Federalism and more – a Labour Hame debate

Duncan Hothersall, Editor of Labour Hame, welcomes the first Labour Hame debate, which will take place on 12th May and tackle the vexed subject of federalism.


I’m delighted to say that Labour Hame is hosting an event to discuss the option of federalism for the future constitutional structure of Scotland and the UK, and what that would mean for both Scottish and UK Labour.

UK map

The prospect of a federal UK has been debated both within and beyond the Labour Party for many years. Scottish Labour’s new leader, Richard Leonard, recently expressed his strong support for a federal UK as part of a wider constitutional reform.

This debate, which will take place in Edinburgh on 12 May, will feature a number of leading voices from Scottish Labour, with wide experience from local, Scottish, UK and European level. There will also be plenty of opportunity for Labour members and supporters to give their views and contribute to the discussion.

We expect that the following questions will be among those which will be discussed:

  • What is meant by federalism – what are the different options?
  • Is there a difference between a federal option for Scotland and ‘devo-max’? And what does ‘devo-max’ mean anyway?
  • Can federalism be introduced on a gradual basis across the UK, or does it have to be introduced in a ‘big bang’?
  • Should the UK be transformed into a partnership of nations?
  • Can federalism be ‘entrenched’ in the UK’s constitutional settlement?
  • What should be Scotland’s future relationship with the EU?
  • How can UK wide policy objectives be reconciled with either federalism or ‘devo max’?
  • What happens to the UK parliament in a federal system?

Speakers will include:

  • Henry McLeish, former MP, MSP and First Minister of Scotland
  • Catherine Stihler, MEP for Scotland, Vice Chair European Parliament Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection
  • Ian Murray, MP for Edinburgh South, former Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland

The event will be held in the Augustine Church Centre, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh between 10 am and 12 noon, on Saturday 12 May 2018. Registration and coffee from 9.30 am.

The event is for Labour Party members and supporters and is free of charge, but attendees must reserve their place using the link below.

Reserve your place today.

Related Posts

8 thoughts on “Federalism and more – a Labour Hame debate

  1. Labour had the chance to put a 3rd Federal/ Devo Max/ Devo plus option on the ballot paper during the 1st independence referendum. You decided instead that the best option for the Labour party, not for the country was to jump into bed with the Tories & keep Scotland ensnared in a Tory run neo-liberal UK.

    Then after the independence referendum was over & after you had been scared into offering Scotland more powers, Labour backtracked again pushing during the Smith Commission for Scotland to get as few new powers as you thought you could get away with.

    Given all this & I speak as someone who would have voted for a federal/ devo max option, why would any of the former Yes voters who Labour would need to convince ever believe you about any offer of more powers or federalism?

  2. I am a member cant go why not stream it live I will supply my own coffee .
    I would have said yes to federalism still would but because off brexit I am leaning heavily toward independence
    Why not have Jeremy Corbyn Richard Leonard and Kezia Dugdale on the platform .
    How will you persuade England to go for it .
    I would have hoped you could have debated brexit or employment figures North Ayrshire has had an 8 per cent increase in its unemployed figures we should be debating that.
    But good luck .I will follow it with interest

  3. “Federalism !!!”, oh look theirs a squirrel.

    Its a complete dead duck, never going to happen, when would England vote away their vast majority over the other devolved nations of the UK.

    Its independence or nought.

  4. Perhaps someone might also comment on Michael Russell and the head of the Civil Service Union having to intervene to tell the UK government brexiteers lay of the Civil Servant negotiating the Brexit deal

  5. Hey David, instead of streaming it live how about just getting them to publish our comments on this latest version of “Drop the dead donkey” instead of deleting them.

  6. On England: debate constantly stuck between an unbalanced all-England region or unwanted several Northern regions. Stop being stuck.

    Look at a third idea: I submitted this to the Constitutional Affairs Committee in 2014 too. Just split England North-South! London is devolved already so is not included in South. That gives you at minimum, England in just 3 parts, + its North-South difference catered for.

    This is a minimum – I’m not saying don’t have a Midlands region if it’s wanted. But if it’s not wanted, if you just go for a North-South split, the Midlands are included in North. The line goes between the Midlands cities + Cotswolds, then Watford Gap, then turns up to keep the Fens included in South + follow their north edge to the Wash. Debatable parts of the line could be decidable by local referenda + changeable, e.g. which side Rutland should go.

Comments are closed.