Should the devolved governments fear Westminster politicians bearing gifts?

Michael Keating

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Boris Johnson’s trip to the Scottish capital was accompanied by an announcement of £300m in spending for the three devolved nations. This promise from the UK’s new prime minister would apparently bypass the official block funding mechanism that has been in operation since devolution – and even before. It may sound like a nice gift, but is this good news for the citizens of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

The devolution block funding mechanism, governed by the Barnett Formula, is a rather simple arrangement in principle. The Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland administrations in each funding round get the same as last time, plus or minus a population-based share of any increase or reduction in English spending on functions comparable to those they manage.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationThe Conversation
PublisherThe Conversation UK
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

Michael Keating is Director of the ESRC Centre on Constitutional Change.


  • Northern Ireland
  • Scotland
  • Boris Johnson
  • Devolution
  • Wales
  • Barnett formula


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