As we all know in the final days of the Referendum on Scottish Independence the UK government promised
if Scotland voted NO to Independence.
The majority of voters have been expecting Devo-max/Home rule with full fiscal autonomy ever since.
45% of the electorate vote for full sovereign independence.
According to the Ashcroft poll a further 14% of people voted No on the specific basis that more powers would be granted.
That’s 59% altogether – fairly convincing evidence that Devo Max is the only option that can truly be regarded as reflecting the democratic will of the Scottish people.
Here’s the list of currently devolved powers in Scotland
And here’s an example of what the British Conservative, Labour and Lib-Dem parties are offering and what the SNP and Scottish Greens are demanding
The Smith Commission, as set up by the UK government to implement the promises,
held its first meeting yesterday and agreed:
(1)-Not to comment on the talks until they had concluded and a final report was produced.
And that the eventual outcome would:
(2)-form a substantial and cohesive set of powers.
(3)-strengthen the Scottish parliament within the UK.
(4)-bring about a “durable but responsive” constitutional settlement, which maintains Scotland’s place in the UK.
(5)-not be conditional on the conclusion of other political negotiations elsewhere in the UK.
(6)-not cause detriment to the UK as a whole or its constituent parts.
(7)-cause either the UK or Scottish government to gain or lose financially simply as a result of devolving a specific power.
(8)-be compatible with international obligations, including EU law, and be agreed with a “broad understanding” of potential costs
Number 1 hints at deals behind closed doors –
Why not publish a report after each meeting, setting out the agenda and saying we agreed on a) or b) and there is no consensus at present on c) and d)?
Number 5 is going to be tricky, given Mr Cameron’s remarks about “English votes for English laws” having to move forward in tandem
Given the restrictions imposed in Number 6, Numbers 2 and 7 look impossible!