Scottish independence: Unionists ‘may cause split’

Veteran former MP Tam Dalyell has warned Better Together that they risk 'creating a situation' that will lead to Scottish independence. Picture: TSPL
Veteran former MP Tam Dalyell has warned Better Together that they risk 'creating a situation' that will lead to Scottish independence. Picture: TSPL
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FORMER Labour MP Tam Dalyell has said Unionist campaign group Better Together is “in danger of creating a situation” which will lead to independence.

• The Better Together campaign may be in danger of creating a situation that facilitates Scottish independence, a former Labour MP has claimed

• Tam Dalyell claims Better Together’s aim to devolve more power to the Scottish Parliament will lead to a break-up of the UK

The veteran politician is against further devolution for Holyrood, believing the best way to save the Union is to abolish the Scottish Parliament.

Labour, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, all members of Better Together, say they are open to more powers being handed to Holyrood in the event of a No vote in next year’s referendum.

But Mr Dalyell says such an approach is pushing Scotland closer towards independence.

“By dangling the prospect of increased powers, particularly fiscal powers, the Better Together campaign is in danger of creating a situation which will lead to the break-up of Britain,” he said.

“It is one thing to tinker at the edges on issues such as firearms control, it is quite another to suggest that fiscal powers, which will mean the break-up of the United Kingdom tax regime, should be given to Edinburgh without accepting the consequences of the reaction from London.”

The creation of the Scottish Parliament made calls for further devolution inevitable, Mr Dalyell said.

“Of course politicians are going to ask for more. But when it comes to the reality of people having to decide whether they want to remain part of Britain or not, that is an entirely different matter,” he said.

“There are large numbers of people who are not politicians, or journalists for that matter, who take the view that above all else they want to keep together the United Kingdom.”

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