2019-10-07 08:42:24 UTC
The federal Parliament would not have to sit for much of the year so that it should be possible to have members attending to their duties in their devolved parliament and in the federal parliament In emergencies the federal parliament could be formed by members of all four devolved houses being linked by the web and sitting as a virtual parliament.
These arrangements would mean that the number of politicians would not increase nor any new Parliament buildings being built. RH
Telegraph News Politics
New English parliament in federal system could ‘bolster the union’
The Scottish parliament in Holyrood
The Scottish parliament in Holyrood: former first ministers recommend a new Act of Union to strengthen the assembly's powers alongside those of England, Wales and Northern Ireland CREDIT: JANE BARLOW/PA WIRE
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7 OCTOBER 2019 • 12:01AM
The UK should be federalised to help prevent the break-up of the union, former first ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland suggest.
In a joint letter to The Daily Telegraph, Lord McConnell, Carwyn Jones and Lord Trimble, call for a “constitutional settlement” which could include a new English parliament, bolstering current devolved legislatures, and abolishing the House of Lords.
The three politicians are joining a cross-party campaign for a new Act of Union Bill, which would increase the powers of each nation in a move its backers hope would strengthen the case for remaining in the UK.
In the letter, Lord McConnell, Mr Jones and Lord Trimble state that they are joining the steering committee of the Constitution Reform Group, which is championing the proposals.
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The campaign is being led by figures including the Marquess of Salisbury, a former Conservative Leader of the Lords, Lord Hain, the ex Labour minister, and Lord Lisvane, a former Clerk of the Commons.
The Act of Union Bill is intended to ensure a “bottom-up” structure which would make each of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland able to “determine its own affairs to the extent that it considers it should”, but choose which powers are pooled between all four nations.
The three former first ministers state: “The group was formed before the 2016 referendum on membership of the European Union, in the belief that, even then, the UK needed a new constitutional settlemen