Jardine: Report reflects changes since devolution

Edinburgh West MP Christine Jardine says a report on the relationship between the UK and Scottish Governments shows the need for changes to reflect devolution and described proposals as a potential move towards federalism.

The Scottish Affairs Committee report on intergovernmental relations, calls for a review of whether the existing Scotland Office should be replaced and suggests one option could be a new department of devolved nations and regions.

Ms Jardine said:

“There was clear evidence from those who have been at the centre of devolution over two decades that the intergovernmental framework needs to continue to develop. As a Scottish Liberal Democrat I see that has the potential to move us towards federalism.

“The committee heard evidence from both a former Liberal Democrat deputy First Minister and Labour First Minister that identified  suggestions for improving the way the intergovernmental structure works. 

“Lord Jim Wallace suggested a council of ministers of devolved administrations and Westminster on the European model, while the suggestion of a department of nations and regions has been muted before. Both suggestions have the potential to move us towards a federal structure.

“Certainly the Brexit process mess and disagreements over new powers and frameworks has underlined the need for a strong dispute resolution mechanism to be put in place.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats will continue to campaign for that and a federal structure as the logical and common sense conclusion to the devolution process.”

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