Sunday

17th Jan 2021

Cameron in a pickle over Scotland promises

  • PM Cameron made strong promises to the Scottish ahead of their independence referendum (Photo: University Hospitals Birmingham)

British PM David Cameron is under fire from his own party and from the Labour opposition for having promised more powers to Scotland but being vague on similar devolution plans for England.

Cameron on Monday (22 September) was set to meet some 20 Conservative hardliners who oppose his plans for Scotland and want to scrap a subsidy formula which favours Scots over the English.

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In order to swing the Scots' vote last week away from an ever-more popular independence campaign, Cameron, together with the leaders of Labour and the Liberal-Democrats, pledged to keep the funding scheme and give Scotland further powers as long as it stays within the United Kingdom.

The referendum was won by the unionist camp, but Cameron has since faced an avalanche of criticism. Apart from his own backbenchers who want more powers for English MPs, the prime minister is also under fire from the Labour opposition, which says it has only subscribed to Scottish devolution.

Labour leader Ed Miliband on Sunday said the three-party deal only concerned Scotland, not England or Wales.

"I'm open to the idea of greater scrutiny of legislation by English MPs. But we can't do it in a back of the envelope, fag packet way," Miliband said.

Scottish leader Alex Salmond on Sunday said his people were tricked into voting No, as Cameron's plans will fail amid inner-party bickering.

"It is the people who were persuaded to vote 'No' who were misled, who were gulled, who were tricked effectively," Salmond told BBC.

However, Downing Street insisted that Cameron would honour his promise to devolve powers to Scotland with “no ifs, no buts".

“The three pro-Union parties have made commitments on further powers for the Scottish Parliament and we have set out a clear timetable to do this. This Government has delivered on devolution and we will do so again in the next parliament,” the Downing Street statement added.

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