‘Yes landslide’ if Westminster breaks powers vow

Scottish independence: A leading academic has warned Westminster that failure to deliver on its powers promise could prompt a second referendum - with the result a landslide victory for the Yes campaign.

David Cameron could face opposition from his own party's MPs over more powers for Scotland. Picture: PA
David Cameron could face opposition from his own party's MPs over more powers for Scotland. Picture: PA

Dr Matt Qvortrup said that last Thursday’s result - which saw 45 per cent of voters back Scotland’s breakaway from the UK - should serve as a ‘wake-up call to the chattering classes’ in England.

Speaking to The Sun, Dr Qvortrup added: “If David Cameron and Ed Miliband don’t make good on their promises of more powers, we’ll get another referendum. And next time the result would be Yes.”

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The academic - a top expert on referenda - said that ‘statemanship’ would be required in order to help push through plans for more devolved powers over tax, welfare and spending made by Cameron, Miliband and Nick Clegg in the days leading up to the historic vote.

Details of the new powers are to be decided over the course of the coming months, with Westminster set to offer formal proposals in January.

And Dr Qvortrup issued a stark warning that the UK Government would have to ensure Scotland got an improved deal.

With Conservatives such as London Mayor Boris Johnson and John Redwood set to oppose new powers, Dr Qvortrup added: “The Prime Minister will find it very hard to overcome opposition within his own party.

“Statemanship is needed, But neither Cameron nor Ed Miliband - and still less Nick Clegg - are strong leaders.

“It is questionable if they have the qualities needed to deliver change they promised.”

And he warned that the break-up of the United Kingdom could be ‘on the cards’ if Westminster fail to live up to the pre-referendum pledge.

“If it comes around again, the desire of Scots to sever ties with the Westminster establishment will be even stronger,” Dr Qvortrup explained.

“Time is on the side of those who favour independence and I can’t see the desire change ebbing away.”