British & Scottish Politics
The Scotland Office has released a command paper, Scotland in the United Kingdom: an enduring settlement. It contains the draft clauses for legislation to enact the commitments made in the Smith Commission’s report. It was being reported last November that the Cabinet had vetoed a range of proposals made by the Smith Commission:
And so it has arrived: draft legislation on further powers for the Scottish Parliament, published before Burns Night, in accordance with the timetable set out in the wake of “The Vow”.
There appear to be two clear faultlines emerging. The first, which has the most resonance in Scotland, is over the issue of whether powers devolved over welfare are to be fully within the remit of the Scottish Government’s powers or whether the UK Government will retain some influence in this sphere.
The draft legislation published in response to the report of the Smith Commission makes much of the concept of 'no detriment' - that the actions of one government should not harm another. However, explains CCC Director Michael Keating, that is considerably easier said than done.
Some have suggested that the production of the draft legislation resulting from the Smith Commission means that the 'Vow' is delivered and Scotland is now 'sorted'. The reality of the situation, explains Craig McAngus, may prove to be a little more complicated.