Friday, 22 August 2008

The Settled Will of the Scottish People?

The Settled Will of the Scottish People: What’s New for Scotland’s Parliaments?’ Political Quarterly, 78, 301 – 309, April/June 2007।


Following a likely relative shift from Labour to SNP in the Scottish Parliament elections of 3 May 2007 the eight year Labour/Liberal Democratic Party coalition will come under great pressure and may be replaced by a minority administration or a Liberal Democrat/SNP coalition. While the independence issue may be sidelined, key constitutional issues will arise as a result of the Liberal Democrats’ proposals featuring in Moving Towards Federalism which envisage greater legislative and taxation powers for the Scottish Parliament and a reconsideration of the devolution settlement. A number of weaknesses in the documents’ proposals are identified. If it is acted upon there is the possibility of considerable resulting constitutional conflict arising which could pose considerable challenges for the future of the UK. The UK government which has actual competence on these issues has largely stayed silent on them during the campaign but may have to respond sensitively in its aftermath.