Devolved powers

Many of the powers presently exercised by the UK government, such as defence and foreign affairs, would become reserved matters. Those areas of government which are not specifically reserved, would be devolved matters. The main reserved matters are those that relate to:

  • the UK constitution;
  • foreign policy;
  • defence;
  • employment legislation;
  • social security policy and administration;
  • transport safety and regulation.

The devolved powers would be greater than is commonly supposed, and include responsibility for important areas of everyday life such as:

  • the National Health Service in England;
  • schools and teacher training;
  • further and higher education;
  • local government finance and taxation;
  • land-use planning and building control;
  • the environment;
  • passenger and road transport;
  • economic development and financial assistance to industry;
  • civil and criminal courts;
  • much of criminal and civil law;
  • prisons;
  • police and fire services;
  • food standards;
  • certain areas of agriculture and fisheries;
  • the arts;
  • sport.

Members of the English Executive would be able to formulate policies that suit the demands and interests of the people of England. They would be able to give priority to local needs within natural political and cultural boundaries. In addition, the Executive would be able to represent the interests of England to the UK government and the European Union.