When British Labour brings out the ‘F’ word it’s because they fail to recognise three things.
- For any federal settlement to be acceptable to the people of Scotland it would have to be freely negotiated in a way that is not possible under the conditions imposed by the Union. Scotland’s independence would have to be restored first.
- No federal settlement can address the issue of asymmetry and be acceptable to the people of both Scotland and England. Parity would, with justification, be perceived as relegation by the people of England. Disparity would, by definition, fail to address one of the principal issues with the Union leaving Scotland no better off.
- No federal settlement can possibly achieve anything which couldn’t be better achieved by a new form of association freely negotiated between two nations in an atmosphere of parity of status, mutual respect and commonality of interest which can only exist with the restoration of Scotland’s independence.
Federalism either couldn’t possibly be negotiated, couldn’t possibly resolve the main issues or would leave an evidently better settlement which the people of both England and Scotland must surely aspire to and strive for.
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