U.K. Retaliates Against Scotland Independence Attempt: May Strip Powers

After attempting to gain independence from England last year, Scotland now must face the music about their failed attempt to leave the U.K. behind with a snub from U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron. Usual headlines about David Cameron include calling Ed Milibran a “waste of space.”

Cameron’s first visit to Scotland after they voted against independence did not turn out as the government of Scotland expected. Cameron feels satisfied that he is not being harsh about changes to the Scottish government that he will be enacting. The BBC wrote that Scottish ministers saw the new plans for Scottish Parliament powers were “watered down” from previous key vows and promises made to the government of Scotland if they voted “no” for independence from the U.K.

In mid-September, The Guardian UK reported that Prime Minister David Cameron was making an “emotional plea” and would be “utterly heartbroken” if Scotland put independence on the ballots. The vote by Scotland, according to Cameron, would end the U.K. “for good, for ever.”

With a breaking voice, Cameron pleaded with Scotland’s voters and said in a speech, “It is my duty to be clear about the likely consequences of a yes vote. Independence would not be a trial separation. It would be a painful divorce…. If you don’t like me – I won’t be here forever. If you don’t like this government – it won’t last forever. But if you leave the UK – that will be forever.”

In mid-September, chief executive of Yes Scotland, Blair Jenkins, responded to David Cameron’s pleas as, “the same litany of empty threats and empty promises we have come to expect from the no campaign – and he is the prime minister who has been orchestrating the campaign of ridiculous scaremongering being directed against Scotland.”

Blair Jenkins concluded by saying, “the people of Scotland can get all the powers we need to build a better, fairer country by believing in ourselves and voting yes.”

The issues that caused Scotland to vote for independence were explained by The Guardian UK writer, Ben Thomson, who stated that he was close to voting ‘yes’ for Scotland’s independence because he was so, “disappointed by the failure of the UK parties to make an ambitious, concrete offer for greater tax powers, beyond a promise to agree new powers next year.”

To encourage Scotland to vote ‘no’ on independence, in September, David Cameron, Ed Miliband, and Nick Clegg all signed a pledge that was published in the Daily Record called “The Vow.” The Guardian states that, “It promised they would give the Scottish parliament a legal guarantee of its independence from Westminster and to protect the Treasury’s funding system, known as the Barnett formula.”

There were also other promises made to Scotland before the independence vote in September. In early 2014, Gordon Brown, the former Labour Prime Minister, wanted Scotland to have three things: legal protection from Westminster for Scotland, a “clear statement of purpose for the UK guaranteeing fairness,” and the ability for Scotland to spend more on their national healthcare services by being able to set income tax rates.

Now that the new year has arrived, Prime Minister David Cameron has been accused of breaking his vows to the people of Scotland. In an Independent UK report on September 19, Cameron was excited that Scotland voted against going independent and planned to go through with his promises to give some new powers to the government of Scotland. At the end of November, The Guardian UK published a document made by David Cameron that outlined which powers would be given to the government of Scotland called the “Smith Commission.”

Despite making the “Smith Commission” public, a recent report from The Guardian UK states that, “David Cameron, in his visit to Scotland today, claimed that the pre-referendum ‘vow’ to Scotland was being delivered in full. Sadly, the reality falls a long way short of that boast.”

However, the promises made to Scotland have not officially been broken yet. The Guardian UK concludes by saying, “Ultimately, however, the decision on whether the Smith proposals go far enough in delivering the powers we need to create prosperity, tackle inequality and protect our public services will be for the people of Scotland to take. And they will deliver their verdict at the ballot box in May.”

[All images are from the referenced links.]