“ENGLISH DEVOLUTION” MINISTER SHOWS LITTLE INTEREST IN THE ENGLISH QUESTION.
Back on the 8th August I wrote a blog article suggesting writing to the new Minister appointed to oversee English Devolution, Dominic Raab. Here is a link to my article>>>Robin Tilbrook: UK Government appoint “Under Minister” responsible for “Devolution” to England
It appears that the Minister for English devolution has so little interest in the English Question that he cannot even be bothered to sign off the reply!
Most of the answers we have had so far have been standard holding letters but one member got the reply below. What do you think?
Here is the text of the letter:-
Thank you for your email of the 24 August to Dominic Raab MP regarding English ethnicity, English Votes for English Laws and the Barnett formula.
Shortly after the General Election, the Prime Minister announced that the Government will implement the Smith Commission Agreement in full. The cross-party talks were convened to consider the devolution of further powers to Scotland, and culminated in the Smith Commission Agreement. Once the new settlement for Scotland is operational, the Scottish Parliament will be responsible for more than 50% of its funding.
The Scottish Government will therefore have greater accountability and autonomy; changes in the Scottish Parliament’s funding will be increasingly determined by changes in Scottish tax and the importance of the Barnett-based block grant provided by the UK Government will therefore decrease.
It is worth noting that levels of public spending throughout the UK – including comparisons between regions in England – recognise the fact that costs are different because there are different demands on services and benefits, depending on local economies and circumstances.
The Prime Minister has been clear that the United Kingdom should remain as one and that if we are to govern our nation in the best interests of the whole United Kingdom it is important that devolution is balanced and every part of the UK has a fair say.
The devolution of powers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has led to changes in the constitutional settlement and the question of the fairness of that settlement to England must now be addressed. However, the Government does not believe that a federal UK or an English Parliament is the answer. The Government believes in a strong UK Parliament for a strong UK. The creation of an English Parliament could significantly weaken and diminish the role of the UK Parliament by reducing its workload and its status. The Government thinks it right and proper that English MPs should have a decisive role to play in the passage of legislation that affects only England. However, creating a separate English Parliament would mean that MPs from other parts of the UK would be denied the opportunity to contribute to debates and would therefore diminish the current decision-making process rather than enhancing it.
On 2 July, the Government announced its plans to implement ‘English Votes for English Laws’ to strengthen England’s voice, just as devolution has strengthened the voices of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland within our Union. The proposals will be debated soon and decided upon by the House of Commons.
Under English Votes for English Laws, every MP would continue to have a vote on every Bill. However, the key change would come into effect when the Commons considers England-only measures on matters which have been devolved to the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh and Norther Ireland Assemblies. English MPs would have the decisive say in Westminster. This provision would also extend to English and Welsh MPs where measures apply to England and Wales and are on matters which been devolved elsewhere.
You can read more about the Government’s proposals at the website:
For the matters raised on immigration, please write directly to the Home Office who leads on the immigration policy.
I hope you find this useful.
Policy Support Team
Constitution Group, Cabinet Office