Government of England


Government of England

There has not been a government of England since 1707 when the Kingdom of England ceased to exist as a sovereign state, as it merged with the Kingdom of Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. Both kingdoms had a single monarch since 1603 under James VI of Scotland who also became James I of England that year (see Union of the Crowns).

Prior to the Acts of Union 1707, England was ruled by a monarch and the Parliament of England. Prior to 1707, the government of England was in fact the government of England and Wales since Wales was joined to England under the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284 and from the Laws in Wales Acts 1535-1542, England and Wales formed a single legal system.

The Kingdom of Great Britain continued from 1707 until 1865 when it merged with the Kingdom of Ireland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, which itself became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1922 upon independence for most of the island of Ireland. The UK since then has gone through significant change to its system of government, with devolved parliaments, assemblies and governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. England, however, remains under the full jurisdiction, on all matters, of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the UK government as no devolved administration has been created for England within the new structure. This situation has led to the anomaly, known as the West Lothian question, which is the fact that Scottish MPs are able to vote on legislation that affects only England whereas English MPs can not vote on certain Scottish matters due to devolution. In extreme cases, the votes of Scottish MPs could be crucial in helping pass legislation for England that the majority of English MPs may oppose.

One possible solution to the West Lothian question would be devolution to the English regions but attempts have been unsuccessful so far. However a series of unelected regional assemblies have been established in addition to the creation of Regional Government Offices. One part of England, Greater London, has a degree of devolved power (although weaker than that of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) with power vested in an elected Mayor of London, currently Boris Johnson and the London Assembly.

The country is therefore officially divided into the following in terms of governance:

*The 9 English regions,
*The modern day local authority areas,
*The geographical/ceremonial counties of England.

The incumbent government has no plans to create a Devolved English parliament.

'English' Government Departments of the UK Government

Several Government Departments of the UK Government have responsibilities for matters affecting England alone:

* The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is responsible for environmental protection, food production and standards, agriculture, fisheries and rural communities in England.

* The Department of Health, (DoH) has responsibility for government policy on health, social care and the National Health Service (NHS) in England.

* The Department for Communities and Local Government.

Other departments deal mainly with matters affecting England though they also have some UK wide responsibilities in certain areas;

* The Department for Transport

ee also

*Politics of England
*West Lothian question
*Devolved English parliament
*List of Parliaments of England
*Campaign for an English Parliament

England topics


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