A federal UK future?

In the beginning…

There has been much discussion amongst political commentators  on the promises made as part of the Scottish Referendum campaign.

While the focus has been on Scotland and the further potential devolution of powers, there has been an increasing lobby of English MP’s who are unhappy about the powers gravitating to Scotland, particularly when Scottish MP’s sitting in the UK Parliament can vote on matters affecting all of the UK.

Local division?

Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland are of course separate countries making up the United Kingdom, and as such perhaps easier to define in constitutional terms. There is however an increasing debate over whether devolution of certain powers, including taxation, health and education could be achieved in certain English counties, such as Cumbria, Northumberland and Yorkshire – natural territory, of course for Armstrong Watson and our clients. Those counties, and others such as Cornwall, are recognised as having strong local identities, and it is of no coincidence that they are at greatest distance from the capital.

So could we end up with a Federal United Kingdom with devolution across counties or regions? This would be much closer to the North American model, where states govern many functions and set different tax rates for individuals and companies, as well as sales taxes.

A step too far?

Well, one outcome from the Scottish Referendum experience is that there is strong momentum for change and further devolution. I believe that there is also now strong momentum for devolution right across the UK, and change, of some description, is inevitable.

What does that mean for those of us running businesses?  Perhaps little in the short term, but planning ahead for those operating across different regions will be crucial and we are here to help and guide you as the future shape of local regional and national government evolves.

Douglas Russell, Partner, Dumfries

If you like this article and would like our FREE updates sent straight to your inbox then subscribe to our monthly newsletter

Subscribe

Get in touch

To find out more about how we can help you or your business, call us on 0808 144 5575 and speak to a member of our team. Alternatively use our contact form to send us a message or arrange a callback.

CALL 0808 144 5575

or

Contact Us

All content © 2015 Armstrong Watson. All Rights Reserved. Website by Simon Pighills.

Armstrong Watson LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales, number OC415608. The registered office is 15 Victoria Place, Carlisle, CA1 1EW where a list of members is kept. Armstrong Watson Accountants, Business & Financial Advisers is a trading style of Armstrong Watson LLP. Armstrong Watson LLP is regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales for a range of investment business activities.

Armstrong Watson Audit Limited is registered to carry on audit work in the UK and Ireland by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Registered as a limited company in England and Wales No. 8800970. Registered office: 15 Victoria Place, Carlisle, CA1 1EW

Armstrong Watson Financial Planning Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Firm reference number 542122. Registered as a limited company in England and Wales No. 7208672. Armstrong Watson Financial Planning & Wealth Management is a trading name of Armstrong Watson Financial Planning Limited. Registered Office: 15 Victoria Place, Carlisle, CA1 1EW