Scottish independence: Lib Dems seek deal on Scots powers

LIBERAL Democrat leaders are urging Labour and the Conservatives to ensure they formulate plans to hand more powers to the Scottish Parliament as they contest an expected referendum on independence.

LIBERAL Democrat leaders are urging Labour and the Conservatives to ensure they formulate plans to hand more powers to the Scottish Parliament as they contest an expected referendum on independence.

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie said last night he hoped the three-pro-Union parties would agree a new deal before the next General Election, to hand MSPs at Holyrood far more powers than at present.

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It comes with a report on Home Rule by Sir Menzies Campbell, the former leader of the party, set to be published at the party’s Scottish conference in Dunfermline next month, which is likely to lay out an overhaul in the balance of power between Westminster and Holyrood.

Rennie was speaking after leading Scottish businessman Jim McColl last week revealed he was now supporting independence because he no longer believed that a so-called “devo max” option was available.

Rennie said last night that public opinion polls showed support for a more powerful Scottish Parliament.

He added: “Once the Home Rule Commission reports in October we will seek to work with other parties to develop a consensus on more powers and also include those proposals in our 2015 General Election manifesto.

“We have a good track record in delivering further powers, from the creation of the Scottish Parliament to the Calman Commission and we will build upon that reputation to secure more powers in line with public opinion.”