At an IPPR conference on 7th December, Kezia Dugdale called for a new act of union in order to “unify the United Kingdom,” with an agreement to build a more federal arrangement. However Falkirk East SNP MSP, Angus MacDonald, has said that this is another promise from Labour that may as well be written in the sand.

Through the Smith Commission, which led to the Scotland Act (2016) devolving 15% of Welfare powers along with control over road signs to Holyrood, Labour opposed more devolution than what was agreed in the commission, and Kezia Dugdale has constantly demanded that everyone else stop talking about the constitution, and get on with the day job.

The Labour leader in Scotland’s calls came on the same day as the SNP group in Westminster put forward an amendment to the Labour motion calling on the UK Government to respect parts of the UK, like Scotland, who voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, and also calls for a formal role for the devolved administrations including seeking their agreement before Article 50 is triggered. An amendment which was not  even selected to be considered by Westminster.

Commenting, Angus MacDonald, SNP MSP for Falkirk East said:

“The SNP have always made the case for Scotland to be given more powers at Holyrood. This would allow the Scottish Government to choose different policies to those which have been forced upon it by a Tory Government in Westminster. It would appear to be a positive step if Labour have truly committed to that notion, and I look forward to them joining us in making that case.

“However, this is nothing we have not heard before. We have had ex-Labour Prime Ministers promising the closest thing to federalism this country has ever seen. Promises, dating back years, of more powers and the maximum devolution possible were certainly not carved in stone, and may as well have been written in the sand. Well it would seem that Labour have now been caught in the tide too.

“We are seeing the failure of Labour to stand up and be an opposition in Westminster, we have seen the demise of Labour in Scotland at the Scottish Parliament elections, and we continue to see the failure of a Labour run administration in Falkirk Council which has recently had a damning indictment passed down from the Audit Commission, and now we see that the perpetrators of this mismanagement are stepping away from their legacy at next year’s Local Government Elections.

“Labour need to be serious if they want to stand up for Scotland’s interests. The UK government’s damaging plans to drag Scotland out the EU against its will, will have a devastating impact on jobs and the economy in Scotland. It will also have a significant impact on policy areas that are the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament. If Labour fails to stand up with the SNP for Scotland’s interests where Brexit is concerned in any future debate, and instead choose to let the Tories have their wicked ways, then Labour will once again have sold Scotland down the river and will prove Kezia Dugdale’s words to be hollow.

“I welcome these developments, however actions speak louder than words, and it has been proved time and again that hollow words are all Labour are able to deal in.”

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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