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Co-operation or conflict?. Devolution: The settled will of the Scottish people? Devolved powers  Health  Education  Local Government  Law  Social.

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Presentation on theme: "Co-operation or conflict?. Devolution: The settled will of the Scottish people? Devolved powers  Health  Education  Local Government  Law  Social."— Presentation transcript:

1 Co-operation or conflict?

2 Devolution: The settled will of the Scottish people? Devolved powers  Health  Education  Local Government  Law  Social Work and Housing  Economic Development and Transport  The Environment  Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing  Sport and the Arts Reserved Powers  The constitution  Defence and national security  Foreign policy  Immigration  UK fiscal and monetary policy  Employment legislation  Social security  Transport and safety regulation  Others e.g. nuclear energy, broadcasting

3 Grey Areas: Immigration Immigration is clearly a reserved power But, Scotland will be the home for some who seek asylum in the UK It is Scottish local authorities’ education, housing and social work departments who will look after asylum seekers But the UK Home Office ultimately decides who stays and who leaves Scotland The so called “dawn raids” and the detention of families at Dungavel Centre have been controversial Glasgow Girls Part 5

4 Grey Areas: Nuclear Power Energy is a reserved power But, planning is devolved The UK Government would like to renew Scotland’s two nuclear processing plants But the SNP Government may block planning permission….

5 Grey Areas: The West Lothian Question Back in 1977, in debates over whether there should be a Scottish Parliament, Tam Dalyell MP (Lab) asked why it would be right that an MP from Blackburn in West Lothian could decide education policy in England, but an MP from Blackburn in Lancashire could have no power over education policy in Scotland. The question is not academic. In 2004, the UK Labour Government won a parliamentary vote to introduce top up tuition fees in England by 316 votes to 311. Without the votes of Labour’s MPs from Scotland, the bill would have been defeated. Is this fair on the English, who have no power over education policy in Scotland?

6 Grey Areas: Foreign Policy Foreign Policy is a UK power. Scotland does not have it’s own foreign policy. But, Justice is a devolved powers and decisions made by Scotland’s Justice Secretary can have a major impact on UK foreign policy. In August 2009, Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny Macaskill released convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds. He was diagnosed as having terminal cancer with an expected three months to live. Lockerbie bomber freed

7 But US Senators, angry at Megrahi’s release, allege that this decision was in some way linked to a BP-influenced prisoner exchange deal agreed by then Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2007. UK Prime Minister David Cameron has attempted to heal UK/US relations in the light of Megrahi’s continued survival. There is no evidence that the Scottish Government acted improperly. No matter the rights and wrongs of the affair, devolved Scottish decisions do have a major impact on the rest of the UK. UK/USA Relations Prime Minister Cameron in the USA

8 The Scottish Government: On collision course with London? The whole point of the SNP being in government is to make Scotland independent. Perhaps not today or tomorrow, but at some point. So, while Alex Salmond will co-operate with the UK Government on some things, perhaps confrontation is inevitable.

9 The “National Conversation” The National Conversation is an online discussion set up by the SNP Scottish Government. It is part of the SNP’s plans to hold a referendum on Scottish independence. The National Conversation

10 Funding Scotland at the moment receives its money from Westminster. Finance Secretary John Swinney is given an annual block grant based on the “Barnett formula”. The SNP would like Scotland to raise all of its own money and not be dependent on Westminster. This arrangement is usually referred to as “fiscal autonomy”. Many in England look to Scotland’s free personal care for the elderly, no tuition fees and the abolition of prescription charges and think Scotland gets too much from Barnett! Is the Barnett Formula fair? Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP Scottish Finance Secretary, John Swinney MSP

11 The Calman Commission The Calman Commission was the Unionist parties response the National Conversation It examined whether the Scottish Parliament should get more powers within the UK It concluded that the UK Treasury should cut income tax by 10p in the £ for all workers in Scotland but that the block grant to Scotland be cut too. The Scottish Government should tax the Scottish people to meet the shortfall. Calman also supported more powers over air guns, drink driving and the speed limit. It also committed itself to ending the detention of children of failed asylum seekers. SNP response to Calman Commission

12 Referendum on Independence. Bring it On? The SNP would like to hold a referendum on independence in 2011. Former Scottish Labour leader, Wendy Alexander, famously argued for the referendum to be held immediately. Labour, under Iain Gray, is now opposed to having a referendum as are the Scottish Conservatives and the Scottish Liberal Democrats. For the moment! Bring it on! A Neverendum?

13 The New British Politics We now have a coalition Government at Westminster between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. Many would have expected confrontation between a Nationalist Scottish First Minister and a Unionist UK Prime Minister. The Conservatives have just 1 MP in Scotland. But, PM David Cameron stated that he wanted a “fresh start” with the Scottish Parliament. He visited the Scottish Parliament just days after becoming Prime Minister. A Fresh Start?

14 The Respect Agenda The Conservatives have to work hard to win the trust of the people of Scotland. That’s why I’m here. PM David Cameron. I’d rather have a respect agenda than a dis-respect agenda. FM Alex Salmond. First Minister welcomes the Prime Minister

15 FM Alex Salmond will want more substance in the run up to the 2011 Scottish election. He will want Westminster to compromise on; The fossil fuel levy Accelerated capital spending funds Knock on money from the Olympic Games Borrowing powers for the Scottish Parliament. Holyrood Demands The decision by Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg to hold the UK referendum on a new voting system on the same day as the Scottish Parliament elections (May 5 2011) was described as “ an act of dis-respect” by Scottish Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop.

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