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Discuss the Impact of the Proposed Devolution for ScotlandBritain has never relished doses of constitutional reform although theyhaveaccepted the drip-feed of frequent unpalatable and ill-fated local governmentchangesAmbivalence to reform was reinforced in recent decades The 1974 Labourgovernment proposed an ambitious program of devolution for Scotland and WalesItwas a luckless policy not least because of Labours divisionsNow it is all differentThe case for Scottish devolution is being argued with renewed vigour Itsconsiderationis linked with proportional representation for a Scottish assemblyRt Hon Lord BiffenWith Britain being so against constitutional reform in the past the impactof such reform could beperpetuated by such reform coming at the same time as many other policieson reform such asdevolution in Wales and Northern Ireland These reforms have all come atthe same time and in a shortspan of time since Labour only became government in May 1997Devolution as described by Bogdanor is the delegation of power to local orregional administration sopower is dispersed from a superior to an inferior political authority orto be more precise it consistsof a sub-ordinate elected body on a geographical basis of functions at presentexercised byParliamentScotland is to have its own parliament while still remaining part of theUnited Kingdom A referendumheld in September 1997 endorsed the Scottish parliament by a substantialmajority 78 voted for aseparate assembly although the turnout was only 62 of the electorate Nowthat the legislation haspassed through Parliament it will be introduced as soon as possible Electionsfor 129 Members willbe held in early 1999 It is expected that the parliament which will besituated in Edinburgh willbecome fully operational in the year 2000The responsibilities which will be transferred to the Scottish parliamentwill include - health educationand training local government housing sports and the arts economicdevelopment law and homeaffairs and the environment Among the areas of responsibility which willremain at Westminster are- overseas affairs defence national security economic and monetary policyemployment legislationand social securityOf the 62 of the electorate who turned out to the referendum 68 agreedthat the
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