Scottish independence: SNP urged on No vote result

Alex Salmond speaking at FMQs. Picture: Malcolm Irving
Alex Salmond speaking at FMQs. Picture: Malcolm Irving
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LIB Dem leader Willie Rennie has called on Alex Salmond to work with the Unionist parties to deliver more Holyrood powers in the event of a No vote.

Writing in Scotland on Sunday, Rennie argues that if the SNP loses the referendum, Salmond should join discussions to transfer powers from Westminster to Edinburgh.

“If Scotland rejects independence,” Rennie writes, “Alex Salmond must accept the people’s will and work with all parties to open the door to more powers.”

The UK government has already ruled out entering any independence discussions with the Scottish Government ahead of the referendum.

After the poll, however, Rennie believes that talks across the parties, including the Nationalists, are important for Scotland to create a more powerful parliament.

“This needs to be more than a tokenistic discussion, as I believe we need to move swiftly after any No vote to developing an agreed plan for endorsement in the 2015 General Election.

“That agreed plan is not just for those who agree that we should stay in the UK. It’s for the Nationalists too. If we are to achieve a lasting and stable constitutional settlement it must if possible include all, not just some, of the political parties. And wider society too is important. The success of the Constitutional Convention was that it was a broad consensus.”

He added: “Now that the question has been set and the rules laid out, we can begin to debate the big issues around Scotland’s place on these islands.

“Should Scotland vote to reject independence, leaders of all parties should grab the momentum and move swiftly to secure a stronger Scotland in a United Kingdom.”

Last week the Electoral Commission called on the UK and Scottish governments to clarify what will happen after the ballot, regardless of the outcome.

In the past, Salmond has criticised the Lib Dems and the other parties for failing to deliver a “more powers” option in the referendum.

Salmond has suggested that Rennie’s party should join the Yes campaign if he is serious about delivering a more powerful Holyrood.