Devolution: A Decade On - Justice Committee Contents

Memorandum submitted by Paul Catcheside JP

  l wish to inform you that l object very strongly to the present democratic deficit in England which is a consequence of the absence of a national assembly democratic forum representing solely the people of England.

  The inequitable position of respectively England and Scotland has a present annoying consequences through the continuing "West Lothian Question" where Scottish MPs can vote upon matters pertaining only to England. This has been passed off in correspondence replying to my letter by both my MP, and government ministers, as being inconsequential as Scotland is affected by the actions of England, so there is a need for the UK Parliament as a whole to vote upon English matters. However it is seen as essential that Scotland has its own national Parliament, despite the fact that Scottish matters also impinge upon the Union—and present applications of the Barnett formula are becoming increasingly seen as unfair and unjust by English people. (As a matter of information I have several times asked what services/activities the Scottish Parliament has curtailed or given up in order to free up the funds to make the advantageous settlements on education, health, public salaries. No-one has yet given me the courtesy of even attempting to quantify this).

  What seems to me to be potentially disastrous for England is the possibility of Scotland voting to secede from the Union. In such a case who would represent the interests of England—it certainly could not be left to MPs who have as their remit commitment to the welfare of Scotland. Of course the dissolution of the United Kingdom would be a disaster which we all hope will never occur, but it seems to me that at present the sticking plaster holding the Union together is being provided in the main by English citizens, and this is not a just basis.

December 2007

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