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Scotland Bill — Committee (5th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:00 pm on 21st March 2012.

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Photo of Lord Reid of Cardowan Lord Reid of Cardowan Labour 8:00 pm, 21st March 2012

I hesitate to start discussing another referendum when we have spent so long on this one. To try to take the hypothetical situation, Scotland wishes to stay inside the United Kingdom and the Scottish Parliament or people wish to go on to discuss further powers. The negotiations conclude with what is effectively a federal system in the United Kingdom that affects Wales and Northern Ireland as well as Scotland. Then, one option is for the British Parliament to address that. Another might be, hypothetically, to put it to all the peoples in the UK at the same time as a referendum on the constitutional settlement. The important point is that the first decision has to be a simple one: "Do you want to stay inside the union, or be outside it as a separate nation state?". That is a decision for the Scottish people alone.