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Constitutional Review: Devolution in the UK

The Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law undertook a major Review of the implications of devolution as it is developing for the UK as a whole. The Review seeks to assist the mapping of a path to a new settlement for the UK government and parliament.

The Review was chaired by the Bingham Centre Director, Sir Jeffrey Jowell QC and consisted of experts from law, history, political science, journalism and public finance.

The Final Report, titled A Constitutional Crossroads, was published on 20 May 2015 and launched at an event at Middle Temple in London.

The Review concluded that the UK is at a constitutional crossroads and needs major changes to work effectively. The piecemeal development of devolution means that the overall constitutional fabric of the UK has been weakened. The process should start with a new Charter of the Union to provide the framework for a fair and durable settlement between the four nations of the Union.

The Report

Read/download the full report: A Constitutional Crossroads Report

Press release: United Kingdom is at a constitutional crossroads, says Bingham Centre - 20/05/15

Media Inquiries: Claudia Mansaray

Republication permissions: Sandra Homewood

Media coverage

John Kay, 'Founding fathers offer UK union a lesson' Financial Times, 27 May 2015 (republished on open access at John Kay, 'To keep the UK united we need a coherent vision of the union and its advantages')

BBC Radio 4 Today programme, 21 May 2015: Interview with Sir Jeffrey Jowell (at 2:40:13)

Urgent action needed to preserve United Kingdom, thinktank says , The Guardian, 20 May 2015

Experts call for no new independence referendum for 15 years, The Herald, 20 May 2015

Scrap Barnett formula and Wales Office, say experts, BBC News, 20 May 2015

Experts call for no new independence referendum for 15 years, Evening Times, 20 May 2015

Scrap the Barnett formula and have a single Secretary of State for the Union, say leading devolution figures, Wales Online, 20 May 2015

Commentary on blogs

Alan Trench, ''The UK at a Constitutional Crossroads', posted on: Centre on Constitutional Change, Edinburgh, 21 May 2015 (Alan was a member of the Bingham Centre review team.)

- Republished on LSE EUROPP European Politics and Policy, 22 May 2015

- Republished on Democratic Audit UK, 23 May 2015

Nick Pearce & Mathew Lawrence, 'The essence, not the ephemera: on the loss of the Political & Constitutional Reform Select Committee', IPPR, 22 May 2015

Gerry Hassan, 'The latest proposals for fixing the UK are on the back foot and 40 years too late', The Conversation, 22 May 2015

Adam Tomkins, 'Harry Street Lecture: New Union, New Constitution', Harry Street Lecture, University of Manchester, 20 April 2015 (published 26 May 2015) (Adam Tomkins was a member of the Bingham Centre review team)

Richard Cornes, 'Plan B - The Hawaii of the North Atlantic? Constitutional Futures 2015 - 2025 - A Vignette, and Comment' UK Constitutional Law Blog, 25 May 2015

About the Review and Archive of Review Documents

Review Members

Committee's Terms of Reference

Call for Evidence - 30/01/15

Press Release announcing Review - 8/12/14

Related work

The Smith Commission