A NEW UNION – by Brian Binley MP

portrait-brianbinley-22.jpgI am a Unionist.  I really am.  But I recognise how much damage Tony Blair did to the United Kingdom when he foolishly legislated for devolution for short term political gain.

Now I would like to turn the clock back but we have to recognise that the damage has been done and we have to move on from there.

The tragedy of Blair’s tinkering, as with all other Blair schemes, is that he didn’t think things through.  And the West Lothian question is just one of the areas where lack of thought becomes apparent.

Only today we learn that a survey undertaken by the Nation Centre for Social Research found that 70% of people throughout the England thought that Scottish MPs should not be able to vote on English legislation.

The survey also found that people in England are becoming increasingly unhappy at the level of public spending enjoyed by people living in Scotland.  The truth is that there is growing public concern regarding devolution and I share it.

So what should the Conservative Party do?

We should grasp the nettle and renegotiate the Union creating a different but more meaningful partnership that clearly defines those issues which are of UK concern and thereafter outline the rights of the component countries within the Union.

With courage we can strengthen the Union and produce a vote winner at the same time in a way which underlines that traditional role of Conservatives as true Unionists.

PS – to the respondent to Monday’s blog who questioned the additional £10 million of cost on small business I can only tell him that the Government’s own Women and Equality Unit produced the figure and who am I to argue.

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