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UK Government review will strengthen Union, says Mundell

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said it will look to build on the bonds holding the UK together.

David Mundell: He welcomed a review.
David Mundell: He welcomed a review. PA

A review of how the UK Government is structured will help strengthen the Union, Scottish Secretary David Mundell has said.

Mr Mundell said the review, announced by Prime Minister Theresa May last week in Stirling, will look to build on the bonds holding the United Kingdom together.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has previously dismissed the review as a "desperate act" from Mrs May, who will soon be succeeded at Number 10 by either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt.

Led by former Scotland Office minister Andrew Dunlop, the review will start in July and is expected to conclude in the autumn, with a report submitted to the-then Prime Minister.

Speaking ahead of an appearance at Westminster's Scottish Affairs Committee on Wednesday, Mr Mundell 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."

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