Devolution slammed as ‘expensive disaster’ in calls to reverse powers

Boris Johnson clashes with Pete Wishart on devolution

Former Tory minister Lord Frost has claimed that the UK should “review and roll back some currently devolved powers” given to the Scottish and Welsh Parliaments — a view shared by 92 percent of readers, a new poll has found. He said in his column for the Daily Telegraph that “it’s time to reverse the process”. He wrote: “Devolution was designed in a different world – a world in which many powers theoretically devolved to Scotland were actually held at EU level and could not be exercised in practice. Brexit changed that.”

He continued: “Time to stop. Devolution was about enabling powers to be exercised closer to the people in a more practical and accountable way.

“Instead, it has resulted in the creation of closed-shop fiefdoms, effective one-party states, a tinpot amateurish one in Wales and a seriously dangerous one in Scotland.”

In response, ran a poll from 8pm on Thursday, April 20, to 9am on Tuesday, April 25, asking readers: “Should devolution powers be ‘reversed’ after Lord Frost comments?”

Overall, 2,662 votes were cast, with the vast majority, 92 percent (2,444 people), answering “yes” they should, compared to seven percent (195 people) who said “no” against changing devolution. A further one percent (23 people) said they did not know.

In the comments left below the accompanying article, readers debated the future of devolved powers in the UK.

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The overriding argument among readers was in favour of reversing devolution, with username Laurie366 commenting: “Devolution has become an expensive unmitigated disaster.”

Similarly, username Beanyboy2802 said: “Devolution has been one of the biggest and most expensive mistakes made in this country in the past century.”

And username SanjayP said: “Yes. Devolution has failed spectacularly the people of the regions it was supposed to benefit.”

However, username SimpleMystic suggested: “Perhaps it might be worth the UK Government actually asking the Welsh and Scottish public their view on the question of whether the devolved assemblies should be abolished completely or, if not, whether their rights and responsibilities should be reviewed and possibly reduced. Two referendum questions, two simple yes/no answers.”

While username Kevin wardle said: “Devolution should be for regional issues only. Areas like defence, foreign affairs, police, NHS, education and justice should always be under governmental control in Westminster.”

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