Devolution

Should more power be given away?

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Devolution is the transfer of powers from the UK Parliament in Westminster to the Welsh and Northern Irish assemblies in Cardiff and Belfast, and the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. In 1998, Parliament passed 3 devolution Acts of Parliament: the Scotland Act 1998; the Northern Ireland Act 1998; and the Government of Wales Act 1998, all of which made significant changes to the UK’s uncodified constitution. It was decided after the recent Scottish referendum that more powers are to be devolved. What does this mean for the UK Parliament? There is much debate surrounding the English question – Should MPs with seats in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales continue to be allowed to vote on legislation and other matters in the UK Parliament in Westminster that will only affect people in England?

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  1. Michael Ward
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  2. Harry Blain
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  3. Debra Storr
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Should the United Kingdom be explicitly defined as a plurinational entity, and if so, how would this work?  Bolivia, for example, is officially "The Plurinational State of Bolivia" according to its 2009 Constitution, Article One of which states (quite wordy with the English translation): "Bolivia is constituted as a Unitary Social State of Pluri-National Communitarian Law that is free, independent, sovereign, democratic, inter-cultural, decentralized and with autonomies. Bolivia is founded...

Harry Blain
by Harry Blain
1 Votes
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Comments 7
Harry Blain

The position of Scotland and England within the current Union is constitutionally very different from the position of Wales and Northern Ireland which, like England, come under the thrall of the English Crown, constitutional practices and law but are constitutionally and legally territories of the English Crown. Scotland retains its own crowned head, law and constitutional practice protected under article 19 of the Treaty of Union 1707 for 'all time' where for all time means exactly that,...

Peter Thomson
by Peter Thomson
4 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 10
Peter Thomson

in the Greater Manchester discussion, I've argued that devolution is not real unless the tax raising powers follow.   This comes from the experience in Scotland where the Scottish Parliament was set up with a fairly broad range of functions but very little control of the budget.  The tax raising power given was to vary the standard rate of income tax by 3p. the power has never been used as the money raised would be so small in comparison to the impacts.   But that means it's easy for a...

Debra Storr
by Debra Storr
12 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 15
Debra Storr

With the continuing compromises and back-door politics surrounding the SNP and the mainstream parties of Westminster over devolution max or national independence, why not draft up a federal constitution to safeguard the democratic rights of every citizen wherever he lives and to whichever nationality he identifies himself. With a federal constitution we can allocate the correct resources, budget and taxation levels to each region whilst offering equal representation in a federal parliament....

FederalBritain
by FederalBritain
6 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 17
FederalBritain

Suggested constitution clause: 'Central Government spending must be on a basis which is fair to all regions of the [UK].  As a general rule, amounts spent by Central Government in each region must be on the basis that average per-capita expenditure is the same in all regions of the [UK].  Expenditure may however be varied where this is justified by evidence of greater or lesser needs of different regions.'   Idea behind the draft clause: The Barnett Formula should be scrapped and...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
15 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 17
Ian Smith

The Greater Manchester Referendum Campaign has, since early December, been criticising the absence of public consultation in the drawing up of plans for a "devo-manc" settlement, referred to in earlier posts.  The fear is that, without a referendum, much of the content of "devo-manc" is unaccountable and undemocratic. As "Mancunian Spring" put it: "So where do we go from here and how do we escape the clutches of an establishment devolution model attempting to maintain as much of the status...

Harry Blain
by Harry Blain
4 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 9
Harry Blain

The 1707 act of Union is dead in all but name.  Significantly it stated that here should be one UK government to represent the UK.  Now we have three, in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  Ministers from these institutions can, and have, represented the whole of the UK in the EU. In addition that Act stated that all parts of the Union should have equal opportunities and benefits.  Clearly that is no longer the case with free or subsidised tertiary education everywhere in the UK except...

Priscilla Cullen
by Priscilla Cullen
11 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 48
Priscilla Cullen

I believe the only sensible solution to the political quandary over devolution and 'English votes for English laws' is to make the UK a federation. A written constitution would determine what was the sole prerogative of the UK parliament (at least foreign policy and defence), all other matters falling to the English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish assemblies. I would like to see an English assembly and administration based somewhere other than London, preferably in the north. The House...

Charles Williams
by Charles Williams
2 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 9
Charles Williams

The regions of England have legitimate historic identities, some with their own ancient languages and customs, others with dialects still in common use. These identities will not be preserved or protected without recognition, and the idea of a unitary England is what prevents that recognition. I'll start by declaring that I've been pretty open about being in favour of regional devolution, but I've seen enough conflict over the subject of England in the context of devolution that it seems...

John Hackett
by John Hackett
9 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 18
John Hackett

It sounds like a fundamentally simple thing to say, but devolution  needs to come from the grass roots up. We've seen during the course of the coalition government, various devolution packages here and there but the whole system is fundamentally flawed as central government has decided which areas should get devolution and what they should get.  Here in Cornwall there is a clear appetite for devolution and an apparent unwillingness for central government to address these issues. Despite,...

cernyw
by cernyw
5 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 16
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