Devolution has ‘knock-on’ implications for many aspects of the UK constitution. The United Kingdom may still be classified as a unitary state, but the relationship of the devolved institutions of Scotland, Wales and (when operating) Northern Ireland with the Whitehall/Westminster nexus will gradually acquire many quasi-federal features. Federalism has a particular concern with the vertical relationship between different tiers of government. However, it also offers important insights into horizontal relations between institutions sharing legal, constitutional and political authority, with close interaction between these vertical and horizontal aspects of governance.

The various potential and actual spheres of reform – House of Lords, election systems, devolution, appellate and judicial review system – are closely inter-related. The Federal Trust will be producing a number of papers looking in turn at these issues and seeking to show how federal thinking and federal ideas can make a positive contribution towards the reform of our constitution.

Papers and Conferences

Do we need a written Constitution?
Speech by Dr Andrew Blick at the joint Federal Trust/ Federal Union event “Never-Ending Brexit?” held on 8th October 2019

The Two Unions: Brexit and the Territorial State
by Dr Andrew Blick, February 2019

Federalism: The UK’s Future?
by Dr Andrew Blick, April 2016

English Votes for English Laws: A Federal perspective
by Dr Andrew Blick
21st July 2015

The United Kingdom: Federalism or bust?
A collection of essays from the Federal Trust
June 2015
Review in the Irish Times, by Paul Gillespie
The Queen’s Speech and the programme of the Conservative Government: a federal perspective
by Dr Andrew Blick
29th May 2015
Federalism, what Federalism?
by Brendan Donnelly
6th January 2015

A Federal Way Forward
by Stanley Henig, extract from his book “Modernising British Government”, 2006

Conference: The United Kingdom: All Change after the Scottish Referendum?
21 October 2014

Conference: Scotland Decides – United Kingdom in Pieces?
16 July 2014

Conference: Devolution in England – A New Approach
10 June 2014 (Launch of the pamphlet with the same title)

Briefing: The Coalition and the Constitution after the Referendum
by Dr Andrew Blick, July 2011

Conference: Constitutional Reform – The End of the Road?
14 July 2011, with Prof Robert Hazell, Director of the Constitution Unit

Conference: The Alternative Vote Electoral System
14 April 2011

Conference: Coalition and Constitution: A laboratory of change?
13 January 2011
Conference Report

Evidence submission to the House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Committee, September 2010

Response to the Ministry of Justice Green Paper (Cm 7577) Rights and Responsibilities: developing our constitutional framework, May 2009

Evidence Submission to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Barnett Formula, March 2009

Evidence Submission to the House of Lords Select Constitution Committee inquiry into Referendums in the UK’s Constitutional Experience, January 2009

Commentary on the Government White Paper “Strong and Prosperous Communities”
by Stanley Henig, November 2006

Reforming the House of Lords – a federal perspective
by Stanley Henig, April 2005