Beyond Devolution: Evolutionary Change
Short of independence, Scotland's constitutional position might evolve gradually, with a slow accretion of powers. Fiscal powers are an important element although fiscal equalization poses major problems. There are strong arguments for devolving welfare matters in order to strengthen the Scottish political arena, although this divides neo-nationalists and neo-unionists. The West Lothian Question can be resolved by excluding Scottish MPs from voting on English matters. Neo-unionists have argued for a written constitution and a British bill of rights, but these are nation-building measures unacceptable to neo-nationalists. The main difficulty in stronger Scottish self-government is the need for common institutions to manage common issues. English political and public opinion remains unitary in its thinking and would want to retain a unitary English polity and resist federalizing measures.
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