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Brilliant idea, go for it! It will help to restore Conservative fortunes in Scotland AND show the ever-weary English that Scotland believes in the Union. There's absolutely nothing for us to lose!!!!!

Certainly worth considering, provided the text of the question was agreed in advance to ensure it wasn't biased.

I think this is a crazy idea. The charismatic Alex Salmond should not be misunderestimated as George Bush might say. We should not risk being accomplices to the end of the United Kingdom.

Ha! Hate to say ' i told you so' , but i told you so. The Scottish Election campaign was one of the most inane acts ever perpretrated by a party seeking election. Why on Earth the Party did not think out a CLEAR and straightforward position on 'potential coalition' building and a commitment to support a democratic vote to 'end the debate' about Scottish Independence. From the outset, it was clear that Labour were finished as a 'credible' Executive leader. The LibbyDems also lost credibility points through their opportunistic posturing during their time in the Executive. Instead of having an unstable SNP minority administration the Party should have said from the outset that we would support the SNP in 'confidence motions' unless something goes very much pear-shaped. Plus, we are not against giving people ' a say' so therefore we should have supported, in principle, a multi-question referendum on Scotland's future. Fact of the matter is , we LOST votes/seats due to stupidity, and we've made ourselves slightly ridiculous by 'U-Turning' on the question of a referendum. Personnel in the Scottish Party need a quiet talking to.

It's all going to pan out like this!
(Scroll down if necessary.)

CCHQ Spy June 17,10:30
"We should not risk being accomplices to the end of the United Kingdom."

So, as with Europe, don't let's risk a referendum on what the people themselves want? The unity of the Kingdom ended with devolution.

The question of Scottish/English independence is a boil that needs to be lanced. Offer the stark unequivocal choice between continued Union or independence to settle the matter. The result would not be a foregone conclusion, as some commentators reckon that some pro-SNP voting was anti-Labour rather than pro-independence.

simon June 17, 10:35
"The Scottish Election campaign was one of the most inane acts ever perpetrated .."

Another one having been originally to think that devolution would have put the whole nationalism business to rest, rather than stir up further expectations.

"..a multi-question referendum on Scotland's future.."

Only if an additional option to stark either/or choice was: Scrap devolution and return to proper UK. Believe it or not but there are Scots who disagree even with devolution.

Anything beyond those clearcut choices should be put to a referendum in England as well, i.e no offer of something a wee bit more than the present devolution frippery but a wee bit less than full independence. That would be taken by Nats merely as a further step towards the ultimate goal rather than a final outcome and would simply accentuate the differing treatments between Scottish and English domiciled UK residents.

So, the Scottish Tories would support a Referendum on Independence in Scotland.

Will the English Tories support a Referendum on an English Parliament for the English. Will they scrap the Barnett Formula whereby all Scots get an extra £1500 more than the English, which amounts to an extra £13bn pa.

The English need parity with the Scots.

Well that's just ****** great!! The Tories are supporting yet another referendum for the Scots, but won't let the English enter even the first debate and choice for their own Parliament.

It's sickening, but it will make some great letters to the press.

I think it makes sense to support the call to let people have their say. I think the Scots are likely not to go for full independence but for example for a federal UK (Scotland) and this is what the tories should support. The only route to recovery for the tories in Scotland is accepting the desire for greater self determination including independent tax raising powers etc.

The tories want another referendum in Scotland in the hope they'll say no?
Why not a referendum in England to see what we want?. Why are we in England held hostage to what every body else wants?
Even if they vote no to independence they will be forever threatening to go unless they get their own way.
Will some one please stop this farce and force independence on Scotland.

So you're proposing a referendum on independence in the Scotland in the hope that the people of Scotland will vote No?
That explains I suppose why you will not propose a referendum on independence in England - it is because the English would vote Yes.
The question of whether the Union should continue and in what form should be put the people in all four constituent parties of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and N. Ireland. The people never voted for the Union in the first place. The people of Wales had no choice under Henry VIII. The people of Scotland had no choice in 1707. The people of Ireland had no choice in 1800. The people of England have never had any choice at all - they have never been asked and they were not asked when N.Ireland, Scotland and Wales were offered devolution.

Excellent idea. The Conservative Party should be about giving power to the people. This would give the people of Scotland the power to decide there own futures.
How can we oppose it and then call for a referendum on the Europe Constitution or whatever the latest name its been given.

A most interesting development especially as it comes from the most reactionary unionist party in Scotland. Certainly it is to be welcomed and maybe it will be followed by the other two unionist parties?

Independence First the non party political campaign for a referendum on Independence, has members from every political party and also of no party affiliations. They have been campaigning since February 2005 for a referendum and have been successful in bringing a referendum into the public spotlight.

Polls from 1998 indicate that there is a small majority in favour of Independence and is it were better known through the media that such a majority exists, many more people would come down off the fence and would vote yes. Scotland will need a party of business to manage independence, so far only the Scottish Enterprise party is both pro business and pro Independence.


Niall Aslen
National Treasurer
Independence First.

This illustrates so clearly why the Scottish and British Conservatives (who should be called English Conservatives -- quel surprise) need to split. Unionists should be opposed to an independence referendum, but it clearly is the right Conservative thing to do.

Now we just need the English Conservatives to notice that Unionism is dying and act with the typical pragmatic response that has been Tory history.

Well that is good to know,now how about a vote by the English Conservatives(are they any? for a fair deal for England,nothing less than an English Parliament.

As someone born and living in Scotland I think the referendum on independance is a good idea and I agree with people in England having a referendum also.
Its time this debate about the future or otherwise of the United Kingdom was carried out as soon as possible because of the gross unfairnesses to both England and Scotland that has resulted from Blair and Browns cynical policies.
However, as 90% of our laws are imposed on the United Kingdom from Brussels its more important to gain independance from the EU first, otherwise what would be the difference between the puppet government of the UK in Westminster we have now, with the seperatist puppet governments in Edinburgh and London.
The SNP is fond of using the success of equally small countries like Norway as an example of small nation independance.
The main reason Norway is so successful especially in the oil business (see www.rigzone.com) is that, despite most of its politicans, media and its chattering classes encouraging people to vote yes, the smart Norwegian people voted a resounding NO to joining the EU when a referendum was held 20 years ago

"With Scotland's place in the Union settled..."

Ask the Canadians if umpteen "never-endums" have settled the place of Quebec.

That's a bit of an exaggeration, John F, it's more likely to be only 80%.

Assuming our position is not too different from that of the Germans - of course all member states get the same volume of rubbish from Brussels, so any variation in percentage terms should only reflect the volume of homegrown legislation.


"Between 1998 and 2004, according to the German ministry of justice, 23,167 legal acts were adopted in Germany, of which 18,917, some 80% of the total, were of EU origin, meaning that only one-fifth originated domestically."

"Referring to this, former president of Germany Roman Herzog wrote in Welt Am Sonntag on 14 January "By far the largest part of the current laws in Germany are agreed by the Council of Ministers and not the German parliament...Therefore the question has to be asked whether Germany can still unreservedly call itself a parliamentary democracy." "

Of course, its up to us in England to ensure that the Scots give the overwhelming response that WE want - YES TO INDEPENDENCE.

They wil vote for it, because they know that if they don't jump, they will be pushed and that will shame them in the eyes of the world.

So yes, let's give the Scots that referendum and start donating to the SNP for those vital funds. I'll even travel to Scotland myself to help out in the campaigning.

Let's not forget that the next GE is likely to provide a Tory government and the Scots would rather have independence than that. They will be reminded at every opportunity.

In the words of a wise English man - "For God's sakes, just go."

BBC now has this on the SoS story.

A referendum on Scottish independence would be excellent. Neither Scotland nor, more importantly, the rest of the United Kingdom can make sensible plans while the Scots are still threatening (or promising?) to go, but not going.

What is not acceptable is The Scotaman's suggestion that a referendum extending only to the Scots should offer some other relationship with the United Kingdom short of independence. Independence is a matter for the Scots. Any other constitutional relationship is a matter for everyone.

Meanwhile, if referendums are on the agenda and we want to end future planning uncertainties, it would be sensible to ask the English and the Welsh whether they want to remain in the Union and, if so, whether they each want a parliament on the Scottish model. Failure to do this will ensure that constitutional wrangling continues for the foreseable future, to the detriment of us all.

The most disgusting part of this two faced treachery, is that the Tories are actually saying they are content for English assets and English taxes to be decided upon and divided up by the Scottish Prime Minister and the Scottish Executive, for the benefit of Scotland and the detriment of England, should the Scots decide that they no longer want to be part of the Union.

How else will the final settlement be made when the ruling elite will not allow her own Parliament?

England has been sold down the river by the whole of Westminster and for the benefit of those who haven't yet been killed off or chased out of the country by the National Apartheid Service and Tartan Tax, they're now stabbing us in the back.

What is left for us to do about it, when democracy is well and truly dead?

This Tory never thought he would see the day ... (and he still may not, as the views of the Party Vice Chairman and some unnamed MSPs are a long way from being party policy). If this worrying view becomes party policy, then any vote must be put not only to Scottish voters but also to voters in the rest of the United Kingdom. After all, what is at question is a vote on the constitution of the nation, a matter which affects everyone. This was what happened when Czechoslovakia was dissolved: it was not just Czechs or Slovaks alone who made the decision.

The irony is that if both Scots and the rest of the people of the UK were polled, the rest might well vote for Scotland to leave. The English in particular have become pretty tired of seeing the benefits of devolution fall in to the laps of everyone but themselves, and often at their expense: first it was free care for the elderly in Scotland; then a scrapping of prescription charges in Wales; and most recently an end to the graduate endowment tax in Scotland, a move which specifically excludes English students who study in Scotland. An English vote for an end to the Union with Scotland would relieve England of the costs of the big government, massive benefit culture North of the Border. Many canny Scots, conscious of this, would be likely to vote to retain the fatted English calf: how else could the huge Scottish state spending be maintained at the artificially low levels of taxation north of the border?

It would be ironic indeed if Scotland were to leave the Union not by voting to walk away, but as a result of being chucked out by its southern neighbour. If such were the state of affairs which came to pass, then those responsible would be the architects of the current lop sided devolutionary settlement: New Labour. What a 'legacy' that would be for 'Tony' Blair!

I am resolutely in favour of maintaining the British Union. However the Union cannot continue unless the the current sense of grievance many English voters currently feel towards Scotland is addressed. The solution is twofold: (1) immediately create an English Grand Committee at Westminster, which would debate and vote on English maters (thus answering the so-called 'West Lothian' question); and (2) at the same time, end the block Treasury grant to Scotland, and insist that all purely Scottish government spending is paid for out of Scottish taxation. A nation which has a basic rate of income tax of 22% should no longer be able to spend (thanks to English money) as if the rate were 30%. Fiscal autonomy for Scotland would be a blast of icy cold air to the big spending politicians of Scotland.

Both an English Grand Committee and fiscal autonomy for Scotland would be likely to placate English voters and ensure that, if there is to be any vote on independence both North and South of the border, Scots and English would be likely to vote No.

When the Scots have their own Parliament and the Welsh their own Assembly (being constantly upgraded so it will reach Parliament status), why should the English be forced to settle for a mere Grand Committee? Why should the English alone be denied the right to elect their own separate, national government?

Exactly how would you decide which policies apply only to England when they have all been either formulate or agreed by an MP elected in Scotalnd (the forthcoming Scottish PM), whose own constituents will not be affected, other than via the barnett formula?

But the Tories know this. Its another one of their half-arsed policies that will never get through Parliament, let alone the HOL.

"England has been sold down the river by the whole of Westminster"
That one made me laugh!!!
The majority of MP's at Westminster are voted in by the people of England. Calm down dears, you live in a democracy and should you wish to have a referendum on the Union then campaign and vote in enough like minded MP's who will facilitate this.
We recently had an election and the SNP won with a majority of ONE, they want a referendum in this parliament and I for one would welcome one, the sooner the better.
I still think it was the biggest single mistake by all the Unionist parties that they did not come together to campaign for this at the earliest opportunity in this parliament at a time when their position was at its strongest.
The SNP did not win because the people of Scotland want Independence, they won because people wanted a change from the Labour party. I think that this uncertainty is bound to damage the Scottish economy and it needs to be addressed sooner rather than later as the underlying resentment is more damaging to the Union in the long term.

"The solution is twofold: (1) immediately create an English Grand Committee at Westminster, which would debate and vote on English maters -"
Thus Tory Heaven .

Why on earth must the English settle for being fobbed off with a mere committee , Grand or otherwise , when Scotland has a full blown parliament ?
The days of trying this on , TH , are long gone . England will settle for nothing less than an English Parliament ans internal self rule , including fiscal independence .


Even as one who supports the United Kingdom ( a federal one )it amazes me that , yet again , the Tories can be so onesidedly and blythly biased against England . And so out of date .
This idea of challenging Salmond with a referendum begs the question of
Why not also for England ?
If this were done then the answer from England might well be for English independence . This would be the first and only time that the English had EVER been consulted on their constitution and participation in the United Kingdom which was imposed on us without any consultation , other than in the English parliament of 1706 ( about 500 members and not very democratic ) , whatever .

The focus of this debate is beginning to move from Scotland to England .

Jake MB BS: I don't mind whether England has a Grand Committee or a Parliament, so long as it's one of the two and there is thus found some way to deal with the English sense of being 'left out' of the process of devolving decision making. Frankly, I would prefer a Grand Committee, as it will cost less and not create another group of politicans paid for out of the public purse. I say that as I would be happy to see the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly replaced by Grand Committees of Westminster MPs, but I suppose it is probably too late to replace the genie in the bottle.

One only has to look at the ghastly and totally 'rootless' parliament building in Edinburgh (visited by David Dimbleby last night in his excellent series on buildings of Britain), and consider how this eyesore is already populated by the lobbyists and other teeming parasites of modern democracy, to realise that this Frankenstein monster cannot be wished away.

I am very much afraid that the Union cannot now be preserved in anything like its old state. The best defence against secession may be a form of federalism which respects English rights.

Excellent, and the national party states that it will abide with the result. If the vote is Yes, independence will be granted within a year of a Tory government being returned to power, if 'No' an English parliament will be created with the same powers as the Scottish one. Westminster will be down graded as It will only consider National and international policies. It is a win/ win situation, I would love to see Brown’s face If he had to fight an election with this hanging over him, as he would have no were to go. He can not say ‘no’ in ether case, as it will be seen as un- democratic.

Personally I'm fed up with only Scottish opinion being worthy of consideration on independence, devolution or any other constitutional matter.
I want shot of the Scots - NOW! The liklihood is that many if not most English people feel as I do. 85% of the UK's population is deliberately ignored.
The press is full of the healthcare apartheid perpetrated against the English. What is studiously avoided is the eradication of the English identity and culture. The previous Tory governments were equally culpable in this. The last thing Irishman Morwhinny (however it is spelt) was to put a bypass through Newbury battlefield, as did Rifkind through Naseby.
English Heritage is fronted by a Scot, Natural England by an Irish woman. These people couldn't care less about English culture, in my opinion, unless it is to "Britishify" it or to denigrate it by association with slavery, for example.
Stuff the Union

Having lived in Scotland for years I am increasingly of the opinion that the Union is on its last legs. It's nolonger a case of 'why', 'what if' or a where, but a when.

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