Use Union Anniversary to give more powers to Scottish Parliament

The Liberal Democrats’ Steel Commission report earlier this year marked the first major contribution by a Scottish Political Party to the debate on new powers for the Scottish Parliament.

Jo Swinson is looking ahead to the 300th anniversary of the Act of Union next year as an opportunity to take stock of Scotland’s place in the UK.

Jo raised the issue of further devolution of responsibilities to Holyrood in Parliament today, calling for a constitutional convention to examine the future transfer of powers.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Jo said:

“Does the Secretary of State agree that the 300th anniversary of the Act of Union presents an excellent opportunity to look afresh at our constitutional settlement, and that a calm, considered and well-informed debate is needed to set a framework for devolving further powers to Holyrood and indeed to explore greater devolution for England?”

Commenting further, she said:

“Clearly, the successful working of devolution is something that needs to reviewed and examined, but the debate as a whole is not helped by Labour’s reluctance to discuss the vital issues surrounding further devolution of powers.

“The initial ‘event’ of devolution is now behind us and it is appropriate that we look at setting in place a framework for the future refinement of the devolution settlement. The debate over the setting of this framework should take place within the open, considered forum of a Constitutional Convention.

“There is a sound case for further devolution of powers, particularly in terms of Scotland’s fiscal relationship with the UK. Business and enterprise in Scotland will feel the benefits if the Holyrood is given more taxation powers with which to influence the Scottish economy.”

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