Devo-max hopes

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The Scottish Social Attitudes survey reveals that around 30 per cent of voters want devo-max (ie, the UK government should make all decisions about defence and foreign affairs; the Scottish Government should decide everything else).

The response of the three main unionist parties has been to “promise” as yet unspecified additional powers. Alistair Darling’s inability to clearly set out what these new powers might be is revealing.

More revealing perhaps are the comments by Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, that Westminster should resist the devolution of any more powers to the Scottish Parliament. While Boris is often dismissed as a “nutty professor”, voters should be in no doubt that his sentiment is widely shared among Westminster MPs.

The letter from Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, to the Welsh government, in which he makes clear that the policy of the UK government was to prevent parts of the UK from setting independent tax rates in each band to prevent one part of the UK benefiting at the expense of the UK as a whole, is harder to dismiss.

If there is a No vote, I trust that those who vote No in the hope that further substantial powers will be delivered to the Scottish Parliament won’t object when people say “I told you so” in the years that follow.

Andrew S R Gordon

Craiglockhart View

Edinburgh

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