Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has said that the Scottish Liberal Democrats are the party most prepared to deliver the stronger Scotland people which meets the hopes and ambitions of the people of Scotland.
Speaking outside of the Scottish Parliament today, Mr Rennie revealed that he has selected former Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore MP and former Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and member of the Scottish Parliament committee which passed the referendum legislation, Tavish Scott, to take part in Lord Smith of Kelvin’s cross-party talks on more powers.
The talks are part of a delivery plan to strengthen the Scottish Parliament within the United Kingdom. The plan includes a written submission from each party on its plans for more powers, which are expected to underpin the talks.
Speaking outside Holyrood after having announced Michael Moore MP and Tavish Scott MSP as the Scottish Liberal Democrat representatives, Mr Rennie said:
“Home Rule is in our DNA. From Gladstone through to Grimond, Bruce and Wallace, Scottish Liberal Democrats have been championing home rule for Scotland. We are the most prepared for this great opportunity now that the independence issue has been laid to rest. We were first out the blocks with our plans for more powers, with Sir Menzies Campbell's proposals for home rule in a federal UK published in 2012.
"Michael Moore and Tavish Scott are champions of home rule for Scotland. Michael has the weight and authority of a former Scottish Secretary and is respected across the political spectrum after successfully delivering the Scotland Act 2012 and the Edinburgh Agreement. He is the architect of the fair, legal and decisive result delivered last week with the backing of two million voters.
"As a former Scottish Government Minister and Party Leader Tavish too has the knowledge and experience to deliver great gains for our home rule ambition. As a Shetlander he will also be making the strong case for powers to be transferred beyond Edinburgh so that power can be exercised locally to meet local priorities."
Scottish Liberal Democrat Borders MP Michael Moore said:
"Our positive and detailed plans for Home Rule in a Federal UK prepared by Sir Menzies Campbell give us the best possible foundations for our negotiations. Our thoroughly prepared plans would give the Scottish Parliament the home rule powers it needs to do things differently if it chooses to through increased financial powers and joint-working. But we need to ensure that this is not just a process for the politicians but one for wider Scotland too. It needs to tap in to the great energy and interest generated by the referendum."
Scottish Liberal Democrat Shetland MSP Tavish Scott said:
"I am determined to make substantial changes so that Scotland can make more decisions closer to home that meet our needs here. With our hands on the purse strings we can have more control over our own destiny whilst sharing risk and reward within the United Kingdom. But the grip on power in Edinburgh must be released too so that areas like the Islands and every part of the country can make more decisions locally. This is not just about London to Edinburgh but Edinburgh to the rest of Scotland too."