In this session...
If there’s one thing we’ve all learned from the convulsions of 2016, it’s that politics grows out of the region you live in. Greater London didn’t vote for Brexit: the North East did.
New York didn’t vote for Donald Trump; Ohio did. Yet in Britain, despite all the fine talk about regional powerhouses, power is still concentrated to any extraordinary degree in Westminster. Raising taxes, control over policy, the powers of patronage, infrastructure spending – almost all these things are determined at the centre.
In this debate we’ll be asking how such a regional devolution of power could come about: what institutions does it presuppose; at what level is “the region” defined. How does regional politics work in France and Spain where it is considered something of a success story? And what are its drawbacks? Will it in the end prove a recipe for pulling the nation apart, or will it cement faith in our nation’s talent for self government.