I THANK James Matthews for his response (19 April) to my reply to his original letter. I agree with him that, with regard to England and Wales only, England accounts for just under 95 per cent of the population. If Scotland chooses to remain in the United Kingdom, it will be appropriate for Scotland to be represented in a Union parliament in proportion to its population.
However, for as long as the funding arrangements for Scotland are directly linked to spending decisions in England via a fixed proportion allocation under the Barnett Formula, I believe that there can be no such thing as a purely English domestic matter that representatives from Scotland should not vote on.
I would very much hope that if Scotland does not vote for independence, then a constitutional situation might be arrived at where all four component parts of the UK have full fiscal and secure autonomy with regard to their domestic affairs. They would then contribute to the funding of UK level functions – such as defence and foreign affairs – via a much smaller Union parliament. In this situation – like Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – England needs its own parliament for domestic English issues.