28/02/2012 Newsnight Scotland


28/02/2012

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leaving others to fight it out for Tonight on Newsnight Scotland., the

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first official pronouncement of the European Commission on what status

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an independent Scotland would have in the European Union. We will talk

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to the Catalan member of the European Parliament who have been

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pressing for answers. And if you do not want independence,

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then you can have devo-max, the new Scotland Bill, you can have Menzies

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Campbell's proposals from the Liberal Democrats or you can have

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whatever emerges from the civic Scotland campaign. And you can now

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have something called the Pope last, we will be asking what that might

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be and whether this is all getting a bit silly -- something called

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devo-max. There's been a debate going on for

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some while about what an independent Scotland would be in

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the European Union. Would it continue in membership or would

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Scotland have to apply for membership? In a moment I will be

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speaking to the Catalan member of the European Parliament tried to

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get answers from the European Commission that first here's David

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Allison. There is some flash photography in this report.

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Your Scotland, your referendum. Alex Salmond is casting a long

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shadow with his plans for an independence referendum in 2014.

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And interest from foreign media means impact has been felt well be

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on Scotland. When he held his press conference at Edinburgh Castle last

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month, to launch the SNP's administration consultation process,

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the First Minister was aware that countries such as Spain were paying

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particular interest to what he had to say.

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The media from Madrid would also be from the Basque region and

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Catalonia to report back what it Now a Catalan MP wants answers from

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the European Union. Ramon Tremosa, a liberal politician with a

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background in economics submitted a written question to the European

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Commission last month. In it, he points out that the UK has been

:02:05.:02:14.
:02:15.:02:28.

part of the European Union since 19 Another person had the task of

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coming up with an answer from the European Commission and the rest of

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the UK as well as Scotland. He says the commission is not able to

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express any view given up the view and terms and result of any future

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referendum are known as is the nature of possible future

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relationships between the parties concerned and those parties and

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:02:58.:03:00.

European Union partners. As a fairly non-committal response

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but does indicate that he and the President of the European

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Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, say EU membership for Scotland as a

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political issue rather than constitutional. In the Catalan

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capital of Barcelona, the moves for a Scottish referendum and his

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impact across the EU were being closely watched while in the Basque

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country, tongue in cheek demands from pro-independence campaigners

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have prompted headlines like this even here in the Scottish media.

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Madrid it remains particularly wary although the Spanish Foreign

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Minister was quoted at the weekend He said that no one would object to

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consented independent of Scotland. But Spain recently did block moves

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by the former Yugoslavia Republic of Kosovo to get EU membership

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because it was based on a unilateral decision and so in

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Spanish eyes was completely different. Since the SNP won a

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majority, it has taken a while for Westminster to react. Now it

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appears that the union is starting to take notice.

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Just before we came on their eyes but to the Catalan MEP, Ramon

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Tremosa that you saw there. He is a member of the majority party in

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Catalonia. I began by asking him why he put this question to the EU

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Commission. There are a lot of parallels between Scotland and

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Catalonia. Like in Scotland, the opinion polls in Catalonia show

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increasing demand for independence. We have, depending on the polls,

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some give a 40% in favour but other polls give 50 present, 53% in

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favour of independence and it is a clear majority feeling in people.

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Unlike in Scotland, there is a huge majority, near 80% of cattle and

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population, which wants real, fiscal federalism. -- near 80% of

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the Catalan population. Collecting all the taxes and this includes all

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the Spanish speaking people in Catalonia so I think we follow all

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the debate and we admire how democracy exists in the United

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Kingdom. With a British Prime Minister accepting the referendum.

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Just to make clear to people, one of the issues in Spain is, as I

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understand, is it written into the constitution that people in

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Catalonia or the Basque country can not have a similar referendum?

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but this constitution was written just after Franco died. The

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military powers had a lot of employment -- had a lot of

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influence. The Basque country was not a prude and Catalonia existed

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in extension. -- the Basque country was not approved. This is why...

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Basically you put the question because you would like to know, as

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Catalans, should you have a similar vote what the situation would be of

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either Scotland or Catalonia should either of them decide to become

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independent? Yes, I wanted to intellectually know which would be

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the answer of the European Commission. And as I could foresee,

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at the European Commission said it was an internal issue of the United

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Kingdom and if they were aware of any change, the United Kingdom

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would make these steps necessary to deal with any situations. But I

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wanted to go because in Catalonia, lot of people ask me about this

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question so I put it to the commission. Are you satisfied with

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the answer? The commission has basically said to you, about what

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we don't really want to talk about this"! It is a polite and

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democratic answer. The commission... I think that in Europe, everybody

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knows that there will be a referendum in Scotland and if the

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Scottish people vote easily and democratically, for independence, I

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think that the rest of the European nations will accept a new state. So

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this is why I asked all the MEPs from the political parties and we

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are expecting... In Spain, I have doubts if the Spanish government

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would accept a majority demand from Catalans or Basque people. Thank

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you, it has been very interesting talking to you.

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Thank you. So we were just getting used to the term devo-max being

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bandied around and it led to a pressure group called Reform

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Scotland and they have a go at selling as a new type of devolution,

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devo-plus. Laura Bicker has been finding a out.

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Basic choice is a good thing but what if you have no idea what on

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earth you are choosing between? Devo-max or devo-plus. Do we know

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what either would mean for Scott and? Under devo-plus, we would have

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full control of income tax, corporation tax, plus some control

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over welfare benefit. Devo-max has not been properly defined but it is

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thought it would go further. We take on more welfare including

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pensions, VAT, and national insurance. The mandate from the

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people of the referendum is the best but just as tough and tax-

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raising powers. Back at the launch of a new devo-plus brand today, it

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seems not all the details have been nailed down. I pick the proposal

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has been worked out, that is not to say that it will not be flexible

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and changed going forward because we are getting lot of input from

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Treasury and others about the details of the proposals and we

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have to adapt. The broad philosophy is each level of government should

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be responsible for raising the money that it spends. Individuals

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from the Lib Dems, Tories and Labour have signed up although not

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for all of the proposals. I am fully signed-up to the principle.

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The overriding principle that each level of government should raise

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the taxes that it spends because I think that way we address the

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problem that Kenneth Calman identified, the lack of it

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accountability. And they don't intend for the question of devo-

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plus to be put to the people. have had a referendum on tax powers

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for the Scottish Parliament. What devo-plus is about is extending

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that. I think this question has been answered by people across

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Scotland. They want to see their Palmer put more responsibility,

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they want to see politicians doing things more responsibly. I think

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the question has been dealt with. The Scots have heard a lot about

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greater devolution over the past few weeks. The Prime Minister David

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Cameron at the former Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling both

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talked about giving more powers to Scotland. But outside of devo-max

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and devo-plus, you have the Scotland Development -- the

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Scotland Bill making his way through Westminster and the

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nationalists campaigning for independence. Choice can be a good

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thing. But is this constitutional choice just a bit confusing? And

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anyway, it's not even clear that the Scot would get a chance to

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With me is the leader of devo plus. And that share of the Scotland Bill

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Committee. Jeremy Purvis, what are you proposing it should be done?

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You do not want a referendum. group is not seeking it. What do

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you want? We want to persuade the political parties to adopt the

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proposals we have outlined. That is a clear aim. You would say the vote

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no to independence but you would hope to be able to say one or more

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of the political parties have adopted your plan. We are hoping to

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go further as a group. We can have a cross-party view and see if there

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is a consensus for additional powers for the Scottish Parliament

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to address a real fault line... are still in the Liberal Democrats?

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I am. Are you hoping to convince them? Each party has its own

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process and they will come to their own views. We wish to inform the

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debate. We want to the parties to adopt the proposal. I would love it

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to be if I have a vote in the referendum, I will vote no to

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independence but I want that to be a vote for change. I hope they can

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be a consensus for that. According to the Scotsman, best MP backs devo

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plus. Your party loves this? -- SMP. A party is clear. We stand for

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independence. You are also abjectly desperate for a second question to

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be in the referendum because you know that is what people want.

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stand for independence... It is nonsense you want eight-second

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question. We want the single question because we believe in

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independence. We have said everyone in Scotland have a view, there is a

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consultation, people should respond to the consultation. We will look

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at what people are saying. That is clear. What is not is what these

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parties are now dealing with devo plus. There are questions in there.

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They do not know whether they want a second question. He has just said

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he does and that one! I have heard other reports. -- and doesn't want

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one. If the position of devo plus and not to have a second question?

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The group is not seeking one. sounds to me like it is putting it

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off. Are we have heard it all before. We heard it in the 1970s.

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It took us 20 years to get our Scottish Parliament. The debate is

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on and it is about whether Scotland should be independent. People can

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contribute. Let me read you a paragraph. They have learnt a

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strong body of opinion are lined up behind devo plus and the First

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Minister could agree to include a referendum -- that in the

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referendum. The First Minister has always said the consultation is

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there, people can contribute, if they have a large body of opinion

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coming up from six Scotland that a second question could be considered,

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it would be considered. You may have Alex Salmond on your side, or

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at least that the new. What about David Cameron? According to the

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Scotsman, he was. I bet you're glad you are left -- you asked your seat.

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-- Young lost. People should be making a clear choice. We hope as a

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group of the choice between independence and devo max -- devo

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plus. That is why we are hoping that the parties will look at this.

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There will be a set of proposals. It is not just about... I can

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appreciate a level of confusion may exist but that is why we have

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established this, to be specific. Are you sure about what you are

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watching for? One of the implications of the policies or the

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policies you are outlining -- the proposals, is to do with the

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British welfare system. There is no constitutional reason why a winter

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fuel payments should be reserved by it the Treasury. Under your

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proposals, as you know, the welfare system... Pensions will continue to

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be reserved for Westminster. Scotland is doing badly compared to

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:16:39.:16:40.

the UK, UK taxpayers will continue through the benefits system.

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Correct. That is a pretty important benefit. Does the 8th MP want to

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disband the UK benefits system? -- SNP. You need to have the palace to

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do it the best for the citizens. To say you are not going to include

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pensions and to say the welfare system does not tie in with the tax

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raising powers, I think that is creating problems. You see the

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force of a point? One of the benefits of the UK is when

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particular parts are doing badly, just as in the US, the whole of the

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UK automatically through the benefits system, money is shovelled

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into areas doing badly. In an independent Scotland, you would not

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have that. A Scotland that was doing badly -- badly would have to

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subsist on tax revenues. independent Scotland would be a

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normal country, same as many other countries in Europe. It would take

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its own in decisions to the benefit of citizens. There is no reason why

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Scotland would do badly. Scotland is doing better than the UK at the

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moment. Why do you think that is wrong? I think the way the UK

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operates provides a risk and benefit system. When it goes well,

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Scotland shares that but if there are difficulties, there can be

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equalisation across the UK. Offaly, that is the benefit of being in the

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UK. -- obviously. The F MP want to tell us they are not breaking up

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:18:36.:18:37.

the UK, it is a social union. -- SMP. We maintain social union.

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does that mean? It is about being good neighbours. He does not mean

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anything at all, then? I think the reality of this discussion is at

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the Scottish National Party, if they had not won a good majority,

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are we not be having this discussion. People would be trying

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to kill devolution. Why not put your question... I know there are

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problems with devolution but why not stick something on a

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referendum? If you are a unionist and you want to shoot the Scottish

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Nationalist Party, why not? It was nine years ago that David Steel

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really is these issues. I wrote a paper on having more powers. This

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predates the Scottish National Party coming to office her in 2007.

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There are those who believe the party should be stronger. --

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:19:56.:19:56.

apartment. That is why we believe in the case for devo plus. A look

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at tomorrow's papers. In the Daily Mail... Chris Huhne will pocket the

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money despite being at the first Cabinet minister to be forced from

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office. At the Guardian, activists killed in rescue of British

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journalist from Syria. The Independent, hip replacements. That

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:20:35.:20:45.

For most of Oz, Tuesday was a cloudy but mild day, particularly

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across the East. -- most of us. Most of us will have a grey start

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tomorrow. Things will brighten up in the afternoon. In the north-east

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of England, they will see decent breaks. Temperatures will lift to

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14 degrees. It will stay cloudy for East Anglia. You could see brighter

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spells later. The best of the brakes are likely further west. Are

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a much sunnier day for south-west England. There are sunny spells.

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Temperatures reached 11 degrees. In Northern Ireland, a similar day to

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yesterday. Western Scotland keeps the blagged of cloud with a few

:21:31.:21:41.
:21:41.:21:42.

spots of rain. Staying rather cloudy for most of us, particularly

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in the morning. Things will turn writable stop in London,

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