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    Tuesday
    Sep232014

    BEN THOMSON: "LET THE REALITY MATCH THE RHETORIC"

    Following the No result in the independence referendum and subsequent speeches by both First Minister Alex Salmond and Prime Minister David Cameron, Ben Thomson, Chairman of Reform Scotland and Devo Plus, said:

    “Scotland has spoken and wants to remain in the UK.

    "But Scotland wants change. Those that supported the UK should make no mistake that 45% of Scotland has put the UK on notice. If Westminster fails to deliver substantial fiscal and welfare powers, their number will only grow.

    “David Cameron made an historic speech this morning. We welcome his rhetoric, which made clear that the proposals in all three pro-UK party devolution commission reports will be implemented in full. This would go a substantial way towards Devo Plus, which we believe is the point at which Scotland achieves proper fiscal and welfare responsibility and accountability.

    "His comments extended beyond Scotland, and we also welcome his commitment to extend the concept of devolution around the UK.

    "Furthermore, we welcome Alex Salmond's speech, which made clear that the Scottish Government will have a watching brief on the Westminster Government to ensure that the promises are carried out. Devo Plus will do likewise.

    "Reform Scotland will continue to promote Devo Plus. We all have the potential to participate in the biggest constitutional change in modern history. Let the reality match the rhetoric."

    Sunday
    Sep012013

    New opinion poll: Voters demand pre-referendum agreement on a new constitutional settlement 

    Devo Plus calls for parties to sign ‘Glasgow Agreement’ on a new Union between Scotland and the rest of the UK

     

    New polling, conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Devo Plus group, has shown the dramatic effect which Devo Plus could have on the result of the independence referendum.

    The polling, conducted from 19-22 August, shows that the adoption of Devo Plus makes the option of remaining within the United Kingdom a significantly more attractive proposition.

    The key findings are as follows:

    • 16% of those voters not currently intending to vote ‘no’ are more likely to do so if their vote helps to deliver Devo Plus

    Almost one-in-three Labour voters not intending to vote ‘no’ would be more likely to do so

    Even one-in-ten SNP voters would be more likely to vote ‘no’ if they got Devo Plus

    • An absolute majority of all voters want the anti-independence parties to set out their vision of more powers for the Scottish Parliament before the referendum

    58% of Labour voters want these powers set out before the referendum, against 12% who want them set out afterwards

    65% of SNP voters agree, against only 7% who think it should take place after the referendum

     

    Commenting, Ben Thomson, Chairman of Devo Plus, said:

    “Our previous polling on this issue showed that Devo Plus was the most popular option for Scotland’s constitutional future, and this poll confirms its popularity.

    “What this poll clearly demonstrates is the widespread public backing for an agreement on more powers for the Scottish Parliament in advance of the referendum, and the impact that agreement could have on the result. Strikingly, for every person who believes an agreement can wait until after the referendum, there are five who want an agreement now.

    “That’s why we are urging parties to sign up to our ‘Glasgow Agreement’. The Glasgow Agreement, based on our paper A New Union, will provide the foundation for further powers whilst maintaining an enduring relationship between Scotland and the rest of the UK.

    “This is a unique opportunity to create a new constitutional settlement for Scotland within the UK. Over the next year and beyond, we will be working with all parties to help deliver it.”

    Saturday
    Feb162013

    Jeremy Purvis answers BBC web viewers' questions

    Click the link below to watch Glenn Campbell's interview of Jeremy Purvis.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-21448429

    "The leader of the campaign to win new powers for the Scottish Parliament has said he is "enthusiastic" that the pro-union parties will be able to agree on which new responsibilities could be devolved to Holyrood.

    Ahead of the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, Jeremy Purvis of the Devo Plus group, urged parties to say what would happen regarding Holyrood powers, if the public voted "no".

    Voters will be asked a straight yes/no question on independence, come the 2014 referendum.

    The Scottish government budget is currently funded by the UK Treasury and many financial powers are reserved, leading some to argue that Scotland is not properly accountable for the money it spends.

    Devo Plus has proposed that Holyrood, as part of the UK, could raise most of its own money by 2020 and has urged Labour, the Tories and Liberal Democrats to agree proposals before the referendum and include them in their manifestoes for the 2015 UK election.

    Speaking in the latest of a series of BBC webcasts on Scotland's future, Mr Purvis said the three parties had all been considering options to strengthen devolution.

    The former Liberal Democrat MSP, who has also spoken in support of the Better Together campaign to keep the Union, said: "As a member of a devo plus group, a cross-party group, working with other parties, I'm also enthusiastic that the work that they are doing bodes very well for the future."