We must put an end to the outrageously racist approach to constitutional settlements in the UK. I say racist because heretofore any settlement has used racial characteristics like ethnicity or identity for determining who gets what settlement, if any.[Tweet “The only fair constitutional settlement for all is the same for all. #TeamEngland”]
A fair settlement will be:
- straightforward and quick to implement;
- it will be possible to state in one bill the settlement that will apply to all,
- the matters in the bill must be well defined by existing legislation so that it is simple to put together.
A bill that meets these criteria could be presented to Parliament by the 1st November so that it can be enacted before Christmas 2014. It will raise no new legislative principles so there will already be a vast storehouse of experience in implementation
Only one type of settlement meets these requirements and that is the devolved parliament:
- There is already plenty of legislation to cut and paste into a new bill.
- Any new powers can be added quickly.
- If the government were to ask the people if they wanted a devolved parliament for each of the four nations, each with parity of powers, there would be national acclaim for the wisdom of the decision. People all over would accept it so obviating the need for lengthy public consultations.
In one simple action the issues raised by the Scottish referendum will have been solved. Brilliant!
Having the same settlement for all means that having to reserve days at Westminster for English MPs to discuss English matters will require that we must also have special days for Scottish MPs to discuss Scottish matters and so on. And that will mean closing the devolved parliaments/assemblies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, a totally impractical idea.
People raise a number of objections to devolved parliaments. None of them hold water. Over the next few I will deal with each of these.
The opportunities raised for all four nations by a fair settlement as suggested here are so important that refusing this option will confirm the statement I made at the start – our political establishment is racist to the core. Do you agree?