Scotland and the Referendum

Lord Soley

There was a short debate on what our response should be to a ‘No’ vote in the Scottish referendum. We cannot and should not go back to business as usual.
Many Parliamentarian have felt that we need a more devolved or possibly federal structure than in the past but the devil is in the detail.
I try and address one of those issues in this very short debate:

2 comments for “Scotland and the Referendum

  1. 17/06/2014 at 12:58 pm

    There is a lot to be said on this, but I’d just like to make two distinct points. One is that we need some sort of joined-up process when it comes to constitutional reform, rather than the piecemeal approach favoured since the ’97 election. For example, Lords reform should consider the role of an upper chamber in a possible federal system, not be done in isolation.

    The second point is that many parts of England feel just as detached from Westminster as Scotland does. In many ways, the big divide is between London and the rest of the UK, not Scotland and England. The entire country is heavily weighted towards London. This is what needs to be addressed before any of the other constitutional questions are tackled.

  2. 17/06/2014 at 4:21 pm

    Lord Soley,

    The Financial Times seems to indicate that there will be a more autonomous Scotland regardless. They have been more confident in that assertion than in many others. Jonathan’s first proposal for Federalism in the HoL is not impossible and is even suggested by some interpretations of the Treaty of Union. Also the idea of four realms and a British/English City of London as a new entity is not impossible. The USA and its DC, EUM (Mexico) and its DF, the PRC and previous Chinese regimes and the Beijing Special Municipailty are actually all quite different with quite different histories.

    Perhaps large parts of the constitution can remain unwritten in a context where a single document sets forth new Federal features in the HoL, specifically recognizes the continuity with five constitutional documents (the Magna Carta, the Treaty of Union, the Bill of Rights, the Parliament Act and the Fixed Terms Parliament Bill) and allows for a more specific constitutional process in the future with some reservation of powers by various entities spelled out above mere statute. Yes, it might be a bit Americanizing but only in organizing British elements to stand the tests of the present and the future.

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