Westminster pledges more powers if Scotland says NO

Posted on 16/09/2014 by


Unionists are ‘Desperate’, says Yes Scotland

Record front pageThe leaders of the three main Westminster parties have signed a “vow” for more powers for Scotland if it rejects independence. David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg have signed the letter which appears on the front page of today’s Daily Record. However Yes Scotland leaders have dismissed the move and say that only a vote for independence on Thursday can secure for Scotland the powers it needs to create jobs, save the health service and build a better society.

The Westminster leaders’ pledge promises ‘extensive new powers” for the Scottish Parliament’ delivered by the process and to the timetable agreed’ by the three parties – ‘devo max’ by any other name.

love scotland vote noLast week former prime minister Gordon Brown – who has taken an increasingly prominent role in the Better Together campaign – set out his proposed schedule for new powers to be transferred to Holyrood. He said three guarantees in particular must be locked in: to guarantee new powers to the Scottish Parliament, to guarantee fairness to Scotland and to guarantee the power to spend more on the NHS if that is the wish of Scottish people.

The unionist party leaders in Scotland then jointly endorsed the timetable for the new transfer of powers from Westminster to Holyrood, and this was followed by today’s Cameron, Clegg and Miliband ‘vow’ .

In their ‘Promise to Scotland’ letter, the party leaders say they agree that “the UK exists to ensure opportunity and security for all by sharing our resources equitably across all four nations”.

The joint letter also states: “And because of the continuation of the Barnett allocation for resources and the powers of the Scottish Parliament to raise revenue, we can state categorically that the final say on how much is spent on the NHS will be a matter for the Scottish Parliament.”

YES scotlandHowever independence supporters have dismissed the Westminster leaders’ ‘promise to Scotland’ as ‘desperate’.

Alex Salmond said he did not believe the letter would persuade the people of Scotland to reject independence, and a Yes Scotland spokesman said: “It’s clear that Project Panic is willing to say anything in the last few days of the campaign to try to halt the Yes momentum – anything except what new powers, if any, they might be willing to offer.

“The reality is that the only way to guarantee Scotland gets all the powers we need to create jobs and protect our NHS is with a Yes vote on Thursday – so that we can use our enormous wealth to create a better and fairer country.”

It’s more than likely that there will be yet more twists and turns, one last throw of the dice, as Thursday approaches. The latest Panelbase poll shows Better Together on 47% , Yes Scotland on 46% and – crucially – 7% undecided. It really is down to the wire.