A constitutional convention
As we change our relationship with Europe, we must also adjust our own arrangements in the UK. Just as many felt that power was too centralised and unaccountable in Brussels, many also feel the same about Westminster and Holyrood.
A Labour government will establish a Constitutional Convention to examine and advise on reform of the way Britain works at a fundamental level.
We will consult on its form and terms of reference and invite recommendations on extending democracy. This is about where power and sovereignty lies – in politics, the economy, the justice system, and in our communities.
The Convention will look at extending democracy locally, regionally and nationally, considering the option of a more federalised country, which is Scottish Labour policy.
We need a relationship of equals with devolved administrations throughout the UK. Labour will create a role for a Minister for England, who will sit under the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and will work with the Secretaries of State for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
No to a second independence referendum
Labour opposes a second Scottish independence referendum. It is unwanted and unnecessary, and we will campaign tirelessly to ensure that Scotland remains part of the UK. Independence would lead to turbo-charged austerity for Scottish families.
Scotland would face a £15 billion deficit if the UK were to be torn apart, hurting the poorest and most vulnerable in our society.
The SNP needs to respect the verdict of the majority of Scots in 2014 and abandon its divisive plan to re-run the referendum. It needs to get on with the day job and reverse the cuts being inflicted on Scotland’s public services. Scottish Labour will never support independence, because we believe that together we’re stronger.
The Tories will not increase funding to Scotland and the SNP wants to cut Scotland off from sharing the wealth of the UK. It is only by having a Labour government in Westminster that the Scottish Parliament will receive a large funding increase from our policies, and a significant number of Scots will benefit from our plans in areas reserved to the UK Parliament.
Our fundamental belief is that the second chamber of the UK Parliament should be democratically elected. In the interim period we will seek to end the hereditary principle and reduce the size of the current House of Lords as part of a wider package of constitutional reform to address the growing democratic deficit across Britain.
We would extend the scope of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act to private companies that have public contracts, and strengthen compliance with existing law.
We will reduce the voting age to 16. At 16 you are eligible to pay tax, get married or even join the Army. You deserve a vote.
Scottish Labour will introduce a Member’s Bill to prevent MSPs from having paid second jobs to re-establish trust between the public and politicians.