Devolution Proposals

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The government’s detailed proposals for introducing English Votes for English Laws (EVEL) into the House of Commons are a significant moment in our constitutional history, say Michael Kenny and Daniel Gover, but there is good reason to think that EVEL is unlikely to represent a sufficient answer to the English question.
 
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The government's announcement of its much anticipated proposals for the introduction of ‘English votes for English laws’ in the House of Commons, involves changes to the rules for scrutinising individual Bills, or clauses within them, that affect England, or England and Wales only. The reforms are proposed as an answer to the West Lothian question – the situation whereby MPs from the devolved territories can vote on matters that affect England only, such as Education, but English MPs cannot reciprocate on issues that are devolved. 
 
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The introduction of English Votes for English Laws (EVEL) faces a problem, says Michael Keating, in that only a minority of English voters will ever have supported the laws in question. 
 
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As the House of Commons prepares to debate the welfare clauses in the Scotland Bill, Professor Nicola McEwen reflects on some of the challenges and opportunities the new welfare powers may present.
 
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The Scottish Government just launched a National Conversation on how the new powers contained in the Scotland Bill 2015 should be used. Paul Cairney suggests that there are two ways of looking at the exercise. 
 
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Scotland's much-vaunted belief that it is fairer than the rest of the UK is under the spotlight, says Kirstein Rummery, as new powers reopen old questions about the best way to support disabled people. 

With the devolution of further powers under the forthcoming Scotland Bill, there is an opportunity to create a devolved system of welfare that is fair, universal, simple and sustainable. Scotland has long maintained that it is different and fairer to the rest of the UK when comes to its approach to welfare and care; now it has the means to prove it.

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Talk of Scotland adopting a Scandinavian economic model usually comes with no mention of the bill but, suggests recent research, the impact of higher taxes is more complicated than it might at first appear. 
 
The Scottish Government holds up the Scandinavian economic model as one this country might emulate.
 
The focus is typically on the good news of more and better public services, with little comment on higher levels of taxation to pay for them.
 
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  • 10th August 2018

    Brexit is re-making the UK’s constitution under our noses. The territorial constitution is particularly fragile. Pursuing Brexit, Theresa May’s government has stumbled into deep questions about devolution.

  • 8th August 2018

    The UK in a Changing Europe has formed a new Brexit Policy Panel (BPP). The BPP is a cross-disciplinary group of over 100 leading social scientists created to provide ongoing analysis of where we have got to in the Brexit process, and to forecast where we are headed. Members of the UK in a Changing Europe Brexit Policy Panel complete a monthly survey addressing three key areas of uncertainty around Brexit: if —and when—the UK will leave the EU; how Brexit will affect British politics; and what our relationship with the EU is likely to look like in the future. The CCC participates on the Panel.

  • 2nd August 2018

    The House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee issued its report ‘Devolution and Exiting the EU: reconciling differences and building strong relationships’. Discussing its contents, Professor Nicola McEwen suggests that the report includes some practical recommendations, some of which were informed by CCC research. It also shines a light on some of the more difficult challenges ahead.

  • 31st July 2018

    The politicisation of Brexit, combined with deteriorating relations between London and Dublin, has created a toxic atmosphere in Northern Ireland, says Mary Murphy, which will require imagination and possibly new institutions to resolve.

  • 25th July 2018

    Given that there are many policy differences between Northern Ireland and other parts of the UK, asks Jonathan Evershed, why has customs policy been singled out as a red line by Unionists?

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