In two months time, voters in Scotland face a choice: whether to remain part of the United Kingdom, or become an independent country.
As they consider those options, it is interesting to reflect that ten years ago, the North East was in the midst of its own devolution debate.
In the summer of 2004, campaigns were underway both for and against a proposal for North East regional government.
The referendum was held on 4th November 2004 and the result was a resounding no. 78% of those who voted rejected the proposal, which had been championed by the then Labour Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.
Explanations for the emphatic 'no' vote are varied. Some said a North East elected assembly would have too few powers to make a difference. Others suggested that voters were suspicious of the prospect of more politicians.
The rejection of regional government in the North East stopped Labour's wider devolution plans for the English regions in their tracks.
Ten years on, a businessman who helped to lead the 'No' campaign is still convinced it was the right move.
Now though, a new political party wants to put devolution back on the region's agenda. The North East Party says it plans to field twelve candidates in next year's General Election. Its main aim is to press for a North East elected assembly.
Its leader says the prospect of greater powers for Scotland, whatever the result of the referendum there, adds impetus to the debate.
For many people, though, this is not the time to revive the prospect of a North East regional assembly. In cost-conscious times, they say the region must work with existing institutions rater than create new ones.
Some observers say the pledge by a group of North East councils to work together as a Combined Authority is the best way to provide a strong voice for the region.
Scotland goes to the polls on 18th September. While the result will not have a direct effect on the North East, our region will be watching with interest.