Scotland Bill: D-Day for deal to bring powers to Holyrood

Nicola Sturgeon opens a �70m expansion to pharmaceutical firm GSK's plant in Irvine, North Ayrshire. Picture: Hemedia
Nicola Sturgeon opens a �70m expansion to pharmaceutical firm GSK's plant in Irvine, North Ayrshire. Picture: Hemedia
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DAVID Cameron and Nicola Sturgeon may have to stage make or break talks to resolve the deadlock in the proposed deal to bring historic new powers to the Scottish Parliament, MSPs have been told.

The First Minister will today make a Holyrood statement on the latest position on the post-referendum Scotland Bill which proposes sweeping controls over tax and welfare for MSPs which were promised during the independence debate.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney told MSPs on Holyrood’s devolution committee this morning that progress had been made - but a stumbling block remains over the way Scotland is funded after MSPs take control for raising up to 50% of their own spending through taxation. There are fears that the current proposals could see Scotland lose out to the tune of billions of pounds.

Mr Swinney told MSPs this morning: “I’m confident that on all issues other then the block grant adjustment I’ve got a set of proposals that I could confidently defend with Parliament but I could not defend the proposals that have been put to me on the block grant adjustment.”

The Deputy First Minister accepted a suggestion from former Liberal Democrat leader Tavish Scott that the Prime Minister and Ms Sturgeon may now have to intervene to break the deadlock over the issue.

The First Minister will update MSPs on the issue this afternoon but has previously made it clear she is ready to walk away if a suitable deal cannot be reached.