Former First Ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – a role that hasn’t existed in England for over three centuries – have suggested that the UK should be federalised to save the British union.
Lord McConnell , Carwyn Jones and Lord Trimble have written a letter in the Telegraph calling for a new Act of Union and constitutional settlement which would include a devolved English Parliament.
An English Parliament is long overdue. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have had devolved government for over two decades. Scotland has had two devolution and one independence referenda since 1979, Wales has had three devolution referenda since 1979 and Northern Ireland has had two devolution referenda. There has never been a referendum on English devolution, only for regional government. Londoners voted for their own regional assembly whilst voters in the north east of England voted against having one there and that is as far as the British have been prepared to go.
A federal union would be a good starting point but it doesn’t go far enough. England needs its independence, not to be controlled at arms length by the British. A confederation is a much preferable alternative to federalism where each member state of the UK gains its independence and devolves power to a central government, flipping federalism on its head. A union by consent would be much stronger than a union by force.