No campaign challenged over new powers

Commenting on Michael Moore’s article in the Scotland on Sunday where he failed to say what powers the anti-independence parties would offer in return for a No vote the SNP Westminster leader and Referendum Campaign Director Angus Robertson MP said:

“If the anti-independence parties are saying there will be more powers for Scotland, then they have a democratic obligation to put them on the table so that the people of Scotland can see what the alternative amounts to.

“Such an offer needs to be in the public domain well before the referendum. There is plenty of time, if the anti-independence parties are serious about it.

“We are extremely confident of achieving success with a Yes vote for independence in the referendum in all circumstances. We believe the case for the Scottish Parliament making decisions to help people, create jobs and grow the economy will defeat the vague alternative of the anti-independence parties who prefer such decisions left at Westminster.

“Claiming that if Scots vote against their own self-determination then they will get something 'better' is just what happened in 1979 – and that didn’t lead to anything except a 20 year silence.

"One of the directors of the No Campaign has already said that more powers ‘may not take place in years to come’ with a No vote, and Ruth Davidson has clearly intimated that the Tory-led Westminster government would review the Barnett formula which backbench Tories desperately want to cut.

"That raises questions about how serious or credible Mr Moore's position actually is. Why can’t he name one additional powers that will be offered to Scotland in the event of a No vote? What guarantees can he put in place that any promises on more powers will be carried through? And can he guarantee that, if there is a no vote, the Barnett formula will not be changed over the next decade?

“These are fundamental questions that the No campaign must answer if their ‘pig-in-a-poke’ offer is to have any credibility whatsoever.”

Notes

1. From the Scottish Sun, 28th March 2012:

"Holyrood might not get more powers from Westminster despite promises by David Cameron, former Scottish Tory leader David McLetchie hinted yesterday. The MSP said changes "may or may not take place in years to come"."

Mr McLetchie, the Tories' constitution spokesman holds a joint directorship in "Better Together 2012 Limited" alongside Labour's Richard Baker and Alistair Darling.

2. Quoted in the Scottish Sun (26th March 2012) Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson said the Barnett formula would be reviewed if there was a No vote:

“Barnett (formula) was only supposed to be temporary... I do think that there will be a review of Barnett after 2014. The ground has shifted since devolution.”