Scottish independence opponents set to discuss how parliament would run after ‘No’ vote

Scottish Parliament. Picture: TSPL
Scottish Parliament. Picture: TSPL
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OPPOSITION parties will come together today to set out their vision for the future of Scotland should voters reject independence.

In a report, called A New Union, the group will outline plans for how a devolved Scottish parliament could raise most of its own money by 2020.

The Scottish government budget is currently funded by the UK Treasury and many financial powers are reserved, leading some to argue that Scotland is not properly accountable for the money it spends.

The group, made up of figures from the Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems and the think tank Reform Scotland, will also say that the opposition parties should agree a common position ahead of the 2014 independence referendum.

Ahead of this morning’s launch, Jeremy Purvis, of the Devo Plus campaign which is calling for Holyrood to be granted more powers, said: “A New Union will be highly significant. Since the launch of Devo Plus at the beginning of this year, parties and other groups have signaled their willingness to move on further powers.

“The blueprint shows in practical detail how they can come together, well in advance on the referendum vote in 2014. It will show what regulations and legislation will be needed to deliver the reforms that would make Holyrood responsible for raising the majority of its revenue by 2020.

Purvis will be joined by MSPs Alex Fergusson, Duncan McNeil and Tavish Scott along with Ben Thomson, chairman of Reform Scotland, to launch A New Union.

Purvis said the group believed it was important to increase public awareness of the options for Scotland, and that the report would focus on a positive message on delivering the “long term, stable and permanent relationship between Scotland and the rest of the UK.”