Scottish independence: Labour warns that an independent Scotland could cement Conservative Party's hold on Westminster

 

Mark McLaughlin
Monday 13 May 2013 09:25
Comments

Scottish independence could cement the Conservative Party's hold on Westminster, according to Labour.

Scottish deputy leader Anas Sarwar said independence would be "a double blow", reducing Scotland's influence over "a right-wing Tory government" at Westminster that he claims would still have control over the nation's purse strings.

The Scottish Government wants to keep the pound under independence, but critics have warned that this would reduce Scotland's fiscal autonomy.

Mr Sarwar told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme: "The nationalists are saying they want to keep all financial control in terms of the Bank of England and currency with the rest of the UK.

"By keeping the same currency it would be controlled, in terms of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), down there, and also from the Bank of England. That gives us less independence, not more independence.

"We are reducing our influence, and at the same time we are increasing the likelihood of having a right-wing Tory government across the rest of the UK. That's a double blow for Scotland.

"One of the principles that I think all Scots are really proud of, and one of the principles that I am proud of as a Labour value, is that I don't believe that my values stop at the border between Scotland and England.

"We want fairness, equality and social justice for people just as much in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee as we do for those in Manchester and London."

The FSA was abolished last month and replaced by the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority.

Mr Sarwar was speaking ahead of the launch of a distinct Labour campaign to keep Scotland in the UK.

Former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown will be in Glasgow to help unveil the United With Labour drive, which distances the party from Tory and Liberal Democrat colleagues in the pro-Union Better Together movement.

SNP deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon today refuted Mr Brown's insistence that taxes would have to rise in an independent Scotland, describing the claim as "preposterous".

The Yes campaign has got work to do to convince Scots that they would be better off under independence, she told the same programme, but she challenged Labour to set out what powers it would offer Scotland if they vote no.

"So far we have failed to hear that," she said.

"I think there's something deeply ironic about what we're seeing from Labour today.

"They seem to be - and I can understand this - deeply uncomfortable about being in a campaign with the Tories.

"They are trying to declare their own independence from that Tory-led campaign but they would deny Scotland independence and leave us part of a Westminster system which means that we get Tory governments that we don't vote for."

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in