Margaret Curran MP, Labour’s Shadow Scottish Secretary, commenting following today’s House of Commons debate on the Scotland Act Order, said:
“Today in the House of Commons we took one step closer to the referendum on Scottish independence in 2014. What is clear is that MPs from all sides want a referendum that puts the decision in the hands of the Scottish people and that is fair, legal and decisive.
“We still need more certainty from the SNP that the Scottish Government will follow the recommendations of the independent Electoral Commission. No Government has ever ignored the recommendations of the Commission on a referendum question or funding. But today, all we had from the SNP was more muddle and confusion on this question. The Scottish Government has a great responsibility to ensure that these powers will be not be used for political advantage.
“Passing these powers to the Scottish Parliament means that the Scottish Government now has the power to conduct a legal referendum. This will settle the question of Scotland’s membership of the union once and for all and the decision will bind us all.”
Anas Sarwar MP, Scottish Labour’s Deputy Leader, commenting on the SNP’s absence from parts of the debate, said:
“Today’s debate saw all parties rightly come together to welcome the transfer of these powers to the Scottish Parliament. It’s shocking that the SNP didn’t attend all of today’s debate. Instead they choose to participate in a stunt and walk out of the House of Commons. This isn’t just an insult to Parliament, but Scotland. The SNP have waited 80 years for this referendum – it is why they exist – and they couldn’t even stay in the chamber for the debate.”