Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
If we ignore for the moment the current figures, there are exactly the same arguments for an English Parliament (EP) as there were for a Scottish one. The strongest one is that polices which are not wanted by the English are being imposed because of the Labour majority in Westminster depends on their Scottish MPs.

This problem has long been recognised but sidelined within Labour as it is to their advantage. It was after all Tam Dayall who first raised the West Lothian question. The current situation is entirely down to their short-termism as after all they should have reached both a settlement for England and held a Speakers Conference about the future of the House of Lords in their first term when the impetus was there.

Actually the Scots Nats have a practice which maybe should be adopted. They (and I think Plaid) do not vote on matters that relate exclusively to England. The interim solution would be to have an "English Grand Committee" in the same way as there used to be a Scottish one. The logical continuation, to a Parliament elected along similar lines to the Scottish one would then become obvious. Although London is the dual capital, there is no reason for the EP not to be located in, say Birmingham. I suggested that as the second largest city and it is a transport hub but there would obviously be other candidates.

As well as having nation-level laws, there is a stronger reason to go to that level rather than regional. That's actually part of the argument that was used above. While there are considerable infrastructure investments in London and the South-East, there is a net outflow of tax income. you can therefore turn the argument round as find the right wing complaining about subsidising the rest of the country and having to keep the "indolent North". There would of course be the option of having regional assemblies along the London lines as the mid-level unit. There would therefore be either EP-region-district(Borough in the case of London) or EP-County (as now)-district.

The sense surely is for all four nations to have their own parliaments with the same powers - i.e. reform the Assemblies - so that they all have the same ralationship with the UK Parliament. This would also leave the Commons to have much more time to properly scrtutinise legislation in front of it.

by Londonbear on Mon Jun 12th, 2006 at 06:06:42 PM EST

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