IN a clear case of the unelected in pursuit of the impossible, a group of Lords and other politicians will today bring forward a Bill to strengthen the Union by reforming it.

Saying they want a new Act of Union to “save the UK” the Constitution Reform Group will today publish a Bill aiming “to rebalance and stabilise the constitutional relationships between the four nations of the United Kingdom: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”

The Constitution Reform Group (CRG) certainly jumped its own gun – the text of their launch document and Bill was freely available on the web yesterday despite being dated October 9.

The National can therefore reveal that the Bill “proposes a constitutional relationship in which the peoples of the UK agree which centrally controlled policy areas should reside in Westminster, and agree the devolved powers to be controlled in the assemblies and parliaments of Holyrood, Cardiff and Stormont.”

Funnily enough, the suggested “centrally controlled policy areas” are much the same as the powers reserved to Westminster at present – defence, national security, foreign policy, human rights and indirect taxation such as VAT.

According to the Bill, membership of the European Union and the European Economic Area would still be “centrally controlled.” And yes, you’ve guessed it, so will immigration.

The CRG say the new Act of Union will also contain options for the governance of England, including a directly elected English parliament sitting in the House of Commons, or a nationwide expansion of regional devolution similar to that seen recently in Manchester.

Intriguingly the Group, which numbers several Lords such as the Marquess of Salisbury, Lord Menzies Campbell and Lord Peter Hain, also suggests the abolition of the House of Lords and its replacement by an elected chamber.

The Scottish Government was not consulted over the Group’s new Act of Union, and the party does not nominate anyone for the Lords.

MP Tommy Sheppard, SNP spokesperson on the chamber, said: “This is a Unionist stunt but at least it does show that they themselves know what thin ice they are skating on in terms of the constitutional arrangements for the island of Great Britain.

“The archaic 18th century constitution is no longer fit for purpose – the dogs in the street could tell you that.

“Good luck to them but clearly by far the best way to reform the British constitution would be to allow democratic self-government for the independent countries on this island and allow them to work together as equal partners rather than being subservient to the wishes of the largest partner.

“The fact they are using the Lords as a platform just highlights the inadequacy of the current constitution.”