Scenario planning

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What impact might a decisive No vote have on the outcome of the general election in May 2015?
It was interesting that Adam Tomkins (Perspective, 9 July) did not speculate on the various scenarios that might surround that poll next year.

He is right, of course, to argue that the SNP will have to review its strategy. But that strategy can legitimately be an oppositionist one of making sure the unionist parties stick to their pledges of enhanced powers that go beyond the Scotland Act 2012.

It is not realistic, however, to ask a party committed to independence to join in a forum that is essentially about making devolution work better. The SNP is not a party of devolution.

The present Holyrood government makes the existing settlement, with its limited parameters, work. It should continue to do so after September even if a No vote temporarily dents its confidence. Its majority party will be entitled to make the case for independence again at next year’s May election.

The SNP might be still be in a strong position to do so if Westminster is seen to vacillate 
on extending the devolution 
settlement.

The Scottish Government’s powers to hold a referendum expire at the end of the year. They are unlikely to be renewed for a generation.

The case for independence in the aftermath of a No vote may have to be made by the SNP holding the balance of power at Westminster and continuing with a reputation for competence in managing Holyrood.

Bob Taylor

Shiel Court

Glenrothes

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