“If Scotland votes No, expect no rewards from a grateful Westminster…”

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So, what’s the latest on Scotland? The fairest assessment is that’s there’s no real change. As John Curtice notes, the issues having polarised are showing no sign of shifting votes either way.

However, in one small regard he does hold out some hope for the Yes camp making some progress. It’s the issue of what further changes changes could happen if the vote in September is for a No.

First of all 56% of Yes voters now actually think that the powers of the Scottish Parliament would be increased if Scotland votes No, six points higher than at any time since ICM first asked this question in March.

Secondly, no less than 86% of those No voters who say they want more devolution say they will still vote No even if they were doubtful that more powers would be on their way. That figure too is an all-time high (previously, 81%) since the question was first posed as long ago as last September.

As Iain McWhirter writing in the Herald points out, Westminster is a village, with little time for tales of life outside its limited borders…

What Scots of all parties need to realise is that political life will not just return to normal after a No vote. It will be more difficult for Scotland to command the attention of Westminster after Septemberr.

The predominantly London based media will stop seeing Scotland as a threat or a challenge and go back to regarding it as a source of quirky tales of pandas and life on remote islands.

If Scotland votes No, expect no rewards from a grateful Westminster. That’s not how politics works. The Scotland card will have been played. Scots will have to find another way to shuffle the pack.

  • ShuggyMcGlumpher

    I don’t think those figures hold any hope for the Yes camp. It’s been a bit under-reported that one of the key reasons they haven’t made more progress seems to be that people simply don’t believe them. They are not at all convinced that they’re going to be better off in an independent Scotland – and I don’t see that there’s any evidence that they believe the nationalists when they warn more devolution isn’t going to happen. It’s anecdotal but I get the impression – and not just from No voters – that there’s a strong sense that the nationalists will now say anything to persuade people to vote Yes. There’s a serious credibility problem for the nationalists.

  • Brian Walker

    Mick, you might note that I discussed this in an admittedly fairly
    technical way a couple of days ago. Iain McWhirter echoes my point but from the
    point of view of a nudger towards Yes. In other words he would say that wouldn’t
    he? If you want to ensure absolutely that Scotland has formal control over its
    own taxation, you should vote for independence.

    It’s also true that unity among the UK Westminster parties over the degree
    of more devolution is most unlikely for the 2105 general election but it will
    be written into all the manifestos in some form. No doubt the degree of devo
    will be influenced by the size of the Yes vote but there will be a conscientious
    debate to reach conclusion in time for the next Holyrood election in May 2016.
    Hardly too long a time for such a subject.

    After that the Scotland Act 2012 comes into effect which requires Holyrood to raise 10p in the £ income tax. whatever happens in Westminster, a Lab-Lib Dem agreement in some form is the one to watch for Holyrood, in order to try to oust the SNP. They will resist devo max –the devolution of all tax powers, and go for supplementing social welfare while retaining the UK-wide “social union” that is, job seeker’s allowance, employment support allowance and the state old age pension. The timing of this is bound to depend on sorting out the confusion that is Iain Duncan Smith’s universal credit. Labour is bidding to raise 40 per cent of its budget from its own resources and hand control of three-quarters of basic income tax to Edinburgh.

    But as Jim Gallagher the former senior civil servant who was one of the architects of devolution and now the intellectual buttress of the No campaign says:
    “The choice among these options is not straightforward: and there are trade-offs for more devolution, which are not widely appreciated: the more the Scottish Parliament relies on domestic taxes, the less call it has on UK grant, and the more risk that Westminster will change the Barnett formula to make that grant needs-based; and the more challenge there will be from those representing England about the role of Scottish MPs at Westminster.”

    Trouble is, none of this makes the heart sing. Or perhaps after the thwarted romance of independence that would be a good thing. Either way, there’s little chance that Scotland will be forgotten after 18 September, even though it will have to take its place in the queue.

  • Jofrad

    Scotland will vote No with a substantial majority. The SNP have had 80 years to prepare for this vote and they’re going into it without a coherent curreny policy other than to say that the Westminster parties are bluffing and they’ll have no choice but give iScotland Currency Union. The SNP are a bunch of incompetant buffoons if they think the Scottish public are going to go for this (they probably don’t but have got no choice).
    Oh, and there WILL be more powers for Holyrood.

  • dougthedug

    “First of all 56% of Yes voters now actually think that the powers of the Scottish Parliament would be increased if Scotland votes No”

    Then the propaganda is working.

    Examine any of the proposed devolution schemes from Labour, the Tories and the Lib-Dems and they all come down to the same thing.

    Scotland will continue to be funded by a block grant and will have the power to hit its population with income tax increases if it requires more money.

    This is the same design as the original 1998 Scotland Act.

    All they’ve proposed to change is to split the current block grant into two portions. One portion collected from HMRC and the other from Westminster and called this Scotland collecting its own revenue. The overall sum of the two portions remains the same as the current Barnett derived block grant as long as Barnett survives. They’ve also raised the limits on how hard they Scottish Government can hit the Scottish population with income tax increases.

    That’s it. The rest is smoke and mirrors.

    Iain McWhirter is right.
    If Scotland votes No, expect no rewards from a grateful Westminster.

  • dougthedug

    either way, there’s little chance that Scotland will be forgotten after 18 September

    It will be forgotten. Devolution has been driven by a fear of independence. When that fear is gone Westminster will not waste its time trying to appease a non-existent threat.

    It matters not a whit what agreements the Scottish regions of the British parties make in Holyrood because they don’t have the power or authority within their own parties to make any changes in Westminster. I refer you back to the previous paragraph.

    In the event of a No vote then the Scottish Parliament will revert back to what it was designed to be, a regional, unimportant, block grant funded substitute for the Scottish Office.

  • Salmondnet

    MacWhirter is wrong. Scotland will get more power, which will encourage the Scots to seek yet more powers and salami slice their way to independence rather than going for a clean cut. You may observe that even SNP want to cling to a currency Union (having previously described the pound it as a “a millstone round Scotland’s neck”) as well as assorted other benefits of the Union.
    Either MacWhirter does not grasp the extent to which appeasement is the British establishment’s default option or, more likely, he wishes to mislead his compatriots in the hope of maximising the Yes vote.
    Since I am English I would be immensely pleased if he was right though. The Scottish Parliament should get no more power. It already has too much. The Scots should, like the Irish, make up their minds whether they want to share a state with the rest of us, or whether they do not. If they don’t, fine. We will accept their choice and will relate to them as we would the population of any other foreign country. If they do, equally fine, but it should be on the basis that all citizens have equal constitutional and economic rights, regardless of geographical location.

  • dougthedug

    Either MacWhirter does not grasp the extent to which appeasement is the British establishment’s default option or, more likely, he wishes to mislead his compatriots in the hope of maximising the Yes vote.

    But once there’s a no vote who have Westminster got to appease?

  • dougthedug

    Bit of an off topic question Mick. Why does the new site menu have Scotland, England and Wales under the UK drop down menu but Northern Ireland in a link by itself?

    Shouldn’t you change the UK title at the top of the drop-down to GB?

  • New Yorker

    If Scotland votes Yes, would it not be economically beneficial for England?

  • dougthedug

    I take it by England you mean the remainder of the UK after Scotland leaves.

    In answer to your question, no, because Scotland is the third richest region in the UK.

    Why do you think a cost-cutting, austerity driven Conservative Government is so desperate to keep us?

    And that doesn’t even take the oil into account.

  • Davros64

    More fool the Scots if they do…