Sunday 10 July 2016

Brexit: and a federal UK

There have been many thoughts following the referendum about how this will effect political life beyond Westminster:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and devolution: "The moment for building a genuine movement for constitutional change might just be arriving."
Futures Forum: Brexit: and local democracy ... of devolution and cuts in local goverment
Futures Forum: Brexit: and devolution in the South West

Now talk of fundamental constitutional reform is going beyond the usual suspects:

Tory MSP joins calls for 'federal' UK in wake of Brexit vote

9 July 2016

A senior Scottish Conservative MSP has called for the creation of a "federal" UK in the wake of the Brexit vote. Murdo Fraser said the EU referendum had shown up political "disparities" and said the "time has come" for "different systems in different parts of the UK".

"Our state is still too centralised, and we need to recognise the need for different systems in different parts of the UK. If the UK is to continue, then it must be willing to continue to devolve power to its territories. The answer to this problem is federalism. Its time has come."
Exclusive: Proposed constitutional reform would give each nation and region of the UK full sovereignty over its own affairs
Martin Kettle Sunday 10 July 2016
The governance of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should be reinvented within a new voluntary union in a bid to save the UK from disintegration, an independent all-party group of experts will argue this week.
The Constitution Reform Group, convened by former Conservative cabinet minister Lord Salisbury, is to make the the case for radical constitutional change in the UK by claiming the need has been boosted by the vote to leave the European Union.
Their proposals say the existing union should be replaced with fully devolved government in each part of the UK, with each given full sovereignty over its own affairs. The Westminster parliament, the group says, should then be reduced to 146 MPs. The individual nations and regions of the UK would then be encouraged to pool sovereignty to cover the matters they wish to be dealt with on a shared basis.
The proposals say they “start from the position that each of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is a unit that both can and should determine its own affairs to the extent that it considers it should; but that each unit should also be free to choose to share, through an efficient and effective United Kingdom, functions which are more effectively exercised on a shared basis.”
The new construction suggests a complete reversal of the UK’s current constitutional arrangement, in which all sovereignty formally rests in the centre and is then devolved to regions on a piecemeal basis.
Brexit vote paves way for federal union to save UK, says all-party group | Politics | The Guardian

There are all sorts of ideas out there being canvassed:
The “reverse Greenland”: One solution that could prevent dismantling the United Kingdom after Brexit — Quartz

And in the meantime, the 'devolution deals' look rather shaky - with a rather lame-duck Chancellor who had been pushing them:
Devolution deal shelved following Brexit uncertainty as North East leaders demand reassurances - Chronicle Live
Brexit effect on devolution for Lancashire - Lancashire Evening Post
Southampton council boss seeks government talks over Brexit effect on Solent devolution deal (From Daily Echo)
Brexit spells uncertainty for proposed Hampshire devolution (From Daily Echo)

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