L'évolution de la décentralisation

CAMBRIDGE – Les Écossais se sont exprimés. Une forte majorité a voté contre l'indépendance lors du référendum historique du mois dernier. Mais le débat n'a laissé aucun doute quant à une majorité encore plus grande en faveur d'une plus grande décentralisationdu pouvoir économique, social et politique en Grande-Bretagne. Et les mouvements régionaux ailleurs en Europe et dans le monde entier expriment des demandes similaires.

Le sens de cette décentralisation est clair. L'Écosse, par exemple, ne tient pas particulièrement à un gouvernement plus grand ou plus petit que le gouvernement actuel, mais souhaite une composition différente des recettes fiscales et des dépenses. Elle veut davantage de décentralisation administrative. Le Scotland Act de 2012, qui doit entrer en vigueur en 2016, va fournir un acompte à ce besoin d'autonomie. Le Premier ministre David Cameron, qui veille au grain, a promis davantage.

Mais si la décentralisation est une bonne chose pour l'Écosse, alors pourquoi pas pour le Pays de Galles et l'Irlande du Nord ? Pourquoi pas aussi à plus forte raison pour l'Angleterre ? Un équilibre dans lequel les Écossais votent sur les lois anglaises, mais où les Anglais n'ont aucun droit de vote sur les lois écossaises, risque de ne pas durer bien longtemps.

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