29/01/2012 Sunday Politics Scotland


29/01/2012

Andrew Neil and Isabel Fraser with the latest political news, interviews and debate including Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the treasury, on the state of the UK economy.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Afternoon, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics.

:00:37.:00:44.

Is Labour playing catch-up on the welfare benefits cap? Or does its

:00:44.:00:47.

idea of regional caps put it back in contention? We ask Shadow

:00:47.:00:51.

Welfare spokesman Liam Byrne. Just how big is Stephen Hester's

:00:52.:00:54.

bonus and should the Government block it? Treasury Chief Secretary

:00:54.:01:03.

Danny Alexander joins us for the Sunday Interview.

:01:03.:01:07.

And on Sunday Politics Scotland: We are off and running in the great

:01:07.:01:10.

referendum challenge - but in which directions, and do you have the

:01:10.:01:14.

stamina to keep up for the next two and half years? Come and have a

:01:14.:01:18.

breather behind the bike sheds with We are talking to the deputy First

:01:18.:01:20.

Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the leader of the Scottish Tories Ruth

:01:20.:01:23.

Davidson for their take on where we've reached so far. Also the

:01:23.:01:33.
:01:33.:01:33.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1404 seconds

:01:33.:24:58.

launch of the new Civic Scotland The Chancellor will announce budget

:24:58.:25:05.

decisions when the budget comes. As a country we have done and balance

:25:05.:25:13.

to system. If we can go further with that we can it also do more

:25:13.:25:23.
:25:23.:25:30.

with their income tax balance. I do want to go further and faster.

:25:30.:25:37.

It is British policy to keep the eurozone of intact. The Germans now

:25:37.:25:41.

think that their economic policy of Greece should be run by Brussels.

:25:41.:25:51.
:25:51.:25:51.

Do you support that? What is needed is a fiscal compact. That is the

:25:51.:26:01.
:26:01.:26:03.

right thing for them to be doing. Countries who want to be part of

:26:03.:26:09.

the euro needs to recognise that that involves fiscal constraints.

:26:09.:26:13.

That will apply to the United Kingdom as long as Scott and stays

:26:13.:26:23.
:26:23.:26:34.

Good afternoon. The Holyrood press pack regroup for

:26:34.:26:40.

the campaigns ahead. We are joined by Nicola Sturgeon to

:26:40.:26:44.

discuss strategy on the Norns and unnose.

:26:44.:26:50.

And will also be joined by Ruth Davidson.

:26:50.:26:54.

And as Civic Scotland makes his entrance, we will be joined by a

:26:54.:26:59.

spokesperson from the Church of Scotland. The Church of Scotland

:26:59.:27:04.

does not have a position on independence, it does not have a

:27:04.:27:08.

position on the status quo. The Church of Scotland will want to

:27:08.:27:13.

participate in encouraging debate, but it is unlikely that the Church

:27:13.:27:19.

will take a fixed position. It was not just Scottish eyes or UK

:27:19.:27:24.

eyes watching events at Edinburgh this week. There was a large

:27:24.:27:28.

contingent of journalists from other parts of Europe and further

:27:28.:27:32.

afield. Many were wondering what events here in Scotland might mean

:27:32.:27:42.
:27:42.:27:50.

Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country? This is

:27:50.:27:56.

the document in which the Scottish Secretary laid out his plans for a

:27:56.:28:05.

devolution referendum. Now it is the turn of the SNP.

:28:05.:28:13.

Japan, China, Russia, Canada - these were just some of the

:28:13.:28:22.

countries keen to understand what is going on. The UK seems to be

:28:22.:28:32.
:28:32.:28:35.

breaking up after the outcome of a Scottish independence referendum.

:28:36.:28:44.

There would be some impact on the Japanese political system.

:28:44.:28:54.
:28:54.:28:57.

success should be in our own hands. Anytime you talk about separation

:28:57.:29:03.

you have states that a wrestling with this issue. There are places

:29:03.:29:06.

in the Middle East would like to see less input from their old

:29:06.:29:12.

masters. Even if we do not agree with that it would be a blueprint

:29:12.:29:19.

for what happens next. In the law you see precedent. If Alex

:29:19.:29:28.

Salmond's gamble pays off a whole lot of people will look at that.

:29:28.:29:37.

The press pack then headed up to Edinburgh Castle. Reporters mingled,

:29:37.:29:47.
:29:47.:29:50.

discussing their take on events. How concerned would you be about a

:29:50.:30:00.
:30:00.:30:04.

potential v2 from European Union states -- a potential veto? I would

:30:04.:30:12.

prefer to take the words of the Spanish foreign minister - at no

:30:12.:30:22.
:30:22.:30:24.

point has not mac and he's been conveyed to the British government.

:30:24.:30:34.
:30:34.:30:37.

A lot of small councils have not already launched a referendum. The

:30:37.:30:47.
:30:47.:30:48.

debate that we have here in Scotland is not possible in Spain.

:30:48.:30:57.

We cannot even have these debates. That is why we followed this with a

:30:57.:31:07.
:31:07.:31:08.

lot of interest. Spanish Basque TV braved high wins. The described

:31:08.:31:18.

Alex Salmond as presidential. Joining me now it is Nicola

:31:18.:31:22.

Sturgeon. How would you clarified the week you have had? It has been

:31:22.:31:28.

an exciting and historic week for Scotland. We have set out at a time

:31:28.:31:34.

mind and a road map towards the referendum in 2014. I trust the

:31:34.:31:40.

Scottish people to make the right decision. Central to this debate is

:31:40.:31:48.

the fact that they seem to want us to stay in Stirling.

:31:48.:31:52.

We said that until the Scottish people take another decision we

:31:52.:32:02.
:32:02.:32:03.

will stay in Stirling. 67 independent countries are in a

:32:03.:32:07.

formal or informal currency union so that is a reasonable position to

:32:07.:32:17.

take. You cannot have the full for school leavers. That is going to be

:32:17.:32:22.

impossible to deliver. That is not true. Being in a monetary union

:32:22.:32:30.

does not mean that you do not have fiscal independence. What Scotland

:32:30.:32:37.

lacks just now is fiscal independence. With independence we

:32:37.:32:44.

have those levers of control. knew seeing when you go to

:32:44.:32:50.

negotiate with the Treasury of the Bank of England where we need the

:32:50.:32:58.

Bank of England to be the lender of last resort but you will go to the

:32:58.:33:02.

Treasury and say these are our terms, take-it-or-leave-it? We know

:33:02.:33:06.

what is happening in Europe. They are imposing tighter fiscal

:33:06.:33:13.

controls. The conditions in the euro-zone are different. Scotland

:33:13.:33:20.

is a wealthy country. We are talking about this from a Scottish

:33:20.:33:30.
:33:30.:33:31.

perspective. The revenues from oil and gas would go to an independent

:33:31.:33:39.

Scottish government. Exports would support the UK currency. It would

:33:39.:33:46.

be good for the rest of the UK as well. Would the Treasury and the

:33:46.:33:53.

Bank of England allow Scotland to go off on a borrowing policy of its

:33:53.:34:00.

own? The lesson from Europe is there has to be fiscal control and

:34:00.:34:08.

discipline. Increasingly in Europe they will run it past Brussels. SNP

:34:08.:34:14.

voters would be genuinely concerned about the interaction there would

:34:14.:34:23.

have to be. That is obvious. independent Scotland would exercise

:34:23.:34:28.

fiscal discipline. But you would have to agree that with the Bank of

:34:28.:34:35.

England. That could be the case regardless of our currency

:34:35.:34:43.

arrangements. The eurozone is a different creature. You have an

:34:43.:34:53.
:34:53.:34:55.

diverging economies. That is not the case for Scotland. Scotland and

:34:55.:35:03.

the other parts of the UK are much more a mind. It would give Scotland

:35:03.:35:06.

the fiscal independence to get the economy going that we do not have

:35:06.:35:16.
:35:16.:35:22.

at the moment. Within certain parameters? What I am trying to say

:35:22.:35:27.

is what if London has not agreed that you are demonstrating suitable

:35:27.:35:37.
:35:37.:35:42.

discipline? We would have to demonstrate fiscal discipline.

:35:42.:35:52.
:35:52.:35:53.

Would you have to agree a deficit level? Scotland has operated a

:35:53.:36:03.
:36:03.:36:04.

budget surplus in the four years since the financial crash. We have

:36:04.:36:14.

demonstrated fiscal discipline. you take my points that these

:36:14.:36:20.

things matter? Even SNP supporters are saying there are some point

:36:20.:36:30.
:36:30.:36:32.

upon which would need absolute clarity. You are asking people to

:36:32.:36:36.

decide yes or no in a referendum before you have concluded those

:36:36.:36:43.

negotiations. There are questions about our pensions, our mortgages,

:36:43.:36:48.

and fiscal controls. What you want from as is a black check. What we

:36:48.:36:52.

about to have is a debate. It is a debate about the future of the

:36:52.:37:01.

country. Some people have criticised us for not having a

:37:01.:37:04.

referendum it sooner. We think it is right that there is a full

:37:04.:37:11.

debate. We will put forward an hour proposals with full clarity. The

:37:11.:37:14.

challenge for our opponents is to put forward a positive case for

:37:14.:37:18.

Scotland staying in the union if that is what they believe is best

:37:18.:37:23.

for Scotland. All we hear from other parties at the moment is

:37:23.:37:28.

negative scaremongering. That is not good enough. When you ask

:37:28.:37:37.

people in a referendum, the do not know the outcome of the

:37:37.:37:47.
:37:47.:37:56.

negotiations you will go on to have subsequently with London. When

:37:56.:38:06.
:38:06.:38:09.

Scotland is independent people will have the opportunity. We are

:38:09.:38:19.
:38:19.:38:20.

debating these things in Scotland. Just after World War II there were

:38:20.:38:30.
:38:30.:38:33.

only 50 independent countries. Today there are closer to 200.

:38:33.:38:38.

you accept that as boaters the least we can expect is absolute

:38:38.:38:48.
:38:48.:38:49.

clarity on how things will affect has? -- as the voters. That is what

:38:49.:38:59.
:38:59.:39:00.

voters will get from SNP. What should happen to the bonus of the

:39:00.:39:10.
:39:10.:39:10.

chief of RBS? It is not acceptable for people like him to have bonuses

:39:10.:39:14.

of that magnitude at all. The Tory government has done nothing to stop

:39:14.:39:24.
:39:24.:39:25.

it. Thank you. Coming up later - and the outbreak

:39:25.:39:35.
:39:35.:39:42.

of boarder cross Corporation. Could this be a sign of things to come?

:39:42.:39:49.

We are speaking about high-speed real. I will want to force a more

:39:49.:39:54.

formal alliance with our friends in the North of England so that we can

:39:54.:39:58.

force the UK Government to see sense and bring up the rail link

:39:58.:40:02.

through the North of England and into Scotland.

:40:02.:40:06.

We are now joined by a leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth

:40:06.:40:13.

Davidson. How has this leadership campaign been for you? I have

:40:13.:40:19.

enjoyed it. The Conservative Party is on the right side of the

:40:19.:40:28.

argument. We are talking about where we want to see Scotland going

:40:28.:40:35.

in the future. It would be nice to get onto the sub-standard issues.

:40:35.:40:45.
:40:45.:40:47.

What can you contribute to the cross-party talks? We have a duty

:40:48.:40:55.

and a keen to work closely with any body that puts forward a robust

:40:55.:41:05.
:41:05.:41:05.

defence of the Union. But there is no common ground between you is

:41:05.:41:15.
:41:15.:41:19.

there? I do not understand the question. David Cameron has been

:41:19.:41:26.

quoted as saying there will be no further movement on tax powers.

:41:26.:41:35.

that what it says? An increase in powers is inconsistent with being

:41:35.:41:45.
:41:45.:41:45.

within the UK. Is that we see it? am not going to comment on an

:41:46.:41:53.

unnamed source. Is that there be see it? Are you saying that if you

:41:53.:42:00.

want full fiscal powers you have to go for independence? Is that your

:42:00.:42:10.
:42:10.:42:18.

I want a fair referendum. That is where people have confused the

:42:18.:42:28.
:42:28.:42:30.

debate. Independence as against devolution. The debate is whether

:42:30.:42:33.

we want to remain part of the United Kingdom or be a sovereign

:42:33.:42:39.

state. The First Minister was saying that you have accepted the

:42:39.:42:49.
:42:49.:42:54.

question is fair and decisive. welcome to the question of us -- I

:42:54.:43:04.

welcomed the question but was given us. It is the -- it is not the sort

:43:04.:43:09.

of question was put into Quebec which ran to over 90 words. The

:43:09.:43:15.

Electoral Commission will have the final say on the wording. Does it

:43:15.:43:25.
:43:25.:43:26.

lead changed? Quite possibly. But I want to get it right. Different

:43:26.:43:31.

people are are giving over the actual date, the question, who

:43:31.:43:36.

would be able to vote. For you to concede that the question is

:43:36.:43:44.

acceptable at this stage was a ludicrous. This is part of a

:43:44.:43:49.

process. Part of process that is overseen, I hope, by the Electoral

:43:49.:43:53.

Commission. I will be taking part in the formal processes that will

:43:53.:43:57.

go on. They will happen in the proper format for these things to

:43:57.:44:05.

take place. Some analysts have said that if you frame a question, do

:44:05.:44:14.

you agree that Scotland should be an independent country, that the

:44:14.:44:18.

aims of the answer yes of. The question is absolutely central. Why

:44:18.:44:27.

have you said that you are fine with the question. I said that the

:44:27.:44:32.

question that had been put forward was decisive, clear. I also wanted

:44:32.:44:38.

it to be legal and that is where the Electoral Commission come in.

:44:38.:44:47.

Then you might change your mind? it needs to be tweaked, we can put

:44:47.:44:51.

forward different views. There are different ways to flame-red. In

:44:51.:44:56.

terms of being short, sweet and to that point, that should be welcomed.

:44:56.:45:01.

There has been movement towards that. We have to acknowledge where

:45:01.:45:05.

movement has been made. Considering what was brought forward in the

:45:05.:45:09.

last Parliament by the Scottish government as a question, this has

:45:09.:45:13.

been a huge movement from them. Where there is movement, we should

:45:13.:45:18.

welcome that. What do you make about the bonus for the chief of

:45:18.:45:28.
:45:28.:45:31.

RBS? Stephen Hester. In some ways, the government's hands were tied.

:45:31.:45:34.

But they have made sure that none of the cash part of it as a more

:45:34.:45:42.

than �2,000 for anybody at the bank, in deferred shares. But there is a

:45:42.:45:45.

point about the sanctity of contracts and breaking contracts.

:45:45.:45:53.

Yes, that is the point that Labour are giving us. It is the

:45:53.:46:03.
:46:03.:46:03.

remunerations committee that decide. Surely you should know as well, if

:46:03.:46:08.

you are criticising, if there is nothing that your government in

:46:08.:46:13.

Westminster can do... I am telling you exactly what the government am

:46:13.:46:22.

Westminster has already done. enough according to their opponents.

:46:22.:46:25.

Neither of the banks that are partially owned by the state is

:46:25.:46:33.

getting a cash bonus of more than �2,000. When you think of the

:46:33.:46:41.

people that voted for you, the Tory government has allowed this Boris

:46:41.:46:45.

to go through, it has not intervened. It is blaming

:46:45.:46:49.

everything on the last Labour government when in fact, it was the

:46:50.:46:57.

real -- the remunerations committee... Stephen Hester has

:46:57.:47:05.

given up his bonus. Do I think that the government has stepped him?

:47:05.:47:14.

Absolutely. We have made their banks have more responsible.

:47:14.:47:20.

have to leave it there. Thank you very much.

:47:20.:47:23.

Can you hear the voice of the people of all this political

:47:23.:47:33.
:47:33.:47:46.

clamour? Tomorrow, a new the recording - Tomorrow a new group

:47:46.:47:49.

calling itself Civic Scotland is joining the fray. Their members so

:47:49.:47:52.

far are from the unions, charities, the churches and think tanks.

:47:52.:47:54.

Martin Syme from the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

:47:54.:47:58.

is in our Edinburgh Studio. Why do you need to do this? We are hearing

:47:58.:48:00.

from politicians. They seem to want to restrict the question but to get

:48:00.:48:05.

the answer they want. We are trying to open out the debate. We have had

:48:05.:48:14.

widespread support from non- governmental groups of all kinds.

:48:14.:48:19.

We want to broaden the debate before we get down to options.

:48:19.:48:23.

it not inevitable that if you are looking for alternatives to what is

:48:23.:48:29.

already being proposed that you end up with the devo max issue? You

:48:30.:48:34.

cannot keep this non-political? are not campaigning for any

:48:34.:48:42.

political option. And that includes devo max. With them my membership,

:48:42.:48:47.

we have people who will support all kinds of option. But we are

:48:47.:48:51.

resolute that the debate needs opened up rather than closed down.

:48:51.:48:55.

We are opposed to the proposition that there should be a decision to

:48:55.:49:01.

go forward with a question of yes or no. It seems incredible to me

:49:01.:49:08.

that we might spent the next few years at talking about independence

:49:08.:49:15.

and not talking by devolution. can people expect from your

:49:15.:49:18.

organisation? We are going to carry this debate to people in Scotland

:49:18.:49:23.

where ever they are and what ever the interests are. We want to

:49:23.:49:28.

connect the debate about the future of Scotland to the challenges and

:49:28.:49:32.

aspirations above people have in their own lives. In that process,

:49:32.:49:35.

is it not inevitable but you have to come to a conclusion and you

:49:35.:49:40.

have to say this is what we have found. Otherwise, it is just a

:49:40.:49:50.

talking shop and people will go to the options still available. Is it

:49:50.:49:54.

inevitable but you have to champion what people tell you? And then you

:49:55.:50:04.
:50:05.:50:07.

move into the political arena? sorry if that -- ever that the

:50:07.:50:10.

future of Scotland is of the political arena, the game is lost

:50:10.:50:15.

already. There will be many issues arising. People will take different

:50:15.:50:25.
:50:25.:50:26.

perspectives from the -- from within the coalition and without.

:50:26.:50:30.

This is not a debate between political parties. This is a debate

:50:31.:50:35.

about the future of Scotland. It is important that people understand

:50:35.:50:40.

the issues involved and are able to explore how those issues will be

:50:40.:50:43.

reflected in the choices that are made available to them. Thank you

:50:44.:50:51.

very much. You will be doing this outside the central belt as well?

:50:51.:50:56.

Absolute left. We need to hear voices from rural Scotland, from

:50:56.:51:01.

people in poverty, all kinds of different voices in this debate.

:51:01.:51:08.

That has been conspicuous by its absence recently.

:51:08.:51:11.

On Thursday, the Sunday Politics was invited to spend the day with

:51:11.:51:13.

the Cabinet Minister for Infrastructure, Alex Neil, as he

:51:13.:51:16.

travelled to London to address a major rail conference. Gilly

:51:16.:51:19.

Mathieson reports on why he is stepping up pressure on the UK

:51:19.:51:22.

Government to set a firm date for bringing high speed rail through

:51:22.:51:32.
:51:32.:51:32.

the north of England and on to Scotland.

:51:32.:51:36.

We are off to London to speak at a high-powered conference on high-

:51:36.:51:42.

speed rail and I am going to use the opportunity to begin to forge a

:51:42.:51:45.

more formal alliance with our friends in the north of England to

:51:45.:51:50.

try to force the UK Government to see sense and set a date for

:51:50.:51:55.

bringing the high-speed rail link through the north of England and up

:51:55.:52:03.

to Scotland. You can cut down the train time by well over one hour

:52:03.:52:10.

between the Scotland and England and that will compete with a beer

:52:10.:52:20.
:52:20.:52:31.

trouble. -- air travel. I do not see why you cannot make a start at

:52:31.:52:36.

both ends. Start end up London and Scotland simultaneously. That is

:52:36.:52:43.

the way that the railway used to be built. The case to take the line

:52:43.:52:51.

much further north is very strong. AGS to is the largest

:52:51.:53:01.
:53:01.:53:02.

infrastructure project in a generation. -- HS2. The Scottish

:53:02.:53:05.

government is offering to pay half the course of extending the line up

:53:05.:53:12.

to Scotland. We have to have some building blocks in place before

:53:12.:53:18.

they can get the detail, like the exact a route. We are still some

:53:18.:53:24.

way off on that. But with the independence referendum planned for

:53:24.:53:28.

24 team, politicians south of the border will lead to take into

:53:28.:53:33.

account public opinion. It will be hard to present to the people of

:53:33.:53:40.

England and Wales that they should be picking up another �17 billion

:53:40.:53:43.

if you have the Scottish Parliament pushing for an independence of

:53:43.:53:49.

thought. The French high-speed rail network has work with its

:53:49.:53:54.

neighbours, so what can we learn from their experience? There will

:53:54.:53:58.

be improvements even if the infrastructure stops halfway. It is

:53:58.:54:02.

possible to have an incremental approach which is what we had in

:54:02.:54:12.
:54:12.:54:13.

France. They generated improvements and then we added other stretches

:54:13.:54:18.

and multiplied of the benefits. will be hearing from north and

:54:18.:54:26.

south of the border in the coming weeks.

:54:26.:54:29.

Joining us in Edinburgh is Tom Rye, Professor of Transport Policy at

:54:29.:54:32.

the Transport Research Institute at Napier University.

:54:32.:54:40.

Good morning. Thank you for joining us. The minister has a point, if

:54:40.:54:44.

you are going to be building a high-speed rail link, you get to a

:54:44.:54:53.

point where financially it makes more sense to have a longer life.

:54:53.:54:58.

If you are interested of providing something that is useful, 400 miles

:54:58.:55:05.

is supposed to be the best limit? asked the minister at to read of

:55:05.:55:08.

the reports that his own civil servants have produced with regard

:55:08.:55:18.
:55:18.:55:20.

to high-speed rail to Scotland. That Strategic case -- even if that

:55:20.:55:30.
:55:30.:55:33.

mine were able to achieve a two the hour reduction in time, the journey

:55:33.:55:39.

times savings over 60 years would be projected to be worth around 1

:55:39.:55:42.

billion. That is very hard to get a handle on the cost of extending the

:55:42.:55:48.

line up to Scotland. We know that the cost of the line from London to

:55:49.:55:58.
:55:59.:56:03.

Birmingham will be about 17 billion and extra for the trains themselves.

:56:03.:56:07.

For a 17 billion pound cost, that would give benefits of 1 billion

:56:07.:56:15.

which does not stack up economic clear. But you get people stopping

:56:15.:56:18.

using their cars, there are social benefits as well as economic

:56:18.:56:24.

benefits which are harder to quantify. And there are

:56:24.:56:34.
:56:34.:56:40.

environmental benefits. With regard to the Co2 benefits, promoters of

:56:40.:56:50.
:56:50.:56:52.

the scheme up promoted that the benefits are broadly neutral. Co2

:56:52.:57:02.
:57:02.:57:02.

in packs would be time aged -- the sea or to impact reduction would be

:57:02.:57:12.

tiny. Some air travel would be reduced, but it would generate a

:57:12.:57:22.
:57:22.:57:25.

lot of new travel. High-speed rail does not run on no energy, it uses

:57:25.:57:29.

car one as well. So there is no point in this like coming into

:57:29.:57:37.

Scotland? Spain is the country with the largest high-speed rail network

:57:37.:57:45.

in Europe. Most of it built in the last 10 or 15 years. Spain it

:57:45.:57:55.
:57:55.:57:57.

currently has 25% unemployment. Nor them, Scandinavian countries have

:57:57.:58:06.

precisely zero, just of high-speed rail.

:58:06.:58:11.

And now here's the lunchtime news, with Andrew Kerr.

:58:11.:58:14.

Good afternoon. The Scottish underwear entrepreneur Michelle

:58:14.:58:17.

Mone has vowed to move her multi- million business to England if the

:58:17.:58:19.

SNP wins the independence referendum. The Ultimo creator

:58:19.:58:22.

whose comments were reported in the Sunday Times newspaper said the

:58:22.:58:24.

cost of doing business would inevitably rise. But the First

:58:24.:58:27.

Minister Alex Salmond says the SNP would cut business tax in an

:58:27.:58:30.

independent Scotland, making it a more attractive place for firms to

:58:30.:58:33.

operate. The Scottish Government is to

:58:33.:58:36.

improve internet access. Ministers want to boost broadband speeds with

:58:36.:58:40.

the aim of making services as good as anywhere else in the world by

:58:40.:58:43.

2020. They say they will improve things for up to 90% of homes,

:58:43.:58:51.

businesses and public buildings by 2015.

:58:51.:59:01.
:59:01.:59:02.

Now let's take a look at the Outbreaks of rain across western

:59:02.:59:06.

Scotland at the moment. It will be confined to that Northern Isles

:59:06.:59:14.

later. But some showers pitching into the East Coast later. Some of

:59:14.:59:19.

those will turn to snow over higher ground. It will be a cold in the

:59:19.:59:23.

fresh, easterly wind. Our next news update is at ten to

:59:23.:59:24.

seven this evening. Now back to Isabel.

:59:24.:59:28.

Thanks Andrew. Well, this week can be seen as another staging post on

:59:28.:59:38.
:59:38.:59:39.

So we thought it was only right and proper to ask the all-seeing, all-

:59:39.:59:41.

proper to ask the all-seeing, all- knowing Brian Taylor to join us for

:59:41.:59:51.
:59:51.:59:57.

some analysis. The First Minister spoke to you

:59:57.:00:01.

first in that consultation launch. What do you make of what we have

:00:01.:00:10.

heard so far? It was a remarkable week. I think the date is pretty

:00:10.:00:17.

well said, autumn at 2014. I do not think the UK Government will

:00:17.:00:27.
:00:27.:00:30.

reverse that despite the complaints. I think it will be a single

:00:30.:00:38.

question. Referendums for not just opinion polls, they are testing a

:00:38.:00:41.

proposition it generally. A proposition advanced by the

:00:41.:00:47.

government. The Scottish government is advancing their independence

:00:47.:00:57.
:00:57.:01:02.

question. The devo max question is not a mandate to discuss

:01:02.:01:12.
:01:12.:01:14.

independence. It is not the difficulty of testing it. It is

:01:14.:01:18.

just a question of the mandate, who is order to do something as a

:01:18.:01:23.

consequence of that outcome? What of significance will happen in the

:01:23.:01:29.

next week? I think we will see a speech tomorrow from Ed Miliband in

:01:29.:01:35.

Glasgow, an attempt by Labour to put their stamp on the devolution

:01:35.:01:43.

argument. At the moment, it is a consultation and negotiations

:01:43.:01:47.

between the Scottish government and the UK Government. Labour are

:01:47.:01:54.

trying to get into that debate. Johann Lamont is demanding and

:01:54.:01:59.

getting cross-party talks at Holyrood. Now you have Ed Miliband

:01:59.:02:08.

coming in as well as putting a UK, Labour perspective on this. The

:02:08.:02:18.

First Minister ones, and 20th October 14, when there could be a

:02:18.:02:22.

Conservative alone government, he is up dedicating independence from

:02:22.:02:32.
:02:32.:02:36.

the Tories. -- dedicating. If the SNP were met the yes vote on the

:02:36.:02:46.
:02:46.:02:51.

referendum, would it be possible for Labour to go against it? I do

:02:51.:02:55.

not think that is feasible. reason for the rules and the

:02:55.:02:59.

process matter is for all sides have to accept the outcome. That is

:02:59.:03:04.

why it was a little unwise for Ruth Davidson to a be appearing to give

:03:04.:03:12.

endorsement to a question which has to half for the tests from the

:03:12.:03:17.

Electoral Commission. If the Scottish people, palpably and

:03:17.:03:21.

demonstrably and without contest a vote for independence, that is it.

:03:21.:03:26.

Their game is over. If they do not, it is not. That is why it is

:03:26.:03:32.

important to get the rules and regulations right. It is not an

:03:32.:03:36.

opinion poll, it is something that will be decisive. Thank you very

:03:36.:03:44.

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