to the realities of devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”

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The report makes a number of recommendations of how the UK could reach a more agreeable constitutional climate.

“The UK is facing a crisis in trust in politics and political institutions,” it said.

“Recent political instability has undermined the UK’s reputation as a stable democracy, damaging its international reputation and, as a consequence, its economic prospects.”

Its authors want to see the UK Parliament undertake more scrutiny on constitutional bills, as well as the establishment of a standing committee which would give an independent view.

They say there should be an independent Office for the Constitution to support this committee, as well as a clarified and strengthened role for the civil service to give constitutional advice.

The report notes that responsibility for constitutional matters has shifted between several different government departments in recent years.

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It is currently split across the Cabinet Office, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and the Ministry of Justice.

The Institute for Government said its proposals would strengthen the system of checks and balances on government power which the UK constitution relies on.

Director Hannah White said: “Some governments enter office with a manifesto commitment to constitutional change, others find the temptation to tinker with the constitution comes upon them.

“Our recommendations are intended to ensure that any politician considering changing the UK constitution is supported with robust advice, and to ensure that the UK constitution is changed only with appropriate consideration and public support.”

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Baroness Hale also commented on the report, describing it as a “timely, sensible and practicable set of proposals for constitutional reform which, though modest, would make real improvement in the way we are governed”.

It comes after the UK Government made interventions into devolved legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament on both gender recognition reform and the deposit return recycling scheme.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “The Government takes seriously its constitutional role and responsibility for upholding our unique constitutional settlement.

“We already have two parliamentary committees which are responsible for scrutinising constitutional policy and holding the Government accountable on these issues.”