Home rule

Scottish Home Rule or ‘Devo Max’ is as relevant as the Schleswig-Holstein issue in the independence debate – Kenny MacAskill MP

But while it scorched Twitter and provoked heated demands and equally strenuous denials, it remained an esoteric debate.

It’s not on the agenda, and with another Indy referendum, it’s just not going to happen anytime soon. Nor was it discussed or even brought up in Westminster or the main halls of power. It is a debate without substance.

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Although not “as dead as a dodo”, it has as much relevance as the proverbial Schleswig-Holstein question. The Conservative government is simply not interested.

They will no more listen to Nicola Sturgeon’s pleas for a “gold-plated” referendum than they are to the cries of lesser mortals to make it a multi-option referendum.

The coronavirus still dominates and it’s “the economy, stupid” that will dominate now and for some time to come. Talking about a referendum will remain just that, because the focus and the agenda will be on unemployment and the cost of living.

Requests for a referendum will be rejected and discussions on its formulation will not even be taken into account.

Because a new expression has entered the political lexicon and has far more resonance in Westminster than Devo Max ever had. His “muscular unionism” which roughly translates to “take what you get Jock”, otherwise “know your place in Scotland”.

House rule is off the table, says Kenny MacAskill (Photo: Chris Ware/Keystone Features/Getty Images)

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SNP figures reject calls for devo-max option on Scottish independence ballot…

This is reflected in almost every recent action by the Conservative government. There is no discussion or even debate. This applies not only to the rejection of any idea of ​​increased decentralization, but also to the application of the current constitutional regulation. The Home Market Act is imposed, Scotland sidelined and Westminster dominating.

Welcome to the new era of decentralization. Back to the useless of 2014. That was then, what is now. There was no multiple-option referendum at the time, as Cameron, in his ultimately cost-dear Brexit arrogance, assumed he would comfortably win it and ruled it out.

There will be no referendum, but even if there was, it would have to be clarified what Devo Max is. Yet since 2014, if not before “the wish”, it remains what an individual thinks.

To vote for it in the abstract would be absurd and, before or after, there would undoubtedly have to be a commission, taking an eternity to discuss, even less to deliver.

If there was a will to go in that direction, then it would be obvious now. Devolution would evolve and powers would be granted gradually.

The arrival of Wales on the constitutional scene, through the enigmatic but very effective Prime Minister Mark Drakeford, surely gave impetus to this. But no relaxation of the muscles of the Union, quite the contrary.

This is why if Scotland wants to advance the constitutional debate, it will have to do so itself, and not hand over powers and a timetable to Westminster, as is the current position of the Scottish government. It is action that is needed, not esoteric debate.

Kenny MacAskill is Alba Party MP for East Lothian

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Tags : prime minister
Teresa R. Cabrera

The author Teresa R. Cabrera