As the Brexit chaos continues, Professor Margaret Arnott discusses the constitutional issues it has posed for inter-parliamentary relations in the UK.
For more than half a century (1921-72), the existence of a devolved parliament in Northern Ireland created a contradiction at the heart of Unionist thought: while proponents of ‘the Union’ championed legislative autonomy in one part of the United Kingdom (Northern Ireland), they simultaneously denigrated moves towards devolution in Scotland and Wales on the basis that it might constitute a ‘slippery slope’ towards full ‘separation’. In a new blog from our Making Sense of Parliaments conference Dr David Torrance sheds light on a neglected aspect of broader debates about parliamentary devolution in the UK.
Scotland and Wales’ devolved political institutions, elected under proportional Additional Member electoral systems, were intended to produce a more consensual political culture. However, writes Felicity Matthews, although their electoral rules have increased the proportionality of representation, the structures of the Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales have meant that a more consensual approach to policy-making has been more limited than might have been expected.