News In Focus
MPs consider UK constitutional convention
20 April 2012
A group of MPs is to conduct a new inquiry into whether there is a need for a constitutional convention for the UK.
The Political and Constitutional Reform Committee agreed today to look at how a convention might allow a debate on the future of the Union as a whole, rather than piecemeal through a focus on specific issues or nations.
Questions on which it will focus, and invites views from the public, are grouped under three headings.
On the grounds and basis for establishing a convention, it asks whether there is a case for a UK constitutional convention, and if so on what basis (formal or informal) should it be established, and what lessons could be learned from the experience of other countries.
It then asks what should be the composition of the constitutional convention, what would be the best way of involving the public – and would there be specific representation for England or the English regions, alongside the other components of the UK and the UK as a whole? What about the mandate of its members?
On remit and working methods there is the issue of what should be included in the convention's terms of reference – a new constitutional structure for the UK, or establishing an agreement between the different components of the UK on ways of proceeding in their relations with each other and with the UK Government and Parliament? What other issues would require to be considered, and how would proposals be taken forwards?
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Submissions, preferably limited to 3,000 words unless cleared in advance, are invited by 14 June 2012.