UK

Nigel Farage Says It's Time To Stop The Scottish Tail Wagging The Westminster Dog

19/09/2014 13:03 BST | Updated 19/09/2014 14:59 BST

Nigel Farage has said David Cameron must be in a "real panic", as the Ukip leader demanded that Scottish MPs immediately give up their right to debate or vote on devolved English issues in Westminster.

As the Scottish referendum came to a close, with the country firmly rejecting independence, the Ukip leader said he wrote to 59 Scottish MPs today to ask them to commit to ending their involvement in England-only policies.

"We've had a lot from Scotland but the tail cannot go on wagging the dog any longer," Farage told the BBC.

With the results in from all 32 council areas, the "No" side won with 2,001,926 votes over 1,617,989 for "Yes".

Even though Scotland chose to remain part of the UK, the poll highlighted that attitudes towards the British government will be inexorably changed forever.

Just hours after the referendum result, normal Westminster politics appeared to have resumed, with the Tories fighting internally and publicly over the PM's controversial devolution plans.

As the prime minister faces the difficult prospect of fulfilling promises he vowed in the lead up to the referendum in a desperate bid to appease Scottish voters disillusioned by the British Government, Farage accused him of ignoring England to mollify the Scots.

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David Cameron has already come under fire from his own MPs over devolution, within hours of the Scotland result being declared

After realising that public sentiment in Scotland was shifting toward a "yes" vote on independence, the government in Westminster quickly backed a series of measures that would give Scotland more control over finance, welfare and taxation - almost all matters apart from defence and foreign affairs.

Already disgruntled by what some of them viewed as Cameron's apathetic handling of the referendum campaign, a number of Conservative MPs were dismayed by his decision to join Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Labour's Ed Miliband in a last-minute promise of "extensive new powers" for Scotland in the event of a No vote.

In a live televised address from No 10 following the declaration of the final result, Cameron not only spelled out plans for greater home rule for Scotland, but also offered a significant re-balancing of the way the four nations of the UK are represented.

But Farage said Cameron and Miliband were "so lackluster" in the early part of the referendum campaign that they "panicked and made a series of promises on behalf of the English - one, to devolve more powers, but secondly they made a promise to maintain the Barnett Formula whereby the UK taxpayer spends £1,600 more on every Scot than on every English person.

"Throughout this whole devolution period [England] really have been the poor relation, we've been ignored."

Cameron may be relieved that he didn't "manage to lose the union," Farage said, but he is in a "real panic over the English question."

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The Ukip leader called for an open constitutional convention, saying "let's find a fair proper way to have a federal United Kingdom, where all four parts of the country are happy that they've got a fair deal."

"I think that short-term, as far as English voters are concerned, I'm going to write today to all 59 Scottish MPs and I'm going to say to them in the spirit of finding a fair settlement for the United Kingdom, will you please commit from today not to take part in debates or votes in Westminster on English devolved issues.

"Short-term that's what we can do. Longer-term, and I think all the constitutional experts talking on your show say, this stuff is complicated, getting this right matters as it will be for many, many decades to come and I really do think now we absolutely need to have a constitutional convention to talk about how we create a fair, federal United Kingdom.

"That process is vital. All I've heard from Mr Cameron is that William Hague will head up some committee to discuss the English question and I simply don't think that's enough."

He argued that there's "no point in having that referendum until we actually have something sensible and solid to got on and that is what would come as the result of a constitutional convention."

"England needs a voice, England demands a voice."

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