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The United Kingdom - A Federalist Proposal by HouseOfHesse The United Kingdom - A Federalist Proposal by HouseOfHesse
Brief departure from my current series on European Federalism to bring you some British Federalism instead!
In the wake of the Scottish independence referendum, which I believe will fail (albeit narrowly), it is clear that the current political structure of the UK is no longer sufficient. With support for an independence referendum on the increase in Wales, and calls for devolved Cornish and English assemblies, I believe the answer to the devolution crisis in the UK lies in a federal system. I propose (initially) dividing the UK into 6 states, with powers similar to those of Scotland's 'devo-max' proposal, whilst retaining the national parliament in Westminster and the monarchy. 4 of the 6 proposed states already have a great deal of regional autonomy (if one includes the London assembly), making such a reform relatively easy to implicate. Introducing a federal system to the UK would resolve a great deal of issues, not just the calls for independence from Wales and Scotland, but the West Lothian question (whether British citizens outside of England should get to vote on issues affecting only England), and the growing economic distance between London and the rest of the UK. Similarly, a federal system would also open the doors to the admission of new states outside of the UK, such as the Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, and Gibraltar, as their relationship with the UK and EU are increasingly questioned. A federal system would also provide for an easy transfer of Northern Ireland, as giving the region greater powers would allow for it to form agreements with the Irish Republic at its own pace, rather than having to rely on Westminster to act on its behalf. Furthermore, such a system also holds the potential to see Ireland admitted as a state, should it be desired, providing an alternative solution to the Northern Ireland issue (albeit, not one that I'd advocate). As England would be by far the most populous state, I have included a proposal to further divide England into 7 states to provide better representation of regional issues, which would potentially bring the total number of states to 12. I chose Birmingham as the seat for the English parliament, owing to it frequently being called England's 'second city', though I realise Manchester and other historic capitals, such as Winchester, are equally valid proposals.
Whilst I am not a patriot by any stretch of the imagination, I believe a federal system the best way to preserve the integrity of the union, which is incredibly important for historical and cultural regions, whilst addressing the many shortcomings of the current method of devolution.
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:iconlonn7:
lonn7 Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014
That's the flag of the City of London only, not Greater London.

This is the flag of Greater London: upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia…
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:iconhouseofhesse:
HouseOfHesse Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I had a little bit of an internal debate about which flag to use because while the Greater London flag is a better representation of the London area, I preferred the City of London flag a) for the historical connotations associated with it, and b) because it makes it seem more like a city-state type thing, if you get what I mean? I just felt it better represented what I wanted the city's role in the federation to be - that is a city, not a 'region' per se. That was badly explained, but I hope you get my drift!
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:iconmenapia:
menapia Featured By Owner May 11, 2014
Great map, what about using the old regional English names? Wessex, Northumbria the names of the old heptarchy might make it all sound more organic
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:iconhouseofhesse:
HouseOfHesse Featured By Owner May 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's a really good idea! I'd definitely be happy if that happened!
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:iconmenapia:
menapia Featured By Owner May 13, 2014
The British federation idea isn't all that new, back in the 19thC there was an Irish MP called Issac Butt who was founder of the Home Rule League.  The Irish at the time were unhappy with the union with Britain and wanted a govt. to deal with their own concerns. 

Butt proposed what he called Home Rule all around - Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England would have their own national parliaments/assemblies with a federal/imperial council over it all to deal with foreign affairs and common defence a bit like the Swiss system. It didn't get anywhere but we ended up with an official Irish Parliamentary Party led by Charles Stewart Parnell who tried to get autonomy for Ireland by constitutional means - great map man
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:iconhouseofhesse:
HouseOfHesse Featured By Owner May 31, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You know, I had no idea federalism had such a well established history in the UK! A Swiss style system would be the ideal end-game I think, a federal/confederal government just seems to make so much sense for the UK, I really don't understand how it hasn't garnered more backing by now.
Thankyou, I'm glad it seems to have been well received!
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:iconcheeseburgertom:
CheeseburgerTom Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2014
This would also open the way to bringing Sealand back into the fold.
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:iconcheeseburgertom:
CheeseburgerTom Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2014
Something that should have been done with the UK proper and the more developed colonies hundreds of years ago to be sure.

Personally rooting for independence though as it will shift the UK government as a whole to the right.
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:iconscottyb16:
scottyb16 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
What an interesting proposal. But You say that independence will fail, may I say that the fight is not over yet and the most recent polls suggest a 5% gap between No and yes and with a 3% swing, Yes could easily be in the lead. But polls are polls and the only one that will really matter is on the 18th so don't go denying yet, the race is on.
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:iconhouseofhesse:
HouseOfHesse Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think you're a little bit off there: of the 51 opinion polls conducted since 2012, only 11 have a gap of less than 10%, and only 1 has a majority for 'yes' (which, it is worth noting, was conducted by the SNP and even that only had a margin of 1%). In fact, almost half of them have gaps of 20% or more.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish…
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