Devo Max for Scotland? Why not?
Financial Times, November 5, 2011:
Letters: Salmond’s ‘devo max’ option is a camouflage device
From Sir Brian Barder.
Sir, You are surely unnecessarily alarmed by the Scottish first minister’s “shrewd” decision to include “devo max” (full fiscal autonomy within the UK) as an alternative to full independence for Scotland in the forthcoming referendum (“The ties that bind”, editorial October 29). Far from that being a trap, as you warn, it’s likelier to reflect Alex Salmond’s judgment that he’s unlikely to get a majority for independence in 2014 or 2015, with the devo max option a device to camouflage a humiliating defeat for independence.
“Full fiscal autonomy” for Scotland could describe a multitude of possible arrangements, none of which needs to frighten those of us who hate the idea of the amputation of Scotland and the disintegration of our country. Why should Scotland have any less internal self-government than, say, California or New South Wales? If the completion of the stalled devolution process for Scotland prompted demands for similar benefits for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, so much the better: the UK could then establish the safeguards and institutions of a full federation.
Brian Barder, London SW18, UK
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2011.