Scots powerless after a No vote

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VICTOR Clements claims that after a No vote we are likely to get “much stronger powers for the Scottish Parliament” (Letters, 3 March). All the evidence points to the opposite.

The only reason we got the devolved Parliament in the first place was because of the 30-year threat of secession. Once the UK Government has secured a No to independence vote, we in Scotland will have lost all leverage with them.

Certainly they will devolve powers from the Scottish Parliament to local authorities. Whenever the Scottish electorate get restive and play the Home Rule card, the UK government carries out a rearrangement of local government. They do this as a distraction and because, unlike a Scottish Government, local authorities offer no threat to their own ultimate sway.

Make no mistake, Scotland after a No vote will be a depressed, dull place, a place of exodus, of lost hope and rising emigration and with the world once more turning its back on us. Our parliament will haemorrhage powers both upwards and downwards with the dwindling remains of political interest once more focused on the alternation of Tory/Labour governments at Westminster chosen for us by the Home Counties vote.

It will be the 1980s all over again, except that that period of decay followed a weak (and ignored) Yes vote to Home Rule. This next period would be following an actual negative vote.

Mary McCabe, Glasgow

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