Post referendum political squabbling

The dust had barely settled on the referendum before the fall out started amongst MSPs in the Borders.

SNP MSP Christine Grahame is demanding an explanation from Scottish Tories about why continuation of the Barnett formula wasn’t mentioned in a Westminster parliamentary motion; Tory MSP John Lamont responding that changes to the Barnett formula aren’t even on the horizon.

The parliamentary motion in question says: “This House welcomes the result of the Scottish independence referendum and the decision of the people of Scotland to remain part of the United Kingdom; recognises that people across Scotland voted‎ for a Union based on the pooling and sharing of resources and for the‎ continuation of devolution inside the United Kingdom; notes the statement by the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition regarding the guarantee of and timetable for further devolution to Scotland; calls on the Government to lay before Parliament a Command Paper including the proposals of all three UK political parties by October 30; further calls on the Government to publish heads of agreement by the end of November and draft clauses for the new Scotland Bill by the end of January 2015.”

Ms Grahame, is seeking assurances that the Barnett allocation for resources remains an “immovable commitment” saying: “The Unionist parties must be held to account on this vitally important issue to ensure Scotland continues to receive financial resources via the Barnett system. It looks as though this aspect of the ‘vow’ has already been quietly dropped before negotiations linked to new powers for our Parliament have even begun.”

John Lamont MSP replied: “The purpose of the parliamentary motion is to set out the agreed timetable to take forward the proposals for further devolution to the Scottish Parliament.

“As for the Barnett formula, changes to it are not on our horizon.

“If, of course, the people of Scotland had followed the advice of the SNP and voted ‘Yes’, then the block grant and Barnett formula would have been consigned to history.

“The SNP need to decide whether they are going to continue sniping from the sidelines or whether they are going to get to work in good faith to develop our democracy here in Scotland.”