It has to be a basic principle that all parts of the UK enjoy equal democratic entitlement. Yet, this has certainly not been the case since devolved powers were granted to just four of the twelve Government Regions of the UK in 1999. This created five-tier democracy in Britain where Scotland has more decision making powers than any other part, N Ireland and Wales have a slightly lesser amount, London a lesser amount still and the remaining eight regions, all in England, with no devolved powers at all. In order to correct this imbalance, first, all parts of the UK should either be a devolved region or be within a devolved region and, secondly, all those regions should be entitled to devolved powers equal to the highest degree of devolution already existing within the UK. A list of powers that could be devolved to Yorkshire to address this imbalance is shown under the “Matters to be devolved to Yorkshire” tab.
Merely correcting the democratic imbalance would not go far enough. There is also a great economic imbalance between London and the rest of the UK that must be tackled. London’s economy is more than three times that of Yorkshire’s. Yorkshire Devolution Movement believe that the only way to close that gap and to prevent it widening further, is by regions having the powers they need to put to full effect their intimate knowledge of their localities and their drive to realise their full potential; powers that allow them to raise taxes as they see fit; powers that allow them to retain revenues from taxes and natural resources for re-investing in their economies; powers that allow them to create the circumstances to attract inward investment and so on. In brief, we believe that the only way regions can compete with London is if their powers continue to increase to a position of devo-max and effectively create a federal UK where the only matters reserved by central government are UK-wide matters such as defence, home office etc. After being devolved for fifteen years, Scotland are almost in a position of devo-max now; we therefore believe that achieving a UK where all regions have devo-max in another fifteen years is a realistic target.