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A New Act of Union to Address the UK's Current Constitutional Settlement

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King’s College London

Nash Lecture Theatre (K2.31)

Strand Campus

London, WC2R 2LS

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The keynote speaker of this lecture will be Daniel Greenberg who was Parliamentary Counsel from 1991 to 2010, is the editor or author of a number of works on legislation, and is Counsel for Domestic Legislation in the House of Commons. He will be leading the lecture in his capacity as a member of the Steering Committee of the Constitution Reform Group.

The lecture will be chaired by Professor Robert Blackburn, Professor of Constitutional Law at King’s College London.

Other members of the Steering Committee hoping to attend, permitting other commitments, include Lord Salisbury, Lord Campbell, Lord Hain, Gisela Stuart and David Burnside.

The Constitution Reform Group is a cross-party group which consists of a number of former and practising politicians from all the principal United Kingdom parties, as well as a number of academics and former officials in Parliament and government.

The group was created in July 2015 following the Scottish Independence referendum, the implementation of English votes for English Laws and the enormous electoral success of the Scottish National Party in the 2015 General Election. These factors brought to the forefront of public consciousness the deep imbalances in the make-up of the Union.

The stability of the United Kingdom has been further brought into question following the decision to leave the European Union and the country now faces divisions of all kinds, both within and between different political parties, regions, generations and other groups and classes.

The Constitution Reform Group is calling for a new constitutional settlement so that the United Kingdom is maintained and strengthened. In a new proposed Act of Union, it urges that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should determine its own affairs under a federal governance model. It also offers two possible models for the governance of England, and provides two possible models for the future of the House of Lords: complete abolition or restructuring as an elected chamber with an appointed component.

The group proposes that this Act of Union be endorsed by a national referendum across the United Kingdom. This would require a majority in the United Kingdom as a whole and separately in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

What has the Constitution Reform Group done?

The group launched a public debate about the United Kingdom’s current constitutional settlement with a discussion paper in September 2015.

Following the discussion paper, Lord Salisbury, Lord Hain and Daniel Greenberg presented evidence on the Union and devolution to the House of Lords Constitution Committee in January 2016.

In July 2016, the group published the Act of Union Bill, and since then have been consulting members of the public and officials in government for their feedback.

Why attend?

The lecture will take place as an interactive forum to discuss the draft Act of Union Bill as a basis for exploring a number of fundamental issues of constitutional law in relation to the United Kingdom.

The lecture is open to undergraduate and postgraduate law and politics students, academics and those interested in the United Kingdom’s constitutional development. There will also be opportunities for audience Q&A.

This is a free event, but as places are limited booking is essential.

More information about the Constitution Reform Group and the draft Act of Union Bill can be found here: http://www.constitutionreformgroup.co.uk/publications/

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King’s College London

Nash Lecture Theatre (K2.31)

Strand Campus

London, WC2R 2LS

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