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A Federal Constitution for the United Kingdom: An Alternative to Devolution

This book contains a proposal for a federal constitution as distinct from devolution in the context of the current debate in Britain on constitutional reform.

It is proposed that the United Kingdom Federation shall consist of three units plus federally administered territories viz. 1) England, including Wales; 2) Scotland and 3) re-united Ireland. The re-united Ireland as a federating unit would retain its membership of the United Nations, the European Union and its role in foreign affairs to the extent indicated in Part VI of this study. An alternative proposal for Great Britain to be divided into two halves viz. 1) Southern Region; 2) Northern Region and 3) re-united Ireland is also considered. Under the alternative proposal the North East and North West of England, the two declining areas, would form part of the Northern Region and would benefit from the proposed 'regional equalisation programme' funded from a 'distributable pool'.

The current programme of regional policy involves a transfer of resources from England to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Under this author's federal proposal the rate of transfer would increase above the current level. However, the present transfer of resources from England to other Regions of the United Kingdom is a net transfer with no benefit accruing to England. It is simply a charitable donation. Under the 'regional equalisation' programme of this author, however, a balanced economic development of the whole country would be achieved, England supplying industrial and other products to the less developed Regions which will provide a market for the English goods and services. England would provide a similar market for the goods and services produced in other Regions of the United Kingdom. Thus the transfer of resources from England to other federating units is likely to be more than offset by the accruing benefits to England. It would be a two-way traffic between the Regions and not simply a transfer from one Region to the others.

The book analyses the relevant issues with reference to the leading federations and seeks to consider an appropriate model for the United Kingdom.

Published by Ashgate Dartmouth Publishing Company, Gower House, Croft Rd, Aldershot, Hampshire, GU11 3HR England. Tel: +44 1252 331551 Fax: +44 1252 317446, e-mail:

To see the table of contents of my book as well as review comments, click on the link below.

In Appendix 5, in answering a questionnaire issued by the Commission on Centre-State Relations in India of January 1984, I express the following view at pp. 253 - 256. Please click on the following for a discussion on Indian and Pakistani Nuclear Tests of May 1998:


Nuclear tests in the Indian Sub-continent
Review comments and contents page of 'A Federal Constitution for the United Kingdom'
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