POLITICS

Scottish Independence Would Mean Change For Scottish MPs In Westminster, Warns Clegg

17/09/2014 16:31 BST | Updated 17/09/2014 16:59 BST

The way Scottish MPs vote at Westminster will have to change if new powers are handed to the Scottish Parliament in the event of a No vote in the referendum, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said. The Liberal Democrat leader said it was "not logical" that Scottish MPs should be able to carry on voting on issues which affect only England if there is a further devolution of power from Westminster to Holyrood.

Mr Clegg, along with David Cameron and Ed Miliband, has signed a pledge to hand sweeping new powers to Scotland, if Scots vote to reject independence and remain part of the United Kingdom in tomorrow's referendum. He made clear, however, that would have consequences for the way votes are organised in the House of Commons.

"When the decision is made in the coming months and legislation is passed to give these new significant powers - on welfare, on borrowing, on tax raising - to Scotland that should be accompanied by a decision about how the votes are organised in Westminster," he said on his weekly LBC radio phone-in.

"Clearly, when you have that degree of devolution, saying that a Scottish MP has precisely the same say over matters in English as an English MP doesn't make any sense. That's why you then decide how you divvy votes in the House of Commons.

"It's not logical, it's just simply not fair to say, okay we have a more devolved (group) of nations that make up the United Kingdom but somehow that new devolution settlement isn't reflected in any way in changes in Westminster. That doesn't make any sense. You have to make changes in Westminster as well."

His comments echo concerns by some Tory MPs who have expressed anger at the way the three leaders have promised greater devolution to Scotland without consulting the Commons.

Mr Clegg, however, rejected calls from some campaigners for the creation of a separate English parliament to deal with England-only legislation. "We don't need just to create another talking shop for politicians, another institution, another English parliament, to solve this issue," he said.

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