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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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

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

It's the last week of the first phase of the project and thanks everyone for your contributions so far. The devolution debate in the UK is often hindered by differing interpretations of the main underlying principle of devolving power. Mainly, is the principle of devolution about bringing more power and decision making to a local level or is it about reinforcing the national or sub-national identities within the UK? A big aspect of this debate is whether England should be regionalised or...

Michael Ward
by Michael Ward
4 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 8
Michael Ward

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

Devo max or federalism of some kind is probably inevitable but our new constitution should enshrine the principal that  executive decisions should not be duplicated  by this I mean that we shoulld avoid multiple layers of expensive decision making but multiple legislatures 

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
5 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 5
Ian Smith

Suggested clause: -  All enactments in the [UK] must, as far as possible be in the same format and use the same language and legal terminology; and - The Courts of the [UK] must, as far as possible, use the same language and legal terminology.' Idea behind the clause: Legilslation in the UK is in many cases created on a "reserved" basis meaning that the statute in question is akin to a "federal" law to be applied throughout the UK.  An example would be the Companies Acts....

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
7 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 9
Ian Smith

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
Voting closed
Comments 7
Harry Blain

I’ve only just joined this project, so I’ve been trying to catch up. But reading the posts on Devolution, my impression is that the debate’s already so polarised that it’s effectively blocked.   On the one hand, there are those who believe in “English votes for English laws” and, on the other, there are those who think that if the Scots and the Welsh have what are in effect regional assemblies, people in England should have them too.   My guess is that the polarisation among...

Alastair Bruton
by Alastair Bruton
6 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 15
Alastair Bruton

We are at various points discussing layers of government.  This idea is very simple. if you are elected at one tier of government, you can not also take a seat at another layer.   You are elected to do one job and one job only. In practice, I would allow a grace period of one year between getting elected to a second position and having to resign the first but councillors should focus on being councillors, MPs on being MPs, members of Assemblies and sub national parliament on being such...

Debra Storr
by Debra Storr
6 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 8
Debra Storr
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