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Devolution / Independence Devolution “The settled will of the people” John Smith Labour Leader Was meant to be a block on nationalist ambitions but it.

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Presentation on theme: "Devolution / Independence Devolution “The settled will of the people” John Smith Labour Leader Was meant to be a block on nationalist ambitions but it."— Presentation transcript:

1 Devolution / Independence Devolution “The settled will of the people” John Smith Labour Leader Was meant to be a block on nationalist ambitions but it hasn’t worked out that way.

2 Texts King, The British Constitution Alan Trench, Options for Devolution Finance, Political Quarterly Vol 81, Issue 4, 2010 Morrison, Public Affairs p31-42

3 Contents Between Local and Central Government Scotland Wales Northern Ireland London Police & Crime Commissioners Key Issues

4 Between Local & Central Government  National Bodies: Scottish Parliament/Government Welsh Assembly/Government Northern Ireland Assembly  Regional Entities: Mayor of London/London Assembly Police & Crime Commissioners

5 Scotland : The Road to Devolution 1707 Act of Union – abolished separate parliaments 1979 – Referendum did not attract necessary 40% electorate support for devolution 1989 – constitutional convention talks 1997 – 74% support for Scottish Parliament

6 Democratic deficit 80’s and early 90’s Labour in Scotland Tories in Westminster Poll Tax Civic society get together 1989 – constitutional convention talks (SNP boycott) PR to avoid one party rule

7 Road to devolution modern_scotland/the_poll_tax/ modern_scotland/the_poll_tax/

8 SCOTLAND: Blair’s Legacy  Scottish Government/Executive:  Scottish Parliament: 1998 Scotland Act devolved decision- making on domestic issues from the Westminster Parliament to Scottish- based bodies Tax-raising powers limited to 3p in the £

9 Dewar’s legacy donald-dewar-a-very-reluctant-leader/ donald-dewar-a-very-reluctant-leader

10 Scottish Government & Parliament  First Minister (= Prime Minister) currently Alex Salmond (Leader of SNP)  20 Ministers 129 MSPs (members of the Scottish Parliament) Presiding Officer (= The Speaker) Annual Budget approx. £29b.

11 Scotland: Division of Powers Devolved powers on day to day issues:  Law & Order  Health  Housing  Education  Environment  Farming & Food

12 Scotland: Division of Powers Not devolved:  Foreign affairs & defence  Main economic, fiscal & financial issues  International development  Social Security & employment

13 Scotland – as seen from Westminster 59 MPs representing Scottish constituencies West Lothian Question The Barnett Formula: total public spending £53.1b.

14 Scotland: After Devolution May 2011: SNP wins overall majority Relations with other parties Oct 2012: agreement between Cameron & Salmond on referendum 2014: Independence referendum

15 Scotland: Options “Better Together” v. “Yes Scotland” Stay the same Devo max: more powers devolved Scottish “independence”

16 Scotland: Referendum Current Cameron/Salmond Deal: One Question: Should Scotland be an independent country? Yes/No" Questions on Vote: Majority of Voters or Simple Majority? 16s get the vote What about the rest of the UK?

17 Scotland: What Independence means for Tax/benefits/public spending? Border controls? EU?Nato membership? Defence/foreign affairs? The Monarchy? Scottish MPs? Would Labour ever hold national office again?

18 What independence could mean Defence - nuclear weapons are based at the Faslane naval base on the Clyde. independent Scotland would continue to use the pound, at least initially, as its currency. Euro? membership of the European Union (President of European Commission thrown doubts over automatic membership) Membership of Nato

19 WALES  Welsh Government and Assembly  Currently Labour-led  First Minister: Carwyn Jones (Lab)  60 AMs (assembly members)  Assembly ’ s annual budget: £ 15.3b.  Annual public spending: £ 30.1b.

20 WALES Devolved powers on day to day issues:  Health  Education  Social services  Farming & rural issues  Local government

21 WALES: Where Next?  Labour’s Future looks good?  Last year won rights to introduce own legislation  Watching Scotland…..  Spending cuts?

22 NORTHERN IRELAND  Northern Ireland Assembly led by First Minister & Deputy: Peter Robinson (DUP)& Martin McGuinness (Sinn Fein)  They preside over Executive Committee (= Cabinet)  35 DUP MLAs; 27 Sinn Fein MLAs  108 MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly)

23 Northern Ireland  Powers established by 1998 Good Friday Agreement  Total public spending £19.25b.

24 Northern Ireland Transferred powers on:  Health, education, social security, environment, farming  Policing and criminal law Non-transferred powers on:  Taxation, foreign and defence policy

25 NI Assembly: Where Next?  Polarised leadership  Continuing sectarian violence  Pressures for further transfer of powers  Impact of economy & spending cuts

26 GOVERNANCE OF LONDON  Mayor of London: Boris Johnson  Runs Greater London Authority  London Assembly with 25 AMs (Assembly Members)  Budget approx. £ 3 billion  Financed mainly by central government grants and by precept (charge) added to every Londoner ’ s council tax bill  + 32/33 London Boroughs

27 Governance of London Mayor & Greater London Authority, limited Powers:  Policing  Transport  Regeneration & Development  Olympics/cultural Events  Acts as “Ambassador” of London London Assembly:  Scrutinises and questions Mayor’s policies and actions

28 London: Current Issues  The Boris Factor  Impact of Spending Cuts  Reforms of mayoral/GLA Powers  Relations with stakeholders, ie. police, London boroughs, transport bodies  Olympics 2012 Legacy

29 Police & Crime Commissioners 1 st election November 15 Of 41 PCCs Replace regional police authorities (outside London) US-type reform? Contested by politicians Fears over voter turn-out?

30 Key Issues for the Future Devolution: Independence or stay within UK ? Number of “layers” of government? Centralisation v. localism Amount & control of spending Success/failure of police & crime commissioners Appointed v. elected Voting systems

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