HOME RULE IN A FEDERAL UK BEST FOR SCOTLAND

The Scottish Liberal Democrats overwhelmingly supported the Home Rule and Community Rule Commission’s report: ‘Federalism: the best future for Scotland’ at Conference.

Under the Chairmanship of Sir Menzies Campbell MP, the Commission has recommended that home rule powers for the Scottish Parliament and said that these powers would work best within a federal UK.

The report will be proposed to Federal Conference, where the party will be asked to adopt the recommendations as part of the 2015 General Election.

Commenting after the motion was passed, Chairman of the Commission Sir Menzies Campbell MP said:

“Home Rule within a federal UK embeds that local power.

“Since 1999 when devolution was in its infancy the Scottish Parliament has matured and grown in strength and authority. The time has come for it to move to a fully-fledged partner as a Home Rule Parliament within a federal United Kingdom.

“With home rule and federalism the Scottish Parliament would have permanent powers, not powers on loan. This would give us the mature constitutional authority required to work in partnership with the rest of the UK’s parliaments and assembles.

“The Home Rule Commission report allocates financial power to the Scottish Parliament and local councils, both raising a majority of what they spend. This would give us fiscal authority to make decisions about how much we raise and spend as well as deciding what we spend it on. Yet it would also enable us to share risk in times of crisis and reward in times of plenty.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP added:

“I am delighted that Conference has supported this historic motion. For over a century Liberal Democrats have advocated a federal United Kingdom. This report sets out a route map to a fair and federal UK which I am confident people across the country will support.

“We know that a majority of people wish to see a stronger Scotland which works with the United Kingdom on matters of defence and foreign affairs.

“That ambition can be best achieved when we have a parliament with the powers and responsibilities that enable it to be sensitive and flexible to local needs while able to share risks and rewards with the rest of the UK.

“We want to trigger reform across the United Kingdom to deliver a truly federal relationship within the United Kingdom.

“We will use these plans to lead the debate, to build a consensus and secure a mandate for reform at the next general election. We urge people who like our plans to come on side and make the case for this change.”

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