Devolution: From One Parliament to Four
With the exception of the half-century of Stormont devolution in the mid-twentieth century, the UK has operated for the last 200 years with just one parliament. Now, because of the policy of devolution instituted by the Labour Government, there are four ‘parliaments’2 within the state. Two are called ‘assemblies’ and one of those (the National Assembly for Wales) also comprises the ‘executive’ as well as the ‘parliamentary’ arms of governance,3 but that does not detract from the fact that the number of parliamentary-type institutions has quadrupled in the last five years. If we add the Greater London Assembly – serving a population not all that much less than that of the three devolved nations combined – and the possibility4 of one or more English regional assemblies in the near future, it is clear that the idea in the UK of a parliament is no longer a Westminster monopoly.
KeywordsLegislative Process Select Committee Legislative Power Constitutional Change Affair Committee
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