Devolution bill changes fulfil powers vow, says Scottish secretary


The following article states ‘David Mundell insisted the Scottish Parliament would be one of the most powerful devolved assemblies anywhere in the world when the new legislation is passed’. Yet, even with these powers the SNP want to vote on English only Laws. When will the people of England be treated with respect. An English Parliament is needed.

Steve Davies


Campaign for an English Parliament

By PRESS ASSOCIATION, 2 November 2015 6.29am.

Changes to the Scotland Bill will make clear “beyond any reasonable doubt” that the UK Government has fulfilled the vow of more powers to Holyrood, the Scottish Secretary said.

David Mundell insisted the Scottish Parliament would be one of the most powerful devolved assemblies anywhere in the world when the new legislation is passed.

Government amendments to the bill will be laid today, ahead of a Commons debate next week.

Ministers have already said they will devolve power over abortion laws to MSPs, along with tabling amendments aimed at strengthening the permanence of the Scottish Parliament.

Holyrood will get new powers over tax and welfare as a result of the bill – which is being introduced in the wake of the Smith Commission review of devolution that followed last year’s Scottish independence referendum.

Mr Mundell also confirmed that the amendments would include one to remove the definition of “relevant carers”, allowing the Scottish Parliament greater flexibility to determine what any new benefits for carers could be.

The new powers are due to come in from April 2017 – but the SNP Government at Holyrood has threatened to block the bill if it believes accompanying changes to the way Scotland is funded would see them lose out.

But the Scottish Secretary said: “These improvements will strengthen the Scotland Bill and put beyond any reasonable doubt for any reasonable person that the Government is delivering the Smith Agreement exactly as we promised we would. We are making the Scottish Parliament one of the most powerful devolved parliaments in the world.”

He added: “We have listened to points raised as the bill has been debated and taken steps to improve the legislation even in areas where we believed the bill was already delivering Smith.

“For example, there has never been a power for the UK Government to block welfare changes from Holyrood but we have taken steps to make it even clearer that there are no UK vetoes in this bill. We are acting in good faith and want to build consensus.

“Both of Scotland’s governments have a responsibility to meet our commitments and deliver the new powers that Scotland voted for.

“Having said that I don’t expect the Scottish Government or SNP MPs to agree that the legislation goes far enough. They want independence and this is not independence.

“They even wanted full fiscal autonomy but we rejected that because it is a bad deal for Scotland. The changes we are making to the bill do not go beyond the Smith Agreement because the people of Scotland rejected independence in favour of holding on to the benefits of being part of a strong United Kingdom.

“I am confident the House of Commons will support the Scotland Bill next week and we will enter a new phase where the Scottish Government will need to start telling us how they intend to use these new powers. Will they top up benefits? Will they create new benefits and how much will it all cost?”

1 Comment on "Devolution bill changes fulfil powers vow, says Scottish secretary"

  1. Stephen McKenzie | November 12, 2015 at 11:38 pm |

    Mr Mundell represents 1 of 3 of what is left of the band on Unionist MP’s in Scotland. after the last General Election.

    Mundell is considered so lightweight, that he had two LibDems in the position of Scottish Secretary in the previous Westminster administration rather than appointing him as being the sole Scottish Conservative MP.

    The last remaining LibDem MP in Scotland Alistair Carmichael, (and Mundells old boss), is currently in Court for lying about releasing an inaccurate memo in order to smear Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP just prior to the General Election. Carmichael may well lose his seat if found guilty and a By-Election is subsequently called. He only scraped in by 800 votes last time.

    The sole Labour MP, it seems, got in via the Tories in Edinburgh Morningside (a rather well-to-do area) tactically voting for him – no issue with that, that’s what happens sometimes in politics and he seems a hard working MP.

    All of that said, the Scotland Bill is a very watered down version of what was being offered to the Scots if they voted No in the referendum and many of the Scots now know it – regardless of the best efforts of the Mainstream Media, especially the BBC with is “Most Powerful Devolved etc. etc.” message.

    It is expected that what little meagre powers are proposed will be further watered down by the un-elected Lords.

    It could then be reasonably anticipated that the Scottish Parliament would at that point may refuse to accept the Bill, as is their absolute right, and then move with their own proposals as to the way forward to the people of Scotland.

Comments are closed.