A new union for the 21st Century

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 England and similarly free prescriptions, eye tests and dental checks.  Also better subsidised travel and care for the elderly benefits citizens elsewhere.  Moreover, apart from unaccountable MPs from the rest of the UK voting on domestic law for England, we have also statutory Instruments that levy taxes only in England such as the 'workplace parking levy'.  The funding system was never based on need and was a short term expedient acknowledged by the late Lord Barnett himself.  It was based on relative population and has never been reformed to reflect either need or the current relative populations.

 

Clearly we need a new union which is fit for purpose in the 21st century and in which England has a voice as a whole.  Only a single voice on behalf of England's people will be equivalent to those of the devolved territories within the UK and the EU.  Any regional so-called solution to devolution for England is merely a divide and rule policy to ensure that vested interests are not harmed.

 

The British Parliament at Westminster is a bloated creature both in the Commons and the Lords.  Both houses need root and branch reform.  Although thus far devolution to the rest of the UK has involved more politician and an additional level of bureaucracy the proposal from the Campaign for an English Parliament does neither.

 

We believe that the MPs at Westminster that represent English constituencies should be reduced in number.  Other similar countries have fewer representatives per head of population. MPs for these  reduced number of constituencies would be elected to an English Parliament.  The remaining number of MPs would be elected to serve in the UK Parliament acting as a revising chamber and for those reserved matters, such as foreign relations, that remain. Clearly a balancing number of MPs from the devolved territories would be elected to serve in the UK Parliament.

 

Fundamentally all nations of the UK should be in equality with each other and in the same relationship to the UK Government otherwise the UK will cease to exist.

Harry Blain Apr 11, 2015

This principle - "all nations of the UK should be in equality with each other" - is a popular one, and has been advanced elsewhere, too: https://constitutionuk.com/category/2851#/post/81258

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