MOSCOW, October 14 (RIA Novosti) - The House of Commons has denied the charge of allegedly “reneging” its pledge to devolve more power to Scotland, the BBC reports on Tuesday.
William Hague, the Leader of the House of Commons, asserted that the “absolutely unequivocal” cross-party agreement to extend the rights of Scotland is infrangible and does not depend on discussions concerning Scotland’s possible vote on “English laws”.
However, Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond suspects the British Parliament of intending to derail the promised devolution and testifies a mounting “sense of betrayal”, as he was quoted as saying by the BBC.
The urgent issue of vesting Scotland with more authorities, which is to be brought up for discussion in the House of Commons, took root in August. During a public debate between Alex Salmond and Better Together leader Alistair Darling, the heads of the Conservative, Liberal Democrats and Labour Parties signed a joint statement on delegating more power to Scotland, should it spurn independence on the referendum. On September 18, Scots rejected independence with a 55 percent majority. The pledged rights should afford Scotland more autonomy vis-à-vis taxation, public spending and welfare.
After the referendum, Prime Minister David Cameron, a Tory, proposed the idea of limiting Scottish voting power on issues related to England. This situation prompted Alex Salmond to say in a BBC interview that “people have no confidence in Tory guarantees and are absolutely fizzing about a preparation for betrayal of a solemn commitment made.”
The argument whether MPs from Scotland, Wales and North Ireland should be entitled to vote on issues regarding England, is better known as the West Lothian question. Concerning Scotland, the point is that Scottish MPs cannot influence England-only legislation, which they consider unfair. The question was propounded again during discussions regarding the Scottish Independence referendum.