The English Question

"English votes for English matters" is a non starter, it contains so many problems that it will cause more animosity and strife than it could possibly resolve.

What is an English matter? Under the current system few are, because if expenditure is involved (be it spending more or less) it has Barnet consequentials for the finances of the devolved bodies!

What happens to things that are neither English only nor UK wide issues such as England and Wales measures? And what about those things that are non devolved Wales only issues – S4C, Welsh water, the governance of Assembly elections? Will English MPs be allowed to vote on those issues?

As far as English regionalism is concerned England already has historic regions – they are called shires or counties and parishes. All the countries of the UK should, without doubt, re devolve many of the powers that the counties and the parishes had pre 1974, which have increasingly been centralised; but I see little desire for creating "new" regions for England.

From a Welsh nationalist point of view I don't like the idea of English regional devolution. Wales has its Assembly, at the moment, because it is one of the nations of the UK; regionalise England and Wales reverts to being a region of the UK.

There is no way that the clock can be turned back on devolution in the foreseeable future, and there is no way that the English question can remain unresolved. Any threat to abolish the devolved institutions will lead to Scottish, and possibly Welsh independence. So there appear to be only two options available independence for the nations of Britain or Federalism, perhaps we should have a UK wide referendum on which we all would prefer!

This post is a response to discussions on:



If any other bloggers have made reasonable and non racist comments on the issue and would like a link to their posts, please let me know.


  1. The things that are not English only should be dealt with by relevant Mp's, English matters should be dealt with by English MP's....Scrap the B formula it is now unjust.....
    No need for new regions I agree. True, it must be dealt with, England is getting treated unfairly and it is leading to anger, treat all countries equal or independant, the current status is anti English, we are being ripped off, paying for everyone elses tuition fees, prescriptions etc....

  2. If, after a UK general election, there is a (let's say) labour majority in the UK, but only by dint of Celtic Labour MPs, and there is in fact a Tory majority of English MPs, then who forms the government? If it is Labour, then England has no government, because they won't be able to get anything trough. If it is the Tories, then it is a negation of the whole idea of the United Kingdom. So the only answer is an Assembly for England, along the lines of the first Welsh Assembly. No Law making powers, no Police and criminal justice, just a glorified county council. It will take time for them to find their feet, bless them. And then, when they are ready, and following a referendum, perhaps more powers will be forthcoming.

    Oh - and their funding would be subject to the Barnett formula as well!

    I suggest London (with its own assembly already) could probably be made autonomous straight away.

  3. Hi I agree with the tone of the blog, I have recently tried to hone a new blog so it is wales/deaf centric, I fully understand the issues of Wales being treated as some outpost to London. All the support networks are parachuted in and run from London mostly, in trying to keep my blog tuned to wales I have to work very hard to maintain 'local' interests. I should point out, that e.g. the RNID and NDCS two major (ONLY!), charities supplying 'national' support here, both refused Welsh autonomy over their own websites and insist we consult London first, where is the welsh assembly here putting a stop to this ? we have little say and have to rely on London diktats for things. I'm no rabid nationalist, I am welsh and consider we are quite capable of doing for ourselves..

  4. Let's regionalise Wales and Scrap it's executive and see how you like it???

    The UK is fundamentally over since devolution, as this contradicts the act of union.

    The more non English MPs make statements as above the faster the UK will split up perminently.
    England mush have it's own full Parliament representing it people, the culture heritage and values which differ from the devolved Countries. 85% of England's people now want and deserve a Full English parliament. That percentage is more than those who wanted a Welsh assembly and those who wanted Scottish Parliament. Changing the number of MPs in Westminster or bounderies or elected lords will not stop this, it gone too far now. Personally I hope the UK breaks up, it not working for us and has no place in the modern world of democracy. You accepted devolution with out thinkingf it through, now accept the concequences. Or support an English Parliament and save the Union.

  5. Shropshire Lass09/04/2011, 05:07

    @Sionnyn - Awww bless you too, you delightfully ignorant youngster. So smugly self-righteous.

    As Chris said 68%of us have opted for an English parliament - which is far far more than ever wanted a Welsh Assembly.

    Comments like yours are remembered when I have to wait, and wait for treatment, because my hospital is awash with Welsh people referred by Welsh specialists to an English hospital for treatment and free prescriptions.

    It is remembered with gritted teeth, when my English hospital is running short on funds because YOUR assembly doesn't pay its bills.

    And it will be remembered when we get an English parliament and your assembly members come cap in hand wanting 'cross border equality' - and it will be because of people like you that you will be told to push off.

  6. We don't have ANY autonomy over how we run things in Wales in reality. What is 'National' ? in charitable and support terms it means England, Parliament calls the tune. The WAG needs a lot more power to hand over control of services to Welsh people, so they can meet Welsh needs. It should be the rule a Welsh service provision is run by Welsh people. How many grass root welsh members can traverse to London for meetings and AGM decisions that affect them ? virtually none. They take a decision there then foist it on us after. 2 years ago the RNID came to Cardiff to celebrate 10 years in Wales, there were no welsh people of any note there, they had a party in the Bae the night before without telling anyone, and, paid thousands to parachute SCOTTISH processionals in from Glasgow by air, who stayed 25 minutes and flew back. Guess who paid ?

  7. And Cornwall in all this? Easily overlooked, and it seems sometimes preferably ignored, with friends like this what hope is there for Kernow?