Westminster Mismanagement

UK To Get VETO On Gordon Brown’s Devo Proposals

Gordon Brown Wrong Again

Gordon Brown Wrong Again

Gordon Brown’s Devo Timetable unconstitutional according to House Of Lords.

In an act of desperation the NO campaign pushed Gordon Brown to the fore to announce a timetable for what they call “more powers” in the event of a NO vote.  This supposedly iron clad timetable does not include at any point a second referendum that allows for the people in the rest of the UK to vote on whether Scotland should be granted more powers.

However research from Business for Scotland has identified that according to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution, 24th Report of Session 2010–12, Gordon Brown’s cobbled together timetable would be unconstitutional.

Let’s be clear, the House of Lords’ report states categorically that any further powers for Scotland should be subject to a UK -wide constitutional process, including the possibility of a UK-wide referendum.  This means that the massive pool of MPs representing London and the South East, who benefit most from the union, effectively get a veto on whether or not to reform it.

Ironically, just as honest attempts to reform the Westminster voting system and second chamber descended into dissatisfying fudge, so would further devolution for Scotland and Gordon Brown’s panicked announcement of an iron clad timetable disintegrate within days – much like most of the scare stories of the NO Camp.

Excerpt from the House of Lords’ report:

44. The different constitutional outcome of “devolution max” requires a distinct constitutional process for its achievement. As illustrated by the potential for competing tax regimes within the United Kingdom, such an arrangement for one member of the Union would necessarily have real, deep and immediate consequences for the other members and for the Union as a whole. Properly to secure the legitimate interests of each and all, proposals as to “devolution max” would first have to be developed through intergovernmental negotiations conducted, not just bilaterally with the UK Government, but on an inclusive, multilateral basis across the Union state.

45. Whereas both the UK Government and the Scottish Government have recognised that independence is a Scottish question, “devolution max” is not.  Proper constitutional process requires that negotiations involving all parts of the United Kingdom precede any referendum on an agreed scheme of “devolution max.”

This was reported at the time that further devolution would require a UK wide referendum. The media seem to have largely forgotten this rather large constitutional barrier to more powers.

The media have labelled Gordon Brown’s timetable as a Devo Max offer but that is not an accurate description, it is more like Devo Lite but it still must be put to the Westminster Parliament and House of Lords, and to the people of the rest of the UK, before it is offered to the people of Scotland.

We can reasonably conclude that there can be no guarantee of more powers or any trust in the promises of the NO camp when the rest of the UK get to veto any offer.  The timetable is not iron clad; it is shrouded in uncertainty. It is this very problem – “that Devo Max cannot be delivered at all” that the Westminster parties fought tooth and nail to keep it off the ballot paper.

This problem is growing by the day but it is going largely unreported by the Metropolitan press.  William Hague standing in for the PM at Prime Minister’s Question Time said “Fast tracking devolution for Scotland was not Government policy”.  They say one thing to the people of Scotland and quite another at Westminster – how can anyone believe a word they say?

Reported in The Herald today:

Mark Field, Tory MP for the City of London:

“We don’t know quite what exactly devo-max type powers have now been offered as a last-gasp attempt to ensure the UK stays together. It really is an appeasement to a large extent to the SNP but this short-termist thinking is no way to conduct what is fundamental constitutional change within the UK,”

Questions must be asked of the No Campaign:

Where in the timetable is the referendum on more powers for Scotland that gives the rest of the UK a veto?

If there is not to be one then are they aware that the House of Lords’ report states that it would be unconstitutional?

If what is on offer is not Devo Max and requires no UK veto, is it just the fudged offer of uncertain and non-guaranteed more powers offered and rejected by the Scottish people earlier on in the year?

The people of Scotland deserve the truth – the No campaign must be asked to state clearly to the people of Scotland that this offer is nothing new – it is not Devo Max and there are no powers guaranteed; it is just a cynical spin doctoring exercise on a failed policy from a failed campaign.

A quick examination of the powers on offer demonstrates that even if you added up all the powers from all the Westminster parties that’s absolutely no more than 30% of the powers Scotland needs to grow our economy to protect our NHS, to create jobs for the young and unemployed, to invest in Scotland’s future and avoid the damaging impact of austerity. Whereas independence grants the people of Scotland 100% sovereignty and the power required to begin the journey to creating a more prosperous, sustainable, fairer and more confident Scotland.


The No Campaign’s last ditch attempt to dress up mutton as lamb has failed spectacularly and the Scottish people have no choice but to doubt anything and everything the say right up to the yes vote on Thursday 18th.

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About the author

Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp

Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp is the Founder and Chief Executive of Business for Scotland. Before becoming CEO of Business for Scotland Gordon ran a business strategy and social media, sales & marketing consultancy.

With a degree in business, marketing and economics, Gordon has worked as an economic development planning professional, and in marketing roles specialising in pricing modelling and promotional evaluation for global companies (including P&G).

Gordon benefits (not suffers) from dyslexia, and is a proponent of the emerging New Economics School. Gordon contributes articles to Business for Scotland, The National and Believe in Scotland.


  • In the first instance, we must fight the Scottish MPs who tried to protect their own place on the gravy train by cheating the Scottish people. Hopefully the SNP will take many of their seats in the GE, which will warn others of the dangers of betrayal. WM will be too busy fighting UKIP to bother fighting up here. A healthy block of SNP MPs can cause mayhem at WM. The fight-back starts now. Then we can tackle the poison in the Scottish Parliament the following year. And let’s not forget the councils.

  • The way we are being lied to and manipulated is utterly shameful. All these promises at the eleventh hour – AS IF we would believe a word. Now the Daily Record has “The Vow” slapped on its front page, a pathetic attempt by three Westminster party leaders to con us into voting No.

    And yet, knowing that further devolved powers are not possible, the media continue to spread the lie that they are.

    This is a political union I am heartily sick of.

  • It is now absolutely clear that Gordon Brown’s timetable offer to the Scottish people was pure fantasy. He would know it was at the time of offering it. All he wanted to do was pull the wool over our eyes. He wanted to treat us like mushrooms, keep us in the dark and feed us s….

    Well it looks like he’s been rumbled.

    Be certain to vote YES on the 18th.

    • Past caring anymore. It was very very clear from the outset that not only was his offers utter drivel and unrealistic, they were also against the election process of changing new offers within the last 4 weeks. What was done? NOTHING!

      This was meant to be a YES or NO vote. In the end, the NO vote was removed for Browns devo max/home rule. What was done about it? NOTHING!

      Now around 18 – 20 different allegations of vote rigging, cheating, etc.. What was done? NOTHING!

      Horrendous bias media etc.. What was done? NOTHING!

      So making reports such as this, or any other claims is an utter waste of time, you know why? NOTHING WILL BE DONE, NOBODY WILL ACT AND WE WILL BE IN THE SAME POSITION IN 6 MONTHS regardless of what claims are made!

      Nothing will ever be done and, in 20 years time, we will still be sat here only with a great deal less oil, chemicals seeping out of the ground, our water table damaged beyond any form of repair and the potential of more earthquakes. Pensions will be worthless, poor will be even poorer and more of them. AND WE WILL ALL BE SAT HERE SPEAKING ABOUT THE SAME THINGS, why? BECAUSE NOTHING IS EVER DONE!

      So yes, great article and well put but guess what? It worthless as nothing will be done. FACT!

  • Gone in 60 seconds explains why Trident or any other nuclear weapon is no longer a deterrent but a hindrance.

    All you get from the better together group is the fear factor and lies about trident.

    Please take a moment to read what they aren’t telling you.
    Over a decade ago Alistair Darlings Labour government knew that Russian technology was being developed to obliterate trident wherever it is on land or sea. This to me and others is a true documented fact so why are they not telling the people of Scotland this? Why do they still accept weapons of mass destruction as part of our future?
    Perhaps Tories like Ms Ruth Davidson and Co has explained this to their friend Sir Ian Woods. His children’s children who can afford other accommodation in other countries have the means to escape. More importantly they should tell the truth and let the real people of Scotland that can’t afford to flee a nuclear disaster decide the facts about nuclear weapons and the real hindrances of these American owned weapons!

    Gone in 60 seconds explains this and more and was sent to Tony Blair, Gordon Brown more than a decade ago. Number 10 responded to it back then as did others like G W Bush and Co, so how can the people in Scotland trust a Westminster vision that we are better together when Westminster governments has targeted Scotland as its first line of defence knowing Trident can be made to self explode? Not only that, there is the Broken Arrow agreement that states after the first explosion government contact between East and West is made to agree terms. Exactly what happened when the US sank the Russian submarine the Kursk K-141? The head of the CIA was in Russia the next day with gold to placate. Gold is no good to Scotland when the areas that are not wiped out are so badly polluted by radiation it becomes a no go area, just like parts of Japan after its nuclear plant exploded. You won’t need to be concerned about job/currencies because Scotland will be no more than a nuclear wasteland.

    The US government know this but are still, with the help of London based governments, going to dump antiquated rocket technology in Scotland. Obama who also received this info when he was a Senator is only now trying desperately to counter develop technologies that make missiles useless. The reason it was stated to the G W Bush administration when he first came to power was that it was his vision to revamp the star wars programme, (the son of star wars).This was a useless laser light show down to the info in gone in 60 seconds. When we were invited to NASA in Washington DC in 1995, they knew the hindrance of missiles as we did, but the world didn’t.

    Ms Davidson praised Tony Blair for great work in getting G W Bush and Putin to reduce their nuclear arsenal. The truth is Blair had zero to do with it. It was down to the fear of having them and the weapon systems that means you only have 60 seconds to react before nuclear missiles are detonated.

    Voting no thanks means you could have people like buffoon Boris Johnson as PM who doesn’t need permission to push the nuclear war button. Imagine the scenario of one of G W Bush family as President and Boris Prime Minister god help us, because that is likely to happen. Imagine the scenario if those two did push the button and missiles headed for a target in Russia they would have to fly over Europe and could be intercepted over neutral non nuclear countries of the EU. The fact it is must be illegal to target countries like Russia using other countries airspace. Maybe this is one of the reasons why the Americans are trying to dump their weapons around the world as part of their NATO shield.
    Ms Davidson also stated in the debate on Tuesday night in Edinburgh 2nd September 2014 about Russia and Ukraine seemingly war, as justifying her reason for nuclear weapons. NATO was set up because of the cold war! The cold war seemingly ended so why do we still need NATO? As has already been stated the Americans need to stop Russia and China by surrounding them with antiquated weapons that can be made to detonate on their own doorstep, can be the only logical train of thought for the Hawks in DC.

    Clearly the look on Obama’s face as he along with David Cameron and other NATO leaders all gazed up at the flyover by the Royal Air force on the second day of the NATO summit 5th September 2014 in the Welsh city of Newport says it all. Obama was looking at antiquated warfare technologies flying over their heads.

    Unlike (trust me) Alistair Darling and Ms Davidson, we the Scottish people know what’s best for Scotland, rather than a Tory government we did not elect, by voting them out for good with a YES vote.
    In both debates Darling proudly shouted that he had managed the financial crisis, but he did not tell you that his government along with RBS, Ford and other car giants knew the financial collapse in 2007 was going to happen because there is documented letters to the Labour government that were acknowledged by them as far back as 1997 warning them about this. Did they stop or try and prevent the collapse of car and bank giants? No.
    The Government know about gone in 60 but are still prepared to sacrifice Scotland as their first line of defence.

    The truth is out there all you have to do is demand the answers!

    Gordon Smith

    • Why are we NOT surprised. Everything North of the Watford Gap is irrelevant to Londonshire!

      Excellent piece Gordon!! Thanks.

  • Documented correspondences dated as far back as 1997 from 10 Downing Street and others like RBS, Ford cars and GM in the USA, clearly show they were given warning of a catastrophic financial downturn in the US housing market in 2007. Tory or Labour just lie, lie, lie and let disasters happen. Just like the USA government who know Trident is no longer a deterrent because they have the technology to make it detonate/explode no matter where it is. It’s the Scottish people at risk not those like Sir Ian Woods children! So nothing Gordon Brown and Co says or does have any longevity or honesty.

  • Of course it’s never going to happen…who in their right mind ever thought it would?
    I see he’s threatening to stand for Holyrood in the event of a Yes vote. It’s almost enough to make me vote No. But not quite, because even Scottish Labour would be hard pushed to select this war-mongering, pension-plundering liar as a candidate.

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