Yesterday was an acrimonious day in the Commons. The debate on devolution and new settlement for the UK after the Scottish referendum brought out some strong disagreements.
The SNP accused the 3 main Union parties of bad faith. They said the promises were not being delivered, though all 3 parties confirmed they intended to do so. The SNP said we should only be debating Scotland, yet the debate was a general one on devolution with many wishing to discuss the consequences for England.
The Liberal Democrats and Labour mainly argued against any immediate justice for England. They disliked English votes for English issues, oppose an English Parliament, and want to take many months of consultation and discussion before coming up with any proposals of their own.
The more realistic ones accepted that the North East referendum on regional government had been decisive , and agreed elected regional government is dead. So now they wish to pursue selective devolution to selective cities or larger councils. They had no answer to the question of who would fix England’s tax rate, or replied that the whole Union Parliament should still do that.
The SNP supported English votes for English issues, and were keen on maximum fiscal devolution to Scotland. Wales and Northern Ireland were unclear about how they would like to proceed.
I made the case for fairness for England. I will post my speech later today.