In my column for the Irish World this week, I look at the consequences of the Conservative victory in the popular vote in England, and some possible implications for Northern Ireland.
A recent study found that public spending accounts for more than fifty per cent of the economy in Scotland, almost 60 per cent of the economy in Wales, and more than two-thirds of the economy in Northern Ireland. In much of England by contrast, the public sector accounts for only a third of the economy, a similar level to the Republic of Ireland.
This disparity may been allowed to arise because of the perceived need in Whitehall to keep the so-called ‘Celtic Fringe’ on board. The emergence of a restive England may mean very different priorities, especially as expectations of an economic slowdown mean spending cuts are expected across the board.