Labour to forge a UK ‘everyone wants to be part of’
Gordon Brown’s new blueprint for constitutional change will make Britain such a good place to be that everyone in the country will want to be part of it, the Labour conference will hear.
The former Prime Minister’s Commission into the future of the UK will publish its recommendations in the coming months and will pledge a “safer and more radical” alternative to Scottish independence.
Ian Murray, shadow Scottish secretary, will delegates in Liverpool will have “proper economic devolution at its heart” and will lead to a “redress of the UK economy where we unleash the talents and contributions of all parts of the country”.
It has been reported that the proposals include abolition of the House of Lords — something the Labour Party first proposed in the early part of the 20th century, drawing criticism that its recommendations will never come to fruition.
The SNP has called it it “Broon’s Brigadoon”, claiming it was a plan that “magically emerges from the mists before vanishing as quickly as it appeared”.
Mr Murray said the Commission on the Future of the UK is tasked with finding new ways of cleaning up politics and pushing power out from Westminster to ensure that the United Kingdom works “for every part of our country”.
He will say that politics in Scotland “can’t keep being about the false binary choice of separation versus the status quo”.
Mr Murray will add: “It’s not going to be a powers giveaway without a purpose, but have a plan for proper economic devolution at its heart.
“A redress of the UK economy where we unleash the talents and contributions of all parts of the country.
“It will not just try to convince Scotland to stay, but to make Britain such a good place to be that everyone, in all corners of our country, will want to be part of it.
“And in doing so it will set out both a safer and more radical offer for change than the risk of independence – the chance for a fairer, more secure, more respected Scotland within a reformed and modern United Kingdom.
Keith Brown, the SNP depute leader, said: “Labour has been promising to abolish the Lords for the past 112 years but, despite having been in government six times since for a total of 33 years, it has never come close to honouring that promise.”
He added: “There are Disney films more believable than Broon’s Brigadoon. This is just another repeat of his same old, same old which magically emerges from the mists before vanishing as quickly as it appeared.”