In this paper, Professor Michael Kenny argues the case for a better understanding of the complex system of asymmetric devolution which has been introduced across the UK since the late 1990s. He identifies the demise of an older model of informal and pragmatic governance in British politics as one of the most important factors destabilising the territorial constitution in the period before Brexit. He also explores the bipolar way in which the British state has approached devolution in England to other parts of the polity. In conclusion, he argues that a more systemic understanding would enable a better grasp of the challenges to the integrity of the UK that Brexit has raised, and a better appreciation of the kinds of reform needed to put its territorial governance on a more sustainable and equitable footing.
This publication presents the personal views of the author and not those of The Constitution Society, which publishes it as a contribution to debate on this important subject.