But in fact today appears to represent the beginning of a new period of constitutional change for Britain. David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband have all pledged to devolve further powers to Scotland, in recognition of the fact that, despite voting no, the country has demonstrated an appetite for change. These changes look likely to include new powers over taxation, welfare and public spending, verging towards the ?devo max? option which David Cameron decided should not be included on the referendum ballot paper. Unsurprisingly this has led to calls for greater powers in the rest of the UK too. The prime minister has this morning committed himself to giving greater powers to Wales and Northern Ireland. He said: ?It is absolutely right that a new and fair settlement for Scotland should be accompanied by a new and fair settlement that applies to all parts of our United Kingdom. ?In Wales, there are proposals to give the Welsh government and Assembly more powers. And I want Wales to be at the heart of the debate on how to make our United Kingdom work for all our nations. ?In Northern Ireland, we must work to ensure that the devolved institutions function effectively.? Since devolution was introduced under Tony Blair, concerns have been raised over the lack of devolved power in England. The so-called ?West Lothian question? – whether it’s right for Scottish MPs to have a say on laws that just affect England has been a continual sore-point, and Cameron said this morning that it’s now a question requiring a definitive answer. If Scottish MPs are barred from voting on English laws, we could see a dramatic transformation of the political landscape. Without the support of its Scottish MPs, any future Labour government could struggle to control an ?English-only? parliament.
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