6th Dec 2023

Cameron promises more devolution across UK

Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday (19 September) promised more powers will be devolved to all parts of the UK while expressing his delight that Scotland voted to stay a part of the United Kingdom.

Cameron said Scotland will be granted more say over tax, spending, and welfare, “all agreed by November and draft legislation published in January.”

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  • UK prime minister David Cameron has promised to devolve more power across the UK (Photo: Downing Street)

The Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats had earlier signed a pledge to give Scotland "extensive new powers" should the UK remain intact.

Cameron said the commitments made would “be honoured in full” adding that he was "delighted" that a majority of Scots chose to remain in the 307-year union in a referendum on Thursday.

The prime minister appointed Lord Smith of Kelvin to oversee the devolution process.

As results poured in giving the No camp a clear lead, pro-independence leader Alex Salmond conceded defeat in the early morning hours.

The Scottish first minister announced he had “accepted the democratic verdict of the people of Scotland” and described the referendum “as a triumph for the democratic process and participation in politics.”

Cameron, for his part, indicated that although the referendum resulted in a No to independence, there would be change across the board.

"Just as the people of Scotland will have more power over their affairs, so it follows that the people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland must have a bigger say over theirs."

"It is absolutely right that a new and fair settlement for Scotland should be accompanied by a new and fair settlement that applies to all parts of the United Kingdom.

"In Wales, there are proposals to give the Welsh Government and Assembly more powers."

"In Northern Ireland, we must work to ensure that the devolved institutions function effectively. We have heard the voice of Scotland - and now the millions of voices of England must not go ignored."

The European Commission by early Friday morning had yet to react to the vote. But the result removes the prospect of months of political headache as an independent Scotland would have been unchartered territory for the EU.

Sweden’s foreign minister Carl Bildt tweeted: “The United Kingdom stays united. So must Europe.”

The markets have also reacted to the verdict with the British pound soaring on the foreign exchange.

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