Scotland Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:12 pm on 27th January 2011.

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Photo of Malcolm Bruce Malcolm Bruce Chair, International Development Committee, Chair, International Development Committee 2:12 pm, 27th January 2011

If the hon. Gentleman will let me proceed with my speech, he will receive the answer, precisely because I took part in the constitutional convention when it was set up in the 1980s. At that time, we and the Labour party were in opposition, but the Conservative party largely ignored the convention and the SNP boycotted it. Yet that constitutional convention carried out detailed and thoughtful work that laid the foundations for the first Scotland Bill and, in my view, for this Bill and probably the next one. The difference between my party's approach and that of the SNP is that we, as a single party with an ambition, recognise that we cannot achieve on our own everything that we want; we have to work with others who do not necessarily share all our views. By working with them, however, we can progress towards what we want to achieve; if we refuse to co-operate, we cannot.