This document sets out how we expect our Coalition Government to operate in practice and the basis upon which the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Parties will jointly maintain in office Her Majesty’s Government.

It reflects the agreements reached by our Parliamentary Parties. We expect it to endure for the duration of the present Parliament. The Government will put a motion before the House of Commons in the first days of the Government stating its intention that, subject to Her Majesty The Queen’s consent, the next General Election will be held on 7 May 2015, to be followed by legislation for fixed term Parliaments of five years. The passage of the legislation will be subject to a whip in the Parliamentary Parties in both Houses.

There is no constitutional difference between a Coalition Government and a single party Government, but working practices need to adapt to reflect the fact that the UK has not had a Coalition in modern times.

The Coalition Parties will work together effectively to deliver our programme, on the basis of goodwill, mutual trust and agreed procedures which foster collective decision making and responsibility while respecting each party’s identity.

Close consultation between the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, other Ministers and members of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Parties in both Houses will be the foundation of the Coalition’s success. In the working of the Coalition, the principle of balance will underpin both the Coalition Parties’ approaches to all aspects of the conduct of the Government’s business, including the allocation of responsibilities, the Government’s policy and legislative programme, the conduct of its business and the resolution of disputes.