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Governing EnglandEnglish Identity and Institutions in a Changing United Kingdom$
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Michael Kenny, Iain McLean, and Akash Paun

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266465

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266465.001.0001

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The Ghost in the Machine? The Government of England

The Ghost in the Machine? The Government of England

(p.69) 4 The Ghost in the Machine? The Government of England
Governing England

Jim Gallagher

British Academy

The asymmetry of the UK as a union means that England, unlike Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, not only has no domestic legislature but no executive of its own either. Westminster is England’s Parliament and the UK Government is England’s Government. Much attention has been devoted to the (parliamentary) anomaly of the West Lothian Question, but there has been little discussion of England’s Government. This chapter asks whether the UK Government contains a ghost in the machine: an embryonic English Government, perhaps in English departments or cabinet committees, or shown in social or economic policy or in taxation and spending. It notes how deeply entangled UK and English economic and fiscal policy are, notably via the Barnett formula, and considers the options for more explicit English governance such as a ‘Minister for England’, but questions how politically salient this would be when the main issue is England’s relations with Europe.

Keywords:   English Government, English departments, Barnett formula, Minister for England, West Lothian Question

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