Scottish independence: Unionists’ powers pledge

THE SCOTTISH leaders of the main Unionist parties have said a guaranteed package of powers would be devolved after a No vote to give Holyrood “full control” over whole swathes of tax, the economy and welfare.

Scottish Unionist leaders Johann Lamont, Ruth Davidson and Willie Rennie in Edinburgh. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Scottish Unionist leaders Johann Lamont, Ruth Davidson and Willie Rennie in Edinburgh. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Labour leader Johann Lamont today insisted that the main Unionist parties were “certainly not panicking” as they set out a detailed timetable for delivering a radical plan for more devolution, after the Yes campaign took a poll lead at the weekend.

The deal, which was first announced by Gordon Brown last night, will mean that all three main parties at Westminster also agree a common position on what powers will be devolved ahead of the next General Election in what will effectively be a joint manifesto platform.

A chair will also be appointed to a specially launched commission to examine the details of the devolution package that will clear the main parliamentary process by May next year - immediately after the 2015 General Election.

However, a formal timetable on delivering the new powers will be published by the UK government on 19 September - the day after the referendum - with a command paper setting out detailed proposals published at the end of October.

Ms Lamont, who appeared at the formal launch of the timetable in Edinburgh today, said the united front on extending devolution was “certainly not panicking” by the Unionist party leaders.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said the new powers would mean Holyrood had “full control of whole swathes of what we do” as she appeared alongside Ms Lamont and Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie.

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