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Lord David Trimble advocates new 'constitutional settlement' to help secure union's future

Lord Trimble has joined the steering committee of the Constitution Reform Group. Picture by Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

FORMER Stormont first minister Lord David Trimble believes a new "constitutional settlement" is urgently required to help secure the future of the United Kingdom.

The ex-Ulster Unionist leader has joined the former first ministers of Scotland and Wales Lord Jack McConnell and Carwyn Jones in campaigning for a new Act of Union Bill that would include a new English parliament and greater powers to the devolved regions.

The three peers have joined the steering committee of the Constitution Reform Group, which they say has "for some years been seeking a way of restructuring the constitutional relationship between the four nations of the United Kingdom".

They voiced support for the bill, which was laid before the House of Lords a year ago, in a letter to the Daily Telegraph where they said the "approach it takes is on the right lines".

The peers highlight how the group was formed before the 2016 EU referendum "in the belief that, even then, the UK needed a new constitutional settlement", but they note that the "present situation has, of course, made that even more urgent".

"The changes in constitutional practice as a result of the activities in the House of Commons and cases to the Supreme Court – to take two examples – have further undermined what has been hitherto established practice," their letter states.

"The events of the last few months have made the need for a new constitutional settlement all the more urgent."

According to the Daily Telegraph, the peers are advocating a "federalised" UK, with bolstered devolved legislatures and abolition of the House of Lords.

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