When will Better Together agree powers for Scotland?

Delivering the No campaign's Better Together message at the Gazette's Independence Debate in May, Professor Adam Tomkins
Delivering the No campaign's Better Together message at the Gazette's Independence Debate in May, Professor Adam Tomkins

Gazette readers submitted a series of questions for our Independence debate in May, not all of which could be answered on the night.

And there were specific questions which could only be answered by either the Yes or No camps.

In this article, Professor Adam Tomkins tackles the first question levelled at the No campaign.

Professor Adam Tomkins is a British legal scholar and John Millar Professor of Public Law at the School of Law of the University of Glasgow.

Adam was educated at the University of East Anglia and the London School of Economics. He taught at the School of Law of King’s College London between 1991 and 2000 and became a fellow at St Catherine’s College, Oxford in 2000, before being elected to the John Millar Chair of Law at Glasgow in 2003.

His research interests lie in constitutional theory and history, British, EU and comparative constitutional law, and republicanism.

Adam has published seven books in the areas of constitutional, administrative and European Union law, including Public Law (2003) and British Government and the Constitution (2007, with Colin Turpin), which are among the most widely used by law students in the UK.

Question: When will the Better Together factions agree and publish which new powers they will bestow on a grateful Scotland? And if they bestow further powers why did they refuse the Devo-max question on the ballot paper in the first place.

Adam said: “The Labour, LibDem and Conservatives’ proposals have already been published.

“When the Scottish Government put out to public consultation its proposals on a referendum question in January 2012 a very large majority of respondents opposed any second question on devo-max.

“The view in the UK Government was that the independence question needed to be settled first, before decisions could be taken about the future of devolution.

“If there is a Yes vote on September 18, there is no future for devolution – independence will of course bring about the end of devolution.

“If there is a No vote on September 18, I hope and expect conversations to start more or less immediately between the Scottish Government and the UK Government about developing devolution further.

“It would clearly be hopeless to expect these conversations to occur now, while the Scottish Government is campaigning for independence.”

Keep checking our website today for further answers from Professor Adam Tomkins, and Robin McAlpine from the Yes campaign, throughout the day.