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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    While populist leaders and movements make headlines worldwide, an often more subtle majority nationalism remains an endemic condition of the modern world. This phenomenon is comparatively understudied. The Centre on Constitutional Change invites calls for abstracts for an international workshop on the topic of majority nationalism, to be held in February 2019.

  • 31st May 2018

    The recent report by the Growth Commission contains some interesting ideas, says Michael Keating, but also makes some problematic assumptions.

  • 30th May 2018

    The Scottish and Welsh Governments worked together closely during their negotiations with the UK Government over those aspects of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill that related to devolution. Despite ultimately choosing different paths, say Hedydd Phylip and Greg Davies, this spirit of cooperation looks set to continue.

  • 28th May 2018

    The highly-anticipated publication of 'Scotland: A New Case for Optimism' outlines the new economic case for independence but, asks Coree Brown-Swan, it remains to be seen whether this will prompt a constructive debate by Unionists and Nationalists alike about some of Scotland's economic woes.

  • 18th May 2018

    Different political actors have responded to the decision by the Scottish Parliament to withhold its consent for the UK Government’s showpiece EU (Withdrawal) Bill in very different ways. Prof Nicola McEwen sifts the facts from the hyperbole and explains where we are and where we go from here.

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