Devolution
in Understanding British and European political issues

This chapter provides a review of the background to devolution and an analysis of the reasons why devolution was introduced after 1997. It explains how devolution was implemented in various parts of the UK. The chapter explores how successful the implementation of devolution has been. It also provides an analysis of different political attitudes towards devolution. The Scottish Constitutional Convention which had reported in 1988 provided the blueprint for a devolution settlement. However, when Labour was constructing its election manifesto in 1997 it adopted three key principles. Firstly, it differentiated between Scotland and Wales. The second principle was the intention to use a form of proportional representation when electing the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly. Thirdly, there were to be referendums on the devolution proposals. Devolution in Northern Ireland has to be seen in the context of the Good Friday Agreement of 1998.

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