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GOVERNMENT SEEKS TO AVERT ENGLISH BACKLASH OVER DEVOLUTION

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Ministers are attempting to prevent an English backlash over devolution because of 'favourable' treatment being giv...
Ministers are attempting to prevent an English backlash over devolution because of 'favourable' treatment being given to Scotland and Wales, according to The Times (p1).

Radical guidelines are being drawn up to ensure that England does not lose out when foreign firms bring jobs through new investment.

Gordon Brown, the chancellor, will be given the power to ensure that lucrative investment projects are spread evenly around the country. And in a parallel move, Stephen Byers, the trade and industry secretary, and David Blunkett, education secretary, have been put in charge of crafting policies designed to show the English that they have not been the losers from devolution.

Ministers are said to be particularly concerned about the inward investment issue, with half a dozen large firms deciding on potential European bases in the coming months.

Under the terms of an agreement being drawn up in the department of trade and industry, Whitehall in general and the treasury in particular would be given a key role in co-ordinating bids from across the UK for the same project.
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