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England and the centre

Mitchell, James (2002) England and the centre. Regional Studies, 36 (7). pp. 757-766. ISSN 0034-3404

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Abstract

Central government in the UK has been organized both by function and territory. While many of the territorial issues dealt with at the centre have now been devolved, a new, English, territorial dimension has emerged which is serving further to undermine the functional basis of central government. Devolution has had a powerful impact on England at the centre. Whitehall has come to terms with devolution unevenly, though with a growing appreciation that parts of Whitehall now have an essentially English focus. Policy 'spillovers' from the Scottish Parliament in particular have begun to impact on the policy agendas of England-focused Whitehall departments. An intensification of the debate on the Barnett formula has heightened a new sense of territorial competition for resources. These developments are set to enhance territorial tensions in the operation of the centre.