The plus side of delivering more power to Holyrood


Ben Thomson in The Scotsman

For those of us who want to see a more powerful and responsible Scottish Parliament within the UK, the interventions by Menzies Campbell, and particularly Gordon Brown, are significant and not to be underestimated.

Gordon Brown’s speech was a further sign that those in the Labour party who are against the devo-plus agenda are losing the battle to those in favour.

Ming Campbell’s intervention represented the logical next stage in this process; that if we all agree on the basics of what devolution should look like post-referendum, then we should get together and say so. All three unionist parties have been looking at proposals for greater fiscal powers similar to our devo-plus proposal, which would result in Holyrood being responsible for raising at least half of what it spends.

These proposals should not be confused with devo-max, which is not supported by unionist parties. The cross-party Devo Plus group has constructed a document – The Glasgow Agreement – which we believe can unite the parties.

Furthermore, our polling makes clear that by uniting on a proposal for further devolution, the unionist campaign can significantly increase its referendum vote share.

It is inevitable that the pro-UK parties will not agree on every dot and comma of what powers should be devolved, but The Glasgow Agreement allows them to tell the people of Scotland the outline terms of what further devolution would look like.

The parties all say they agree with the principle of delivering more devolution – it’s time to make it happen.