I have been asked??by a number of readers if??I would post my thoughts on the West Lothian Question and the establishment of a separate English Parliament.
I do strongly believe that England should be treated fairly within the Union and that we need new democratic arrangements to deal with all the English issues that are currently being put to the United Kingdom parliament.?? As early as 1999 I warned of the threat to the United Kingdom from Labour’s botched devolution settlement in my book, <a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/Death-Britain-John-Redwood/dp/033374439X/sr=8-2/qid=1166440997/ref=sr_1_2/202-3656065-9987009?ie=UTF8&s=books">The Death of Britain?</a>
However, while I agree we need to do something to remedy the anomoly whereby MPs elected for English constituencies cannot vote on many matters affecting Scotland, and MPs elected to Scottish constituencies can vote on everyone else’s legislation but their own, I do not favour the establishment of a new English Parliament in a new building at enormous cost to the taxpayer away from Westminster.
What I would like to see is the return of the English Parliament to Westminster.?? Everything which is an English matter, including health, education, local Government, planning and law and order, should be considered only by English Members of the Westminster Parliament meeting as the English Parliament.?? This would give England the same devolved powers as enjoyed in Scotland, create a stronger sense of English identity around the traditional Parliament of England, and avoid any extra costs and hassles associated with devolution in Scotland and Wales.
My view is that all of us elected to the Westminster Parliament for English constituencies should perform a dual role.?? We should work with colleagues from Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland on Union matters for part of the week, and for the rest of the week, the Westminster Parliament itself should be the English Parliament, where we, English representatives, settle all the matters that are devolved Scotland ourselves at Westminster, without the help or interference of our colleagues from Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.?? The English Parliament at Westminster would therefore create a much more fair and balanced United Kingdom.