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Over-centralised UK ‘holding back economic growth’ argues parliamentary group chaired by Tory MP

09 Mar 2021 2 minute read
Westminster at sunset

The over-centralised nature of the UK is holding back economic growth and leaving many areas behind, according to a report by a parliamentary group chaired by a Conservative MP.

The Devolution All Party Parliamentary Group says that Whitehall and Westminster should confine themselves to areas that are “genuinely national and strategic”.

“Our Inquiry found that the UK’s centralised state holds back economic growth and means that even when the economy grows overall, many areas are left behind,” the Chair Andrew Lewer said.

“The UK is one of the most fiscally centralised countries in the world. The UK also has one of the most regionally unequal economies in the world.”

In an article for Politics Home the Conservative MP for Northampton South says “greater devolution of responsibility for local economic growth has long been necessary but it is now extremely urgent”.

“Delivering economic recovery and levelling up the country demands that we turbocharge devolution and move away from a centralised model of governance where Whitehall is overburdened, and local areas are underpowered.

“Effective devolution has been held back by both constitution and culture. The UK is currently one of the most centralised of any advanced democracy.

“Virtually all British governments claim to be in favour of devolution and localism, but the actual appetite for ‘allowing’ power and decision making to reside at a local level is much more variable.”


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