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Dear Mr ######
Thank you for your email of 21 December addressed to the Department's general queries mailbox about the establishment of a separate parliament for England.
The four component countries of the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) have their own histories and distinct national identities, as well as different administrative structures, size and population. As a result, the Government believes that different approaches and solutions are appropriate to address the differences that exist between the countries of the United Kingdom. Thus the starting point for England is not the same as it was for Scotland and Wales.
The Government believes that the establishment of an English Parliament would not be of real benefit to the people of England. As the population of England accounts for 84% of the UK population, this would mean that an English Parliament would only be slightly smaller than the current UK Parliament. Such a move would not therefore contribute significantly towards bringing people in England closer to the decision making process, which is one of the cornerstones of devolution. In addition, the establishment of an English Parliament would threaten the Union - a Union that has enabled Britain to play a leading role on the world stage.
An English Parliament, with the same powers as the Scottish Parliament, and running alongside the existing UK Parliament would lead to the creation of two parliaments and governments within one. This would mean that a UK Government, elected on a UK mandate, might find itself unable to deliver key policies on which it had been elected. This would not provide a sound basis for effective government in the United Kingdom. Such a situation would be unsustainable, and could lead to the break up of the Union. The Government has no plans therefore to introduce legislation establishing an English parliament.
Finally, you ask whether it is possible to post this response on an internet discussion board. I am content for you to do so.
Constitutional Settlement Division
Department for Constitutional Affairs
6th Floor Selborne House
54 Victoria Street
London SW1E 6QW
Tel: 020 7210 1344, fax: 020 7210 8598
'Most' support English parliament
Most people, including those in Scotland, think England should have its own parliament, a BBC poll suggests.
Newsnight found 61% in England, 51% in Scotland and 48% in Wales agreed with the idea.
The poll, carried out to mark 300 years since the Act of Union, was of 883 adults in England, 543 in Scotland and 527 in Wales.
Originally posted by Ste2652
These polls really do seem to be all over the place. Some show that the Union is about to break up whereas others show it's still going strong. Very confusing. I suppose the only way to tell for sure is to hold a referendum, but is that a good idea? I have this awful feeling that a lot of the people who vote in favour of breaking up would do so for narrow-minded nationalistic pride as opposed to any other reasons. And this pride seems to be at the heard of the problem (in England and Scotland particularly).
Originally posted by UK Wizard
I don't believe its possible, the nations of the UK are too intergrated to ever break up they're too used to being together and if a vote were put to the entire UK population today I personally believe the Union would stand strong.
A general question I have is why do people think an English Parliament will break up the UK, the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly didn't so why would an English one do so?
it is both fully workable and wanted devolution helps make politics closer to the voters.