English Parliament

An English Parliament was first constituted as the result of Magna Carta, although it did not begin to meet regularly until the reign of Edward III. Its power gradually increased until, during the mid-1600s, it effectively ruled all of Britain and Ireland. It was wound up in 1707 as part of the Union between Scotland and England and replaced by the Parliament of Great Britain.

Following the first elections to the newly created Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly in 1999 England was left as the only nation in the United Kingdom with no separate representative body, excluding Northern Ireland which is under direct rule from Westminster while its assembly remains suspended.

Consequently, some have advocated a new English Parliament, entirely separate from the British parliament, to counteract what they see as a democratic imbalance. Alternatively, some would have this parliament take the form of an English Grand Committee in the United Kingdom House of Commons rather than as a new body with separate elections, while some see it as replacing the House of Commons, with a reformed House of Lords being the sole UK chamber.

The creation of a new English parliament would not solve the problems, as legislation for England and Wales would still have to be enacted in the UK Parliament. Solutions would be an England and Wales parliament alongside the English and Welsh ones, or the splitting of English and Welsh law.

See also: West Lothian question

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