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 The Living Wage has to be more than a photo op

    The Living Wage has to be more than a photo op

    The referendum on Scottish independence casts its shadow over every aspect of Scottish public life these days. This is understandable, the debate on whether Scotland should remain in Union with partners in England, Northern Ireland and Wales is a huge one, but the way it pervades every matter at Holyrood is doing a disservice to the people of Scotland. Yesterday I led a debate on behalf on Scottish Labour in support of the living wage, and specifically on extending it […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Who made my clothes?

    Who made my clothes?

    By Stella Creasy MP and Alison McGovern MP It’s been a long four years in opposition, and each year we’ve seen the country decline further for the lack of a Labour Government. But whether speaking up about legal loan sharks, the misuse of zero hours contracts or promoting the economic case for the living wage, we both believe that there are campaigns worth fighting, even if, from opposition, progress is many times harder, and very much slower. That’s why we […]

    Read more →
  • Featured 5 things Labour’s new rapid-rebuttal team need to get right

    5 things Labour’s new rapid-rebuttal team need to get right

    Yesterday’s story of a new Labour media management team, seemingly in the mould of Alastair Campbell’s famously effective rapid-response unit, and headed by Michael Dugher, should be welcome news to us all. A well-run operation can make a huge difference, and in an election as close as 2015 looks set to be, that difference could be Miliband or Cameron in Number 10. But for it to be truly helpful, it needs to get some things right. 1. Be rapid This may sound […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Should politicians do God?

    Should politicians do God?

    Easter is traditionally a time when Christians reflect on their faith, and there is no reason why politicians shouldn’t do so too. But this year David Cameron forsook his usual Easter message for a much stronger and more personal foray into the religious arena. He urged Britain to be more confident of its status as a Christian country; he spoke of the strength of his own faith; he said that we should be “frankly more evangelical about the faith that […]

    Read more →
  • News Iraq Inquiry report possibly delayed until after election

    Iraq Inquiry report possibly delayed until after election

    We reported recently that the Chilcot Report is now not due to be published until 2015, causing worries among Labour strategists that it could harm the Party’s chances at the general election. However, according to the Mail today, its release date could now be held back until after polling day next year. The article states: “Whitehall sources suggest that with an election due in May 2015, it will be deemed too politically difficult to publish it until after voters have […]

    Read more →