THE HOUSE of Commons has rejected a proposal which would stop Scottish MPs being elected to Westminster after a Yes vote in the Scottish independence referendum.
The ten minute rule bill would have removed Scottish seats from those elected at the 2015 Westminster ballot, which falls after the 2014 referendum but before the proposed 2016 date of independence.
Members voted 236 to 16 to throw out the plan, which was proposed by the Scots-born Tory MP for Carlisle, John Stevenson.
Mr Stevenson told MPs that he is “a proud Scot” who hoped his bill would “never need to take effect” in the hope of a “resounding No vote in September.”
But he said that it would be “perverse” for MPs representing Scottish constituencies to continue to be represented in parliament, potentially negotiating on independence on behalf of the rest of of the UK.
He warned that “people in in Northern Ireland, Wales and England would find the situation unacceptable if laws were being passed on their behalf by MPs who would soon be part of a foreign country.”
Referring to Labour’s dominance of Scottish Westminster seats, he also warned that Scottish MPs could hold the balance of power for one party.
Speaking against his bill Dunfermline Labour MP Thomas Docherty said that Mr Stevenson’s “argument is flawed”.
He pointed out that spending and defence decisions would be made before independence, but if there were no Scottish MPs then Scots would not be represented in decisions which affected them.
He also said there are 430,000 non-Scots north of the Border “who will have to make a very difficult decision in the event of a Yes vote and need to be represented.”
He pointed out that when southern Ireland broke away, MPs representing Irish constituencies continued to sit in Westminster until independence was confirmed.