David Cameron has revealed he is coming under pressure from some Conservatives to prevent Scots from voting in the 2015 General Election if their country votes for independence, according to a report.
While an attempt to pass a law banning Scots from taking part in the election failed in the House of Commons last month, some Tory MPs believe it would not make sense for Scottish MPs to be involved in making legislation that affected the rest of the UK’s future.
John Stevenson, the Scottish-born MP for Carlisle, told The Times: “Why should the peoples of Northern Ireland, Wales and England have laws passed in this House by MPs who for all intents and purposes are about to be part of a foreign country?”
Tory MPs Mark Reckless, Nigel Mills and Nick de Bois voted for the attempt to ban Scots last month. The majority of Conservative ministers did not take part.
Following devolution of a range of powers to Edinburgh, there have been ongoing calls for Scottish MPs to stop voting on matters such as health and education because they are deciding issues that do not affect the people who elect them.
Professor John Curtice, a political scientist at Strathclyde University, said he thought Scotland would still need representative in the Westminster parliament until May 2016, the suggested date for the separation of the two countries if Scots vote for independence.
But he added: “This [issue] is one of the unanswered questions and difficulties about a ‘yes’ vote.”
Professor Curtice said there might have to be a new election in May 2016.
“The impact would mean Labour needed an additional 1 per cent swing to be elected. A boundary review would have a bigger impact,” he said.
Angus MacNeil, a Scottish Nationalist MP, said in the Commons that some Scottish MPs might even try to remain in parliament after independence.
“I hope not, but I fear that some are putting career and power games at Westminster to the fore,” he said.
A Downing Street source said: “The Prime Minister is focused on making the case for Scotland to remain part of the United Kingdom.”