Monday, 10 March 2014

Gordon Brown outlines “power sharing UK” – but what about Cornwall?

The former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has today entered the debate on Scottish independence calling for, in the words of the BBC, a “move away from a centralised British system” to “one where nations shared power, risk and resources.”

Gordon Brown has apparently put forward six proposals, which have been reported as follows:

A new UK constitutional law to set out the purpose of the UK as pooling and sharing resources for the defence, security and well-being of the citizens of all four nations.

A constitutional guarantee of the permanence of the Scottish Parliament.

A new division of powers between Scotland and Westminster that gives Holyrood more powers in employment, health, transport and economic regeneration.

A new tax sharing agreement that balances the commitment of the UK to pool and share its resources with the need for accountability to the electors in all the places where money is spent.

New power-sharing partnerships to address shared problems on poverty, unemployment, housing need and the environment.

A “radical” transfer of powers downwards from Westminster and Edinburgh to local communities.

From my perspective, it is disappointing that a senior Labour figure – who was in government when over 50,000 declarations calling for a Cornish Assembly were presented to Tony Blair – is talking about the “defence, security and well-being” of the “citizens of all four nations” – meaning England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – and, once again, ignoring calls for the devolution of greater powers to Cornwall.

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