SNP call for beefed up Scotland Bill to include more powers

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Prime Minister David Cameron met to discuss the Bill

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Prime Minister David Cameron met to discuss the Bill

The second it became apparent Scotland had 56 seats in Westminster I think we all knew the ‘Smith Commission’ would be revised big time. The full ‘Edinburgh Agreement’ With full fiscal powers, I believe will be delivered in time. After the Queen’s speech the Smith Commission as agreed by all parties in January will be put into Law, but they are not the ‘Edinburgh Agreement’ With the SNP now in a position to really challenge Westminster power I do believe Home Rule will be delivered in due course. Like my last article, watch this space. Looking back the 3 seats the SNP lost in the GE give Tory’s power to see over all Scottish matters as UK matters. I so wish we had gotten all 59 seats, but in time 😉 Also a little birdie told me Nicola and David Cameron are actually getting on and have almost become friends, but Cameron knows there is still a way to go and we could clean up in the Scottish Elections next year. What is the old saying? ‘Keep your enemies closest?’ Also, we need strike while the iron is still hot

~~~~Story via the National online~~~~

THE SNP have called for the new Scotland Bill to include significant improvements on the draft legislation which was criticised by all parties in the Scottish parliament.

At the moment, one SNP MSP has claimed, the new powers seen so far will still leave Scotland with fewer powers than Quebec.

The Bill, which looks likely to be introduced by the Conservatives in the House of Commons next Thursday, will be based on the draft clauses released by the UK Government in late January.

Last week the draft clauses were damned by Holyrood’s Devolution Committee who said that they did not meet the “spirit or the substance” of the Smith Commission report.

Today in Holyrood, a “take note” debate will allow the whole chamber to discuss the report and draft clauses that will make up the Scotland Bill. There will likely be a rare consensus in the Parliament, as MPs from all parties back the report’s findings. The committee, made up of SNP, Labour, Green, Liberal Democrat and Conservative MSPs delivered the report unanimously.

Just two days after the report was published First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Prime Minister David Cameron met to discuss the Bill.

The Prime Minister said he would “look again” at the draft clauses, and the First Minister said she would send a letter to 10 Downing Street with details of the powers desired by the Scottish Government.

Comment from the Scotland Office suggests that the proposed legislation that appears next week will still be based on the draft clauses, so heavily criticised by the committee, that were initially released in January.

A spokesperson said: “The Bill will brought forward shortly after the Queen’s Speech. The UK Government has been clear it is delivering the new powers recommended by the Smith Commission. The Secretary of State has been clear that there will be ample opportunity during the Bill’s parliamentary process for issues to be debated and amendments tabled.”

A spokesperson for the First Minister told The National that there had been agreement that the Scotland Bill should fully implement the Smith Commission report.

The spokesperson said: “As we set out last week following the meeting between the First Minister and the Prime Minister agreement was reached that the UK Government will introduce legislation which fully implements the Smith Commission proposals and take account of the conclusions of the Holyrood committee report published last week.

“Secondly, the Prime Minister agreed that he would look at proposals the Scottish Government will bring forward on how we go beyond the Smith Commission. There was no agreement on the substance of that, but the Prime Minister has said he will consider our proposals and there will be a meeting between the Deputy First Minister and the Secretary of State for Scotland to look at how we take that further forward.

“As a first step the Scottish Government will consider carefully the Scotland Bill to be published next week and whether it fulfils the Prime Minister’s commitment to implement the Smith report in full.”

Earlier, Highland MSP Rob Gibson, who sits on the Devolution Committee and is speaking in today’s debate, said: “Last week’s talks between the UK Government and the Scottish Government were positive and productive.

“But while the Smith Commission proposals are a starting point, it is clear people across Scotland would like to see a stronger package of powers delivered, enabling the Scottish Parliament to end austerity.”

David Cameron offers to beef up Scotland bill after Sturgeon meeting

For now…


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