Devolution: UCU commentary

All of the parties are committed to further devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Both national parties set out their own ambitions for full devolution and integration of services. The Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats also put forward their own proposals for devolving tax and spending powers to Scotland (in line with the Smith Commission proposals) and Wales. The Green Party’s proposals for devolution both within England and to the home nations are tied to a Constitutional Convention which would subject any constitutional change to a referendum.

In England, all four UK-wide parties include measures for greater local control. The Conservatives focus on continuing with bespoke deals and enshrining measures already announced for Manchester and London in law. The Liberal Democrat proposals echo this aim, but focus more closely on the role of local authorities in delivering local outcomes. The Green Party, too, clearly favours local authorities as the most appropriate local decision-making structure. Overall, there is a clear consensus that devolution in one form or another is a political priority.