Scottish independence: Calls for pro-UK unity

A CALL has been made for the pro-UK parties to sign a new “Glasgow Agreement” by the autumn to agree a way forward on new powers for Scotland.

The demand by the Devo-Plus Group, which wants to see the Scottish Government raise the majority of the money it spends, is aimed at creating a united pro-Union position among Labour, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats ahead of next year’s independence referendum.

It proposes the position could then become a manifesto commitment of all three parties for the 2015 Westminster and 2016 Holyrood elections.

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At present the Lib Dems have a federal plan, in a paper drawn up by a group headed by Sir Menzies Campbell, while Scottish Labour and the Scottish 
Tories are also looking at their own proposals.

Devo-Plus Group leader Jeremy Purvis said: “It is clear to me that the most popular way forward for a lasting constitutional settlement is something like devo-plus. This is shown in opinion poll after opinion poll – more Scots want to see a stronger Scottish Parliament within the UK than want either independence or the status quo.

“There have been clear signs in the first year of the Devo-Plus Group that the three pro-UK parties are starting to listen, and there has been genuine movement by all three unionist parties towards this new centre ground in Scottish politics.

“This momentum needs to be build upon before the independence referendum – when people go to the polls they must know that if they vote No, they are not voting for the status quo but for a New Union.”