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Devolution

  • S. G. Richards
Chapter

Abstract

The United Kingdom has four component parts: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. England had achieved unity by the time of the Saxon kings. In 1536, under the’ Welsh Tudor dynasty, Wales, having been annexed by conquest about 1300, was united with England by the Act of Union. In 1603 England and Wales and Scotland were united when the Scottish King James VI came to the throne as James I of England. Scotland retained her Parliament; genuine political union did not come until the Act of Union in 1707. The Scottish Parliament was then dissolved by agreement and Scotland sent 45 members and 16 representative peers to a newly styled Parliament of Great Britain at Westminster. Ireland had been joned to England by conquest and from 1801, following the dissolution of its own Parliament, was represented at Westminster by 28 peers and 100 MPs. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was thus created, becoming in 1921, on the establishment of the Irish Free State, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, when the number of MPs representing the North was reduced to 12. At the same time a Parliament with substantial powers over internal affairs, but ultimately subordinate to Westminster, was set up at Stormont in Northern Ireland.

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Reading

  1. Lord Kilbrandon (chairman), Royal Commission on the Constitution, vol. I, Report (Cmnd 5460), vol. 2, Memorandum of Dissent (Cmnd 5460–1) (London: HMSO, 1973)Google Scholar
  2. J. P. Mackintosh, The Devolution of Power (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1968).Google Scholar
  3. J. C. Banks, Federal Britain?: The Case for Regionalism (London: Harrap, 1971).Google Scholar
  4. V. Bogdanor, Devolution (London: Oxford University Press, 1979).Google Scholar
  5. P. Arthur, The Government and Politics of Northern Ireland (London: Longman, 2nd edn, 1983).Google Scholar
  6. D. Watt, The Constitution of Northern Ireland (London: Heinemann, 1981).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© S.G. Richards 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. G. Richards
    • 1
  1. 1.Hammersmith and West London CollegeUK

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