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Scotland Bill — Committee (5th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:45 pm on 21st March 2012.

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Photo of Lord Reid of Cardowan Lord Reid of Cardowan Labour 7:45 pm, 21st March 2012

I would be able to understand that if I knew what devo-max is. I am presupposing that if there is a subsequent discussion on the decision to stay in the United Kingdom, some of it will be on what the vote is actually about. I hate to add pigs and pokes to porridge-enough euphemisms have been used-but one of the problems with devo-max is that, since it affects the relationship between the peoples of the United Kingdom, it would have to go to the peoples of the United Kingdom or their elected representatives. Also, at this stage no one knows what devo-max, devo-plus or any of these topics other than staying in the UK or leaving the UK actually constitutes. How on earth that is put to a referendum is beyond me, and therefore it reinforces the fact that there should be a clear, fair and legal decision on one issue, after which there may or may not be discussions between the representatives of the various peoples about changing that relationship. At that stage, presumably, devo-max may represent what the islands the noble Earl referred to already have or it might refer to something entirely different. Part of the problem is that at the moment we have no idea of what it refers to.