LORD (Neil) Kinnock, the former Labour Party leader, has warned that tensions between nations are being fostered by fears of a break-up of the United Kingdom. It was reported that he said the devolution of powers at different paces across Britain would lead to misunderstandings and enmity between the nations and the regions. In the debate over whether the Welsh Assembly should get more powers, the double-jobbing Welsh and Northern Ireland Secretary is against a referendum on the issue. Of course, I’m sure Mr Hain has a different position when it comes to the devolution of policing and justice powers to a restored NI Assembly!
“What continues to concern me is not decentralisation of effective administrative and executive power but the fear, and the fear still exists, of the fragmentation of the United Kingdom and the possibility of enmity growing out of it.”
“Unless there is a general pattern of decentralisation throughout the whole of the United Kingdom, the possibility of tensions, misunderstandings, even antagonisms between the different parts of the United Kingdom, continues.”