Westminster as a Three-in-One Legislature for the United Kingdom and its Devolved Territories
Abstract:Devolution was expected to reduce the legislative burden on Westminster and to improve the quality of legislation applying to the devolved territories. But post-devolution Westminster is still an overburdened legislative factory, producing more legislation for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland than their devolved institutions. One half of all bills passed at Westminster extend to the parts rather than the whole of the UK, but devolution issues in these bills are poorly scrutinised. In the light of devolution, territorial issues matter more, not less. Left to its own devices, Whitehall is not going to improve matters. Parliament can help to develop a set of principles to apply to devolution issues in legislation by working in closer partnership with Whitehall and the devolved institutions. Because of the fragmentation of the territorial committees in the House of Commons, leadership is more likely to come from the House of Lords.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: June 1, 2007