Leader – Brexit vote for democratic control could pave way for devolving power to local government

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True, the Brexit side of the European Union debate was often woefully uninformed about the workings of the institution it repudiated.

But what cannot be ignored is that reclaiming democratic control was an important consideration for many voting to leave.

In the light of this, the object of the public’s wrath is an odd one; lack of democratic accountability is arguably greater within the UK than in the UK’s links with the EU.

Some claim any kind of democratic control is an illusion in a globalised world.

This is true to a point, but only to a point.

Democratic institutions can and do affect our daily lives.

Our centralised system – complete with unelected upper chamber – is lacking.

If people desire to seize “control” then, logically, they should throw their weight behind proposals to devolve power to local government.

Eurocrats are, after all, only marginally more remote and unaccountable than Westminster bureaucrats, and the UK has one of the developed world’s most centralised political systems.

There are so many things that should and could be decided by regional and local bodies but are instead determined by central government.

Devolving power to strong, independent regional and local authorities – free to set their own taxes and spend money on projects of their choice – would empower citizens far more than Brexit.

Now the ball is rolling, might it roll on and engender devolution to more powerful subnational assemblies and a responsible citizenry?


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