Letter: After devolution

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Sir: Next week Parliament will take the second reading of the Scotland Bill setting up a Scottish parliament. The Bill itself seems to be carefully and sensibly drafted. But so far no attention seems to have been paid to the workings of the British Parliament after devolution.

How will English legislation be handled by English MPs to give it the same treatment as Scottish devolved legislation? Will the House of Lords be by-passed, as for Scottish devolved legislation? What machinery will be set up to ensure an acceptable allocation of the Consolidated Fund between England and Scotland? (The Scottish parliament will have no standing in that.)

Before MPs are asked to vote on the Scotland Bill they surely have the right to know, and the duty to find out, what the consequences will be for the government of the country as a whole.

In its haste to get its Bill through the Government has chosen to ignore these issues. They are fundamental for the stability and harmony of British government in the future and must be dealt with now.

Sir GERALD ELLIOT

Edinburgh

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