Petition Hold a referendum on ending devolution in Scotland
We believe devolution in Scotland has failed, come at a cost to the UK economy and adds little to no value to the people of Scotland. We want a referendum to be held asking the public whether powers granted through devolution should be returned to the UK Government in Westminster.
We want a legally binding referendum to be held on whether to keep devolution in Scotland or not. Should the result of the referendum be that devolution is to end, ALL powers must be returned to the UK Government as soon as possible.
This response was given on 23 May 2023
The Government believes the devolution settlement strikes the right balance. We are committed to working with the Scottish Government to tackle shared challenges and deliver for people in Scotland.
The Scottish Parliament is one of the most powerful devolved parliaments in the world, and the UK Government believes that the current devolution settlement strikes a good balance. The UK Government is continuing to honour our commitment to deliver the Smith Commission Agreement and implement the Scotland Act 2016 in full. The UK Government continues to work with the Scottish Government on the ongoing implementation of the welfare powers devolved in the Act.
A referendum on Scottish devolution was held in 1997, with 74% of the Scottish electorate voting in favour of a Scottish Parliament with devolved powers. Devolution offers citizens in Scotland the best of both worlds, benefiting from having two governments. It allows decisions to be taken closer to the communities they affect, while citizens and communities continue to benefit from the strength and scale of the Union.
The UK Government’s view is that people in Scotland want their representatives to be concentrating on the issues that matter most to them - like halving inflation, tackling the NHS waiting times, ensuring energy security, and growing our economy. That should be the Scottish Government’s focus.
Devolution brings a host of economic benefits and growth opportunities to Scotland through both UK Government and Scottish Government initiatives. For example, the UK Government has committed over £1.5 billion through the City Region and Growth Deals, helping to boost economic growth and create employment opportunities across all parts of Scotland; the UK Shared Prosperity Fund has awarded £212 million directly to Scottish Local Authorities, freeing them up from EU red tape; and earlier this year, the UK and Scottish Governments made a landmark agreement to establish two new Freeports in Scotland, which will help to regenerate areas, create thousands of high-quality jobs, and attract billions of pounds in inward investment.
The benefits of devolution, which enables Scotland to share in the overall strengths of the United Kingdom, are also evident through initiatives such as the UK Government’s flagship Levelling Up Fund (LUF). The LUF has already delivered funding to 18 Scottish projects to the tune of £349 million, investing in projects that matter to local communities. Projects include a new ferry for Fair Isle, restoration of the Palace Theatre in Kilmarnock, and a green transport hub in Dundee. The Community Ownership Fund (COF) has already helped 15 Scottish community groups with £3.1 million to secure their local assets. This includes town halls, pubs, cafes and sports clubs, spread across 12 local authorities.
In conclusion, the UK Government remains committed to devolution, and we will continue to work collaboratively and constructively with the Scottish Government to deliver for people, businesses and communities across Scotland.
At 100,000 signatures...
At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament