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Devolution in England

Devolution in England was given a boost by George Osborne’s support for the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ and other devolution deals, whereby Councils were encouraged to come together to form combined authorities with directly elected mayors.  Mayoral elections will take place in May for the new combined authorities in Greater Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool, West Midlands and Tees Valley.  But elsewhere, such as Norfolk and Suffolk, and Greater Lincolnshire, devolution deals have collapsed.  Tony Travers will talk about the prospects for further devolution in England, in an age of greater austerity and growing uncertainty post-Brexit.  

Starts: Apr 10, 2017 1:00:00 PM

Options for an English Parliament

Ever since the devolved legislatures in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were established some have suggested that England should also have a parliament of its own. Widely seen as a fringe idea in the past, in recent years the proposal has started to gather greater political support. Yet there is no single blueprint for what an English Parliament would actually look like, with proponents suggesting a variety of different schemes. At this seminar some alternative visions will be explored. John Redwood will discuss his proposal for a 'dual mandate' English Parliament composed of MPs representing English constituencies, whilst Scilla Cullen from the Campaign for an English Parliament will argue in favour of a separately elected institution. John Denham has meanwhile argued that Labour should take England and English identity more seriously, suggesting that some form of an English Parliament is now an 'essential Labour movement demand'.

Starts: May 22, 2017 1:00:00 PM

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Brexit at Westminster: can parliament play a meaningful role?

Thursday, 23 March 2017

On March 13 the Constitution Unit hosted a seminar on Brexit at Westminster, exploring the role parliament has played in the lead up to the triggering of Article 50 and that it might play in the forthcoming negotiations. The panel consisted of Hilary Benn, Chair of the House of Commons Exiting the EU Committee; Arnold […]

A second Scottish independence referendum without a s.30 Order? A legal question that demands a political answer

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

In this blog Stephen Tierney argues that the legality of a unilateral referendum organised by the Scottish Parliament is a grey area. He also offers personal reflections from his experience as a parliamentary adviser at the time of the 2014 referendum and contends that a referendum held without an agreed process would have been damaging […]

Brexit presents parliament with daunting challenges but steps are being taken to help it meet them

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Brexit presents parliament with daunting challenges, both politically and procedurally. In this post Arnold Ridout, Counsel for European Legislation at the House of Commons, highlights some of these and explains what steps are being taken to held ensure that parliament performs its role effectively. The post is adapted from a talk he gave at a […]

LGBT candidates in UK elections: how much has changed?

Thursday, 16 March 2017

On March 6 the Constitution Unit hosted a panel discussion on LGBT candidates in UK elections, exploring the UK parliament’s evolution to including more openly LGBT politicians than any other state legislature. The panel, chaired by Dr Jennifer Hudson, consisted of Professor Andrew Reynolds and four of the UK’s most prominent LGBT politicians: Angela Eagle, […]

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