Letter: Elect a Scottish House of Lords and save the Union

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The Independent Online
Sir: Why not combine the establishment of a Scottish Parliament with reform of the House of Lords (leading article, 21 August), by creating a new Upper House for Scotland, (and maybe one each for Wales and Northern Ireland)?

The House of Commons can continue as now - avoiding the Lothian question.

A new elected Scottish Upper House could: replace the House of Lords as the highest court of appeal for Scotland; review all measures passed by the House of Commons in so far as they concern Scotland, and recommend amendments (as does the present House of Lords for all House of Commons Bills); pass measures of concern to purely Scottish institutions, including the Scottish legal system, Scottish education, Scottish local government, transport, tourism and economic development; scrutinise the Scottish Office and call to account the Secretary of State and Scottish Office ministers; have representation at the EU in Brussels.

Like the existing House of Lords it would have no financial powers. Even so it would be a much more powerful and effective body than that proposed by Labour, being concerned with all aspects of Scottish life. This seems a solution that will meet the legitimate aspirations of the majority of Scots. It does not destroy the Union.

J MICHAEL CRAIG

Kirkcudbright, Galloway

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