Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Berwick on Tweed

Tomorrow, in the House of Lords, Lord Palmer will ask Her Majesty's Government "what assurances they will give that Berwick-upon-Tweed will remain in England".

An ITV poll of 2000 locals showed that by a margin of 60% to 40% they would like their town to be in Scotland, and this has prompted a lively debate. Three EDMs are currently circulating in the House of Commons - 938 (with 3 amendment EDMs); 952; and 996. http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/Default.aspx. As evidenced by tomorrow's question, some of their Lordships are concerned too.

Berwick is the northernmost town in England - but between 1147 and 1482 the town changed hands between England and Scotland more than 13 times. Richard, Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III) captured the town in 1482 - and the English have administered it ever since.

An attraction of returning to Scotland is that under the Barnett Formula much more generous payments from the public purse are given to that country. Consequently some of the charges paid by English citizens are not levied on people living in Scotland.


wildgoose said...

"Returning" to Scotland?

It was part of England (Northumbria) before there ever was a Scotland.

Perhaps we should have a referendum on returning the rest of Berwickshire to its original home in England?

Englisc Fyrd said...

Agreed Berwick was a part of Northumberland long before the Scots had taken it. I believe it was in the 11th Century when the Scots got their mitts on the northern half of Northumberland. Well they won't be getting their hands on anymore of it!