Could Cameron and Salmond do a deal on Boundary Changes and Devo Max?

November 28, 2012 4:45 pm

The Tory plan for boundary changes (and fewer MPs) is widely considered to be finished, following Nick Clegg’s announcement that Lib Dems will be voting against the plans. However, Cameron knows that the boundary changes are his best shot of keeping a Tory majority in 2015 a possibility. Could he do a deal with Alex Salmond to offer Devo Max in return for boundary changes – including the removal of Scottish MPs from Westminster?

That’s what former Tory MEP John Stephens suggests, in this intruging piece from Mark Seddon:

Driving what appears to be an emerging concordat between David Cameron and the SNP leader, Alex Salmond, is a belief that both sides stand to gain quite substantially from agreement over boundary changes in return for a “devolution max” that stops just short of full independence for Scotland. According to former Conservative MEP John Stevens, Cameron could announce shortly after the European elections in 2014 that the Scottish referendum would be a choice between “devo max” and full independence.

So what is devo max? As yet, no leading political figure has really attempted to define it. But, says Stevens, the devo max Cameron has in mind involves Scotland “no longer returning MPs to Westminster”. Joint jurisdiction over defence and foreign affairs could be decided by ministers from both parliaments or representative Scottish MSPs coming to Westminster only when key defence or foreign affairs votes need to take place. “The advantage for Cameron in this scenario,” says Stevens, “is that he can claim to have both saved the union and finally answered Tam Dalyell’s infamous West Lothian question“. The even bigger advantage is that through a combination of advantageous boundary changes and a removal of the Scottish Labour block, the Tories would hold sway in virtual perpetuity.

Seddon’s whole piece is published over at Comment Is Free.

  • Cari_esky

    The SNP are not called the Tartan Tories for nothing. What The SNP has become good at is being pragmatic to getting elected. They’ve had to be social democratic to get elected but in their hearts they are Thatcherite capitalists who used to wander at Ireland and Iceland’s neo liberal economic miracle until the crash.

  • Serbitar

    Can a cat be crossbred with a dog?

  • Chrisso

    It’s another late silly season story, utter nonsense from a Tory MEP

  • uglyfatbloke

    Generally agree Cari, but now that Irealand is in recovery and I celand has pretty much recovers and both still have a better standard of living that Britansad fact is that the gnats may have a point. They have certainly been better at being a social democrat governmebnt than McConnel etc were in rthe apst and look at the alternaitve…Lamont? Really…?

Latest

  • Comment Reaching new communities

    Reaching new communities

    This article is from Our Labour, Our Communities – a pamphlet of 10 essays by Labour PPCs, published by LabourList in partnership with Lisa Nandy MP. I am proud to be standing as the candidate for my hometown of Hastings & Rye, but I am equally proud to stand as a parliamentary candidate who is also half Chinese and half British. My mother is Chinese Malaysian and came to this country 41 years ago to be a nurse in Hastings and continues to […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Labour could lose out by not making it’s stance on Trident clear

    Labour could lose out by not making it’s stance on Trident clear

    Cutting Trident will be the price of support in a hung parliament. That’s the news reported from a meeting of the SNP, Plaid Cymru and Green leaders this week. With Labour’s slim lead and the SNP and Green vote threatening to impact on its share, this is a serious issue. Labour’s policy clearly states, ‘Labour has said that we are committed to a minimum, credible independent nuclear deterrent, delivered through a Continuous At-Sea Deterrent. It would require a clear body […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured Is Cameron “frit” of TV debates? Let’s try the empty chair threat

    Is Cameron “frit” of TV debates? Let’s try the empty chair threat

    Lord Ashcroft has told him he shouldn’t have done it in 2010. Lynton Crosby has told him not to do it in 2015. It’s no surprise that David Cameron is trying to wriggle out of televised leader debates during the General Election – even though he has said he is willing to take part “in principle”. Time perhaps to dust off one of Margaret Thatcher’s favourite barbs “He’s frit.” Neil Kinnock tried it in 1992 to try to goad John Major into […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Flexibility makes for good work, strong families and thriving communities

    Flexibility makes for good work, strong families and thriving communities

    By Stephen Timms MP and Ian Murray MP The Christmas period reminds us that modern life can be busy, hurried and demanding. The pressures of work, demands of family life and hectic Christmas schedules can prove stretching as we juggle competing demands. Increasingly the need for flexible work is driven by the complex shape of people’s lives; as parents go to work, struggle to make ends meet, perform career roles, take their children to school and activities and try and carve […]

    Read more →
  • News Labour MP questions campaigning roles of publicly funded advisers

    Labour MP questions campaigning roles of publicly funded advisers

    As the start of the long campaign begins today, curbing the amount of money parties can spend between now and May 7th, Labour MP Jon Ashworth has sought to clarify what precautions are being taken to ensure publicly-funded government advisers are not using their time campaigning. Ashworth has sent a letter to senior civil servant Jeremy Heywood, asking him to answer a number of questions about what kind of campaigning activity was permitted and undertaken by special advisers (SpAds) in […]

    Read more →