Act of Union Anniversary should prompt fresh look at devolution

Public opinion supports the Liberal Democrat policy of examining an extension of powers to Holyrood

The 300th Anniversary of the Act of Union presents an opportunity to make the case for further devolution for Scotland, according to Jo Swinson.

Commenting on today’s Act of Union Anniversary, Jo said:

“The tercentenary of the Act of Union acts as a timely reminder of the benefits to all of the UK that the Union brings – not just the economic but the broader benefits for our culture and society.

“Sharing Donald Dewar’s perspective that devolution is a process, not an event, I believe the anniversary also offers a chance to look ahead at how our system of devolution can be improved.

“A Constitutional Convention is needed to discuss giving further powers to the Scottish Parliament. There is an appetite among the Scottish public for Holyrood to be given greater scope to govern, and now is the time to look at such a move.

“The SNP and Conservative parties are practicing an opportunistic kind of politics by seeking to bring about kneejerk constitutional change, which would cause lasting damage to the Union.”

A YouGov poll for Channel 4 from January 2007, the results of which are shown below, supports the case that the public want to see more powers given to the Scottish Parliament.

Do you support or oppose Scotland becoming a country independent from the rest of the United Kingdom?

Support Scottish independence 40

Oppose Scottish independence 44

Suppose a wider range of options were available, which of these would you prefer?

Scotland to become a completely separate state outside UK and EU 9

Scotland to become a completely separate state outside UK but inside EU 22

Scotland to remain in UK but Scottish Parliament having more powers 37

Scottish parliament continue to have current powers 12

Scottish Parliament to have fewer powers 2

Abolish Scottish parliament 10

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