Never mind Scotland, what about England? - Paul Brand, ITV Political Correspondent
With the Scottish question settled, minds are now turning to the English one. With promises of greater powers for the Scottish people now that they're staying, just what do you offer the English?
Many backbench MPs have been asking that for days, but have been keeping it quiet until the referendum was over. They're livid that the party leaders promised so much devolution to Scotland when the polls were looking tight, before discussing it with parliament. This morning the Prime Minister admitted that in considering more power for Scotland, there has to be consideration of England too.
Some of the main sticking points that will be examined in the coming days are whether Scottish MPs should be allowed to vote on English-only matters, and whether England should get its own parliament.
More than that, there is the incredibly complex and contentious issue of devolution for England's regions. A poll commissioned by ITV before the referendum shows 55% of people in the North East want an increase in powers for the region. But what should that look like?
The difficulty is that regional assemblies were rejected in 2004, and resoundingly. Equally, elected mayors have been a little hit and miss. What other models do you consider?
The parties speak about various options, including devolving powers to cities or Local Enterprise Partnerships. But that's a far more localised model of power than in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Can a city like Newcastle really hope to compete with a whole nation like Scotland?
There are no easy answers, and right now MPs are only just beginning to contemplate the question. After all, it is one that has never been asked quite like this before.
An exclusive poll for ITV News Tyne Tees that was carried out with ComRes has revealed that more than half of people in the North East would like more decision-making powers with the prospect of further power being given to Scotland.
The poll was carried out before the referendum vote. It was conducted by ComRes, who interviewed 510 adults living in the ITV News Tyne Tees region online between 4th and 11th September 2014. Data was weighted to be representative of all adults in the region.
Levels of support for more devolution in the North East
- In the wake of more powers likely being devolved to Scotland, more than half of Tyne Tees residents (55%) think that the amount of decision making powers the North East of England has should be increased.
- Three in ten residents (29%) think that the amount of decision making powers should stay the same.
- Men (63%) are more likely than women (47%) to support increasing the North East’s decision making powers.
The full results are shown in the image below:
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Management at Newcastle Airport are worried that Scotland may now be given powers to cut Air Passenger Duty, leading to cheaper air fares north of the border.
Graeme Mason, the Planning and Corporate Affairs Director, said Newcastle Airport was more than able to compete if they had a level playing field. But he said cheaper fares in Scotland might lead to many people using Glasgow or Edinburgh airports instead.
Stockton South Conservative MP James Wharton insists that devolution to Scotland will impact on our region - unless it also gains more local power.
James Wharton, Stockton South's Conservative MP, lays out some of the possibilities of devolved power in our region:
Reacting to the devolution argument, Richmond MP and First Secretary of State William Hague says that all parts of the UK should have a fair chance to make local decisions:
The First Secretary of State and Richmond MP William Hague says the government has already given greater powers to cities and local authorities, and more could follow:
Sir Alan Beith, the MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed said that if powers go to Scotland and the region does nothing, the region could suffer.
"The Government have set a very short timetable to deliver extra powers to Scotland and this is the moment of opportunity. We've got to seize this moment and say at the same time you must make real progress on England, so that the UK as a whole has got a sensible structure of Government. If we let the powers go to Scotland and don't do anything at all then I think the North East will suffer. We must make sure that we benefit from this process."
UKIP leader Nigel Farage claims people in our region should be asked what they think about key issues, in the argument about devolving more power across England.