Fresh bid to improve devolution deal

Scotland’s two governments and the parties of Holyrood should convene urgent talks to improve the devolution deal from the Withdrawal Bill before Scotland’s constitutional future is decided by the courts, Labour said today.

Shadow Scotland Secretary Lesley Laird said there was still time to improve the deal, even after amendments to the legislation were passed last night.

Scottish Labour’s deputy leader said that talks between the UK Government, the Scottish Government and all of Holyrood’s parties should formulate a memorandum of understanding over how best to navigate the sunset clause period.

Labour said the memorandum could also propose that the only circumstance in which the UK Government should be able to act without the consent of the Scottish Parliament is where the UK Government has a reasonable belief that not acting would leave them in contradiction of international obligations – something that is already contained within the Scotland Act.

The party also highlighted Clause 22 of the EU Withdrawal Bill, which would allow the Bill to effectively be retrospectively changed by a Minister of the Crown.

Lesley Laird has written to David Lidington urging him in the strongest possible terms to hold these meetings urgently.

Labour said any other approach from Scotland’s governments and parties would be petty politics rather than working in the interests of the people of Scotland.

Shadow Secretary of State Lesley Laird said:

“The last word on the devolution deal cannot be about chaotic Tory timetabling of parliamentary debates – we need a fresh approach from all parties.

The public just want this mess sorted. This mess can still be fixed before Scotland’s two governments find themselves in a courtroom. Time has not run out for a deal to be struck.

That is why Labour is proposing fresh talks to broker a better deal for devolution. Both governments could draw up a memorandum of understanding to better navigate the sunset clause period. There are even provisions within the Withdrawal Bill to turn this memorandum of understanding into law.

This issue is too important to be reduced to squabbling between two governments.

This is a grown up approach to a complex issue. We need Scotland’s parties to put the interests of the people first, not their own narrow political agendas.”

Lesley Laird's letter to David Lidington

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9 thoughts on “Fresh bid to improve devolution deal

  1. That debate was a disgrace .Todays walkout was a well organized stunt .
    But it got the publicity it was designed to get .
    It now looks as if the speaker got advice to allow a vote as they walked .
    Was PMQS the time to do it they had 6 questions down on behalf of their constituents which were not asked
    Asking questions on behalf of their constituents is why they are there maybe the 6 should have stayed but it woke the place up.

  2. And the person who shouted commit suicide should be expelled and his or her party told to look at if that person should represent them

  3. Yesterday was a brilliant stunt the MPS who had questions down should have stayed behind .
    Well they have secured a 3 hr debate on Monday .
    People I asked today did not know it had happened and told me they did not care .
    Bit surprised at that .
    In the end it wont matter its the voters who will decide .
    Did notice today another 4 thousand jobs went today at Rolls Royce mainly at Derby not 1 voice raised in protest at that .
    And Davy when we were trying to get a Scottish Assembly the SNP played no part they sat on the side lines .
    When will we see something being done about the job loses mergers and decisions affecting UK workers being made in the USA China India Australia .
    Also we need to deal with online banking and shopping its easy but its costing jobs .
    Where is the protest on those things where are the demonstrations and I am talking about all parties

    1. “David”, would that be the Scottish Assembly that labour inserted the 40% rule, and prevented Scotland having Homerule even though they won the vote ???

  4. Thanks for your comment Davy
    Nope I was referring to the Scottish Assembly that Tony Blairs Government put on the Statute book .The one which on the morning of the Devolution demonstration in Edinburgh Jim Sillars condemned the whole idea as a halfway house and when Margo MacDonald took to the stage to speak in support was howled down by a group of SNP supporters who had congregated at the Front.
    She was speaking in support of devolution

    1. Unfortunately, david, it was a hollow devolution with “kill switches” at its heart as the events of this week have proven. Despite everything we were promised if a No vote was secured in 2014 (remember the infamous Vow and its now p*ssed upon promises; Gordon Brown’s promise of “near federalism”; claims of the “strongest devolved Parliament in the World”), the forces of the Union have begun the process of dismantling devolution. Will Labour defend it? If they won’t even admit it needs defending it doesn’t look likely.

  5. Thanks for your comment Bungo
    I was referring to the fight to get devolution .
    Interesting interview today David Mundell had a car crash with Gordon Brewer .
    He said no new Government policies for Mondays debate .
    Said that Scottish Labour Gordon Brown and Jim Gallagher put forward a series of amendments last Tuesday that were largely aligned with the Scottish Governments position . And unacceptable to the UK Tory government
    Claimed Scottish Labour are working behind the scenes with the Scottish Government I hope so .
    Then we get Jim Sillars in the Sunday Times blaiming Nicola in person for the bad relations between the 2 governments.
    Cant win them all I suppose

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