Petition Hold a referendum on England leaving the United Kingdom.
The Scottish have had the chance to vote for independence, it’s about time the English had the same right.
This response was given on 15 April 2019
The Government is committed to strengthening the United Kingdom, and has devolved decision making to communities across England. We will not hold a referendum on English independence.
Read the response in full
The Government is committed to maintaining and strengthening the Union, of which England is an important member nation. While we will not be holding a referendum, we think it is only right that England’s voice, as a whole, is strengthened just as devolution has strengthened the voices of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The introduction of English Votes for English Laws has embedded fairness and balance into Parliament’s law making process by requiring, on legislation only affecting England, the consent of a majority of MPs representing constituencies in England. This also maintains the key principle that all MPs from across the UK are able to debate, amend and vote on every piece of legislation that passes through the House of Commons as no legislation can be made without the consent of the whole House.
The introduction of English Votes means that debates on important issues such as health and education policy in England, will continue to benefit from the contributions of all MPs regardless of which constituency they represent.
While looking at each of the nations as a whole, the Government has also been working on empowering local communities within nations to take forward their devolution and local growth ambitions. In England this has resulted in the election of seven combined authority mayors in Greater Manchester, the West Midlands, Liverpool City Region, Tees Valley, the West of England, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and Sheffield City Region. These combined authorities are beginning to show how local, visible, innovative leadership can be the key to building both a stronger economy and a fairer society.
Directly elected mayors provide a single, local point of accountability for residents and can act as ambassadors for their area, boosting the area’s profile and helping to attract inward investment into particular regions.
We are pleased to note that 36% of England’s population (including London) now has a directly elected city-region mayor with new powers. Through a major programme of secondary legislation, the Government devolved significant new powers, including over transport, housing and planning to the mayors and combined authorities. In Greater Manchester, some health functions have also been devolved.
Devolution is an important priority for the Government and we remain open to agreeing further devolution deals and innovative ways to transfer powers from Whitehall to locally-elected leaders.
At 100,000 signatures...
At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament