Scottish Labour’s Submission to the Smith Commission

Below is the text of Johann Lamont's letter to the Smith Commission

"Dear Lord Smith,


We respect the outcome of the referendum and the sovereign will of the people of Scotland who have decided that we should remain part of a strong United Kingdom.

Labour is a party of both devolution and the union.  For over 100 years, Labour has led the argument for Scottish devolution within the union, and it is a cause we have advanced out of deep-seated conviction.  That is why it was a Labour Government which set up the Scottish Parliament, delivering on what John Smith memorably called “unfinished business”.

We welcome your appointment to lead the Commission on devolving further powers to the Scottish Parliament and we are pleased of the opportunity to work with you given your track record on delivery.

Iain Gray MSP and Gregg McClymont MP have been appointed as the Labour Party representatives on the Commission.  Both have great integrity and a wealth of experience which will make an invaluable contribution to the Commission’s work.

We believe that the model of devolution, established in 1999, works well for the UK and the nations within it.  In our view, devolution can and should be strengthened, where it is in the interests of the people of Scotland. 

In making the case for devolution, Labour has brought enhanced democratic accountability for decisions affecting the people of Scotland.  Our desire has always been a simple one: meeting the Scottish people’s legitimate desire for more powers and enhanced accountability within a strengthened union.

The Labour Party wants to build a consensus for positive change consistent with the decision of the Scottish people to remain in the United Kingdom, and delivering on the promises made during the referendum campaign.

We welcome the opportunity to participate in the Smith Commission and enter discussions in good faith and are willing to work with others to ensure a coherent and lasting settlement.

As a party, we spent two years looking at the issue of further powers, and we consulted widely during this process.  We will work together with the parties involved in the Commission to come to a conclusion that will provide the best future for the people of Scotland. 

I attach a summary of the proposals contained in our Devolution Commission report.

Yours sincerely,

Johann Lamont MSP
Leader of the Scottish Labour Party"

The full text of our submission can be read here.