A Parliament for the whole UK?

Imagine the agents brochure, for sale a couple of well located terraced houses with gated access, close to Horseguards parade, and a large residential conversion opportunity with clock tower and excellent river views?

Notwithstanding a noble history the current Houses of Parliament building is in a poor state of repair and, even fully refurbished would be barely fit for purpose. That refurbishment is likely to cost the taxpayers in the UK up to £ 5 billion.

There is no particular reason why parliament needs to sit in London, which is now one of the most expensive cities in the world. Surely it would be much better to move it,  and the other major institutions and departments of government to one or more of the regional centres; Manchester, Birmingham and / or Liverpool for instance.

The savings from not refurbishing the current building, and releasing it and other Westminster buildings to the private sector would more than cover the costs of the new buildings required (even allowing for the propensity of civil servants to overspend on such projects).

The removal of the government from London would free up infrastructure capacity and allow private sector investment into some of London's most iconic buildings. More international air traffic would be diverted to Manchester relieving congestion at Heathrow.

As the BBC has already proved a move to Manchester is perfectly possible and think of the signal that such a move would send to domestic and inward investors to the northern half of the UK. A move timed to coincide with the completion of HS2 would allow for the significant additional capacity that would be required for such a move.

In my view this is exactly the type of bold strategic thinking that is required to ensure that the UK and London remain one of the best places in the world to live, work and invest.

I fear however that I might wait a long time to see that agent's brochure.