Lords demand limit on Scottish MPs’ powers if yes vote wins
MPs should be limited to dealing with constituency issues and Scottish affairs if independence is backed, says committee.
Scottish MPs should be barred from having any say on the UK’s negotiations on a deal to set up an independent Scotland if there is a yes vote in the referendum, an influential Lords committee has stated.
The House of Lords constitution committee said Scotland’s 59 MPs should be strictly limited to dealing with constituency issues and Scottish affairs immediately after a yes vote and then quit Westminster on the day Scotland declares independence.
But the committee, chaired by the former Labour minister Lady Jay, said that Scottish members of the Lords should still be allowed to sit in the upper chamber if they continued to pay UK taxes after independence, a recommendation denounced by the Scottish National party.
The fate of Scotland’s 59 MPs and its impact on the makeup of future Westminster parliaments is largely being avoided by the anti-independence parties, because of the potential impact on Labour’s prospects of winning an outright victory without their Scottish MPs and questions about their role if the Scottish parliament gets more powers after a no vote.
Jay said the committee wanted the government of the rest of the UK to champion the UK’s interests in any talks with Scottish fire minister Alex Salmond’s negotiating team. That would leave Scottish MPs facing a clear conflict of interest, which might even stop them voting on non-Scottish topics after the May 2015 general election.