Twenty years on from devolution, the UK’s fiscal and economic model is still broken

Eurfyl ap Gwilym - 25 October 2018

The ‘deficit’ is unevenly distributed, with investment in R&D, transport and the arts still heavily skewed to the South East. Post-Brexit, is it time for a change?

Anniversaries and major events often give us pause for thought: a time to reflect on the past and to look forward to the future. Next year sees the twentieth anniversary of the people of Scotland and Wales voting in favour of devolution. At the same time the UK is expected to leave the European Union. So, how have Scotland and Wales fared economically over the last twenty years? Have the fiscal arrangements worked? And could the repercussions of Brexit be a catalyst to deliver better economic and fiscal outcomes in the future, not only for the two devolved nations but also to many regions of England?

Brexit is expected to have a major impact on the UK economy with the effect being markedly different in various parts of the UK (1). While there is much debate and disagreement regarding the medium to long term economic impact of Brexit a useful exercise is to look at the current state of the UK economy and how the picture differs across the nations and regions. Such an analysis offers a good starting point for consideration of the fiscal strategy that should be pursued by the UK Government post Brexit... See more

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