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Starmer’s power switch offers little to Scotland

Keir Starmer
Sir Keir Starmer says there is a wide gap in democratic control

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer will on Monday pledge to deliver the biggest ever transfer of power from Westminster to local communities.

However, beyond giving the Scottish parliament new borrowing powers, the proposed package of reforms appear to offer few new powers for Scotland as the intended transfers mainly cover areas such as transport, housing, training and skills which area already devolved to Holyrood.

The Labour also promises a regionally-oriented investment bank. Scotland has had a state-funded investment bank since November 2020.

The proposals are contained in The Commission on the UK’s Future report, A New Britain’, led by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and commissioned as one of Sir Keir’s first acts as Labour leader.

At the report’s launch in Leeds he will say that with Labour “Britain will see a change not just in who governs but how we are governed.”

The report will propose the replacement of the House of Lords with a democratically elected Assembly of Nations and Regions

He will argue the case for pushing power out of Westminster and back to the British people, saying: “People up and down this country are crying out for a new approach. During the Brexit referendum I argued for remain. But I couldn’t disagree with the basic case that many leave voters made to me. 

“They wanted democratic control over their lives so they could provide opportunities for the next generation, build communities they felt proud of, And public services they could rely on.

“And I know that in the Scottish referendum in 2014 many of those who voted yes did so for similar reasons. The same frustration at a Westminster system that seems remote. The same yearning for the power to build a fairer future for themselves and their families.

“People know Britain needs change. But they are never going to get it from the Tories. I am determined that, with Labour, people will get the change they deserve.”

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