Unlock Democracy: We recognise the right of the English people to self-govern

We recognise the right of the English people to self-govern

by James Graham, Campaigns and Communications Manager, Unlock Democracy

We welcome the government’s decision to establish a commission to look into the so-called West Lothian question. This is a long overdue investigation into a very serious anomaly in UK constitutional law.

In looking at the problem however, we do hope that the commission begins at first principles. This anomaly in UK law arose for the noblest of reasons: to bring power closer to the people in a way that reflects their identities. Sadly, while this has been of great benefit for the people of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the English have been left out of the equation.

Any solution that deals only with the constitutional anomaly, but does not address the need to devolve real power from Westminster to the people and communities of England may be a worthy tidying up exercise but will not address the fundamental problem.

We will therefore be urging the commission to recognise the right of the English people themselves to self-govern and decide what works best for them. This could take a similar form to the right for nations and regions to self-government entrenched in the Spanish constitution.