Day: 20/09/2014

Fairness for England – Thoughts on constitutional resettlement


britain england scotland

I am, I should start by saying, very pleased that Scotland chose to stay as part of the United Kingdom. I said very little during the referendum itself — though that was still too much for some of the Yes supporters — but I was sincerely and desperately hoping for a No vote. Less out of sentimentality reasons — though I don’t deny they were a factor — than of a very real fear of the consequences for the Scottish people.

But now, after the no vote, the flavour of the moment is devolution for England. Constitutionalism has never been so sexy!

I studied public law as part of my degree, so I’m not unfamiliar with the topics involved. And there is a democratic deficit in that England lacks the same level of devolution which Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland enjoy. This has come sharply to the attention of many people, but most notably Conservative backbencher and right-wing figurehead John Redwood.

Mr Redwood thinks that England needs its own parliament. He thinks that this parliament should be the present Westminster parliament, without the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs. Unfortunately, there he is wrong.

Read on…