An English Parliament

All who have written in seem to agree we need change to Labour’s bodged devolution fix, and all seem to agree that the position of England needs recognition. There also seems to be universal support for banishing all the much unloved English regional government.

The disagreement seems to be over whether the Union is worth saving, with some wanting to go straight to an independent England. Such a country would not ened a new Parliament bulding, as the Union Parlaiment at westminster would revert to its origins as the English Parliament.

I think it is worth trying the federal model I have proposed, with symmetry and fairness between Scotland, England Wales and Northern Ireland. If that did not suit the majority because they did not think it worked well or fairly, then we would have to consider referenda on whether to dissolve the Union or not. The pace may be forced by Scottish nationalists. The interesting issue is who should decide on whether Scotland should stay or leave the Union? Just Scottish voters in a referndum, or all UK voters? It is high time the government told us what they would do if Scotland votes for a Nationalist government in Edinburgh.

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5 Comments

  1. Kit
    Posted January 5, 2007 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    If Scotland does decide to leave the Union then the English should let them – I don't think we want to have another Edward Long Shanks.
    However, the English will have a strong bargaining hand when negotiating. For instance, from memory, pre-Union borders would mean a large number of oil fields would be in English waters.

  2. The Aberdonian
    Posted January 5, 2007 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Just one question on John's proposal for a dual manadate system – what about the executive? Would there be a single government which provide the ministers for both the UK and national levels – i.e. the Scottish Secretary/First Minister would be appointed by the UK Prime Minister or would there be five seperate executives.

    If the former situation is the one proposed, then there would be chaos as for example there could be a Tory Scottish secretary facing a caucaus of Scottish MPs who are very much in the main not Tory and would throw out any government proposals at the second reading. Nothing could be done unless the UK government allowed the opposition in the national legislatures to trample their proposals over and over again.

    If there is to be five seperate executives, each accountable to their particular legislature, you would have a system of part-time ministers. This could mean that you could have the Scottish First Minister being the head honcho in Edinburgh but in London being relegated on "Union" days to being a mere opposition frontbencher (if they are lucky). Such as a Tory UK government with a Scottish Labour government in Edinburgh.

    Also the arithmatic might throw up a Labour UK government/parliament but an English Tory government/controlled parliament. This could mean that a British Prime Minister in the union parliament (if he/she sat as a Labour MP in England) could be relegated to a mere opposition MP in the English parliament on "English Days". A very bruised ego indeed. UK Chief of government three days a week and then opposition MP the other two days.

  3. Haddock
    Posted January 5, 2007 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    I notice that you have the spelling Engllish in the title of this piece, an easy enough mistake to make as we so seldom mention the English in print.

  4. Ken Adams
    Posted January 6, 2007 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Excellent point Mr Redwood! I am bound to think it excellent as I have been arguing for some time that it should not be just a Scottish decision. We are all British we therefore should all have a voice in the ending of the union if that is what has to happen.

    Unfortunately if the Scots do vote for the SNP and then vote in the referendum for independence I do not see how we could refuse the wishes expressed.

    It will be an interesting time, especially if this happens quite quickly because we would have a Scottish Parliament demanding and negotiating independence from Britian at a time when all the major appointments of the British state are filled with Scotsmen elected in Scottish constituencies. If it were not so important it would be fun to just sit back and watch the Scots fight it out amongst themselves.

  5. Alfie the OK
    Posted January 8, 2007 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    England and the English need a Parliament – period. We need it so our people can elect representatives to office who will look after our concerns and fight for our interests. For instance, Labour are bringing in a bill to alter the planning laws (only in England, obviously) sometime this year. The plan is to make the laws favour the developer. Therefore new housing, building – especially in the South East will accelerate. But that's not all, these new planning laws will mean that Nuclear Power Stations and Dumps can be located virtually where the Government likes without anyone objecting …….. except of course in Scotland and Wales. Both McConnell and Morgan have stated quite openly that no nuclear stations will be built in their countries – indeed, McConnell has gone so far as saying that all the nuclear waste currently being stored above ground in Scotland is going to be despatched south of the border! An English Parliament is essential to fight our corner – because one thing's for sure, the current Westminster model doesn't.

    An English Parliament is the only way forward. England can exist within a federal Britain. After all, federal systems exist all over the world with component states of various sizes…. What is shameful and absolutely unforgivable is the way our political leaders use the threat of a break up of the UK as a reason for denying this Englishman's democratic right to National representation.

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  • By gammarama.co.uk » English parliament? on January 16, 2007 at 8:01 am

    […] January 16, 2007 at 8:00 am · Filed under Random Stuff It seems the whole issue of imbalance on representation in the UK is not going to go away.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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