Scottish independence: Carney says Scots currency plan may lead to power loss

Mark Carney: "A durable currency union requires some ceding of national sovereignty"

The Bank of England governor has said an independent Scotland would need to give up some power to make a currency union with the rest of the UK work.

Mark Carney said such a move, proposed by the Scottish government, "requires some ceding of national sovereignty".

He also said the risks of not having a strong agreement had been demonstrated by problems in the Eurozone.

Mr Carney's comments, in Edinburgh, came ahead of the Scottish independence referendum, on 18 September.

The Editors - Analysis

Nick Robinson, Brian Taylor and Robert Peston
  • Nick Robinson, BBC political editor - "There are two words and one warning that really matter in today's speech by the Governor of the Bank of England - Mark Carney spoke of the "clear risks" involved if an independent Scotland tries to carry on using the pound......." Read more
  • Brian Taylor, BBC Scotland political editor - "For the unionists, the scheme is in tatters. For the nationalists, Mark Carney's remarks are "common sense". Truly, it seems that, unlike David Hume, the governor of the Bank of England is, for today at least, a man without enemies......" Read more
  • Robert Peston, BBC business editor - "Whether he intended to do so or not, Governor Carney has just lobbed a very large stink bomb into the centre of Edinburgh......" Read more

Scotland's Finance Secretary John Swinney welcomed Mr Carney's speech, saying it had recognised the benefits of a currency union.

Alistair Darling, leader of the Better Together campaign to keep the Union, argued the governor's remarks were "devastating" for the Scottish government's currency plans.

In the event of a "Yes" vote, the Scottish government said keeping the pound and retaining the services of the Bank of England, under a formal currency union agreement, was the best option for Scotland and the rest of the UK.

The UK government had said such an agreement would be "unlikely", and the deal would result in Scotland effectively having to hand over control of interest rates and borrowing levels to a foreign country.

In his speech, Mr Carney stressed arrangements for a currency union in the event of independence would be a matter for the Scottish and UK parliaments.

He added: "If such deliberations ever were to happen, they would need to consider carefully what the economics of currency unions suggest are the necessary foundations for a durable union, particularly given the clear risks if these foundations are not in place.

"Those risks have been demonstrated clearly in the euro area over recent years, with sovereign debt crises, financial fragmentation and large divergences in economic performance."

Mr Carney, who was speaking at an event hosted by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry, went on: "The euro area is now beginning to rectify its institutional shortcomings, but further, very significant steps must be taken to expand the sharing of risks and pooling of fiscal resources.

Mark Carney and Alex Salmond Mark Carney met Alex Salmond at the first minister's official residence, ahead of the speech
Mark Carney Mr Carney agreed to provide "technical" analysis of the issues ahead of the referendum

"In short, a durable, successful currency union requires some ceding of national sovereignty.


Mark Carney does a good impersonation.

In Edinburgh today the Bank of England governor insisted he was not a politician and then proceeded to sound very like one: dodging tricky question after tricky question.

"Others will's for others to decide...that's clearly not what I said," he intoned, as a pack of politics and economics reporters pushed him on Scottish independence.

Nonetheless, the central message from this central banker was clear.

He does not want to preside over a Eurozone-style currency mess, whatever Scotland decides on September 18th.

As such he set out in dry, technocratic detail his views on the ingredients for a successful monetary union.

Expressed in simple terms, he said broad agreement on tax and spending between the nations sharing the currency would be needed.

No problem, says the Scottish government. We can do such a deal.

Big problem says the Treasury. We're not so sure.

So what of the governor's view? Would such a deal happen?

Oddly enough Mr Carney, the astutely political non-politician, declined to say.

"It is likely that similar institutional arrangements would be necessary to support a monetary union between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK."

Earlier, Mr Carney, who has agreed to provide "technical" analysis of the issues ahead of the referendum, met privately with Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond.

Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney welcomed Mr Carney's speech, including what he said was a confirmation that that Bank of England would implement whatever monetary arrangements were put in place, if independence happened.

Mr Swinney said the points made by Mr Carney had been investigated in detail by the Scottish government's Fiscal Commission.

He said: "The benefits of a currency union are clear for both sides in terms of issues like promoting investment, eliminating transaction costs, reducing borrowing costs and facilitating the movement of labour and capital, and we welcome the governor's recognition of these benefits.

"An independent Scotland will control 100% of our own revenues, compared to the 7% of our tax base we are currently responsible for under devolution.

"A shared currency will mean an independent Scotland having control of tax policy, employment policy, social security policy, oil and gas revenues, immigration policy and a range of other levers to suit our own circumstances, helping to grow our economy, create jobs and secure a more prosperous and fairer society."

But Mr Darling, the former UK chancellor, said: "There is one clear message from today's thoughtful speech by Mark Carney the Governor of the Bank of England - that the failings of the Eurozone show that to have a successful monetary union you require fiscal and political union.

Alistair Darling on a currency union: "It can only work if you have increased economic and political union"

"This is a detailed speech but make no mistake, the governor's judgement on currency unions is devastating for Alex Salmond's currency plans.

"Why? Because the whole point of independence is to break the fiscal and political union that makes monetary union possible."

Mr Darling added: "The governor has spelled out in stark terms the problems of a currency union - above all it needs people living in the rest of the UK to agree to something they have never been asked about."

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said his breakfast meeting with Mr Carney had gone "extremely well"

A spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron said that it was of no "great surprise" that on technical issues the governor of the Bank of England would want to set out his views.

He explained: "The issue around currency is an important part of the debate that is currently going on in Scotland. It hardly seems a great surprise at all, on the technical issues, that the governor of the Bank of England might want to set out his views.

"I'm sure the people of Scotland will want to be as well-informed as possible."

The independence referendum will see voters in Scotland asked the yes/no question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

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Smith Commission Live

    15:51: The small print

    Stephen Daisley, political journalist at STV News, tweets: Lighthouses! Road signs! Royal fishing! Eight curious new powers buried in the #SmithCommission small print

    15:46: Findlay: 'Make it work'

    Scottish Labour leadership hopeful Neil Findlay called on all parties to "accept the Smith findings and work at making them law".

    Neil Findlay

    Mr Findlay said: "But more important than that is being aware that it's not the devolution of powers that represents progress, it is using those powers to change people's lives."

    The MSP for Lothian said, if elected leader, his plans would include building 50,000 houses for social rent, moving people from a minimum to a living wage, expanding childcare places and giving communities the power to say no to fracking if they want to."

    15:42: Your Tweets

    Christine Jardine: The vow has been delivered and more thanks @scotlibdems

    The Ranter 2012: I've heard from a good source that we have powers over all vat revenue of ginger and tartan wigs. #smithcommision

    15:38: Community welcomes proposals

    The Community Trade Union - which has its roots in the steel communities of South Wales, Scotland and northern England and the textile towns of the Midlands - has welcomed the Smith Commission proposals.

    John Park, Assistant General Secretary of Community, commented: "These are radical proposals, which rightly respect the outcome of the referendum and the desire of all parties to see more decisions taken directly in Scotland.

    "The referendum demonstrated a massive demand for change in the way that Scotland is governed and the Smith Commission should be commended for answering that call. Importantly, the report has also avoided firing the starting gun in a race to the bottom that would hurt working people.

    "Essential safeguards for workers, such as the minimum wage, have been protected."

    #smithcommission Tory trap?

    Author and Yes campaigner Alan Bissett tweets: Is anyone on No side remembering that none other than Gordon Brown himself called the devolution of income tax a 'Tory trap'. Anyone...?

    15:15: 'Falls far short'

    Linda Fabiani, the East Kilbride MSP, was one of the SNP members on the Smith Commission. She says the powers to be transferred are not sufficient.

    Linda Fabiani

    Ms Fabiani said: "It falls far short of the vow and the promises that were made. Because what we are talking about here is having power over less than 30 per cent of the tax for Scotland, less than 20 per cent of the welfare budget."

    "So it's certainly not what was talked about as home rule."

    15:05: 'Right thing to do'

    The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, said the Smith commission proposals "are the right thing to do".

    Danny Alexander

    "It's part of a plan that we have today, which for the first time means that we will have home rule for Scotland within the United Kingdom, something that we, as Lib Dems, have campaigned on for a long time," he said.

    Mr Alexander added: "What you have is taxes like income tax which are proposed to be fully devolved, all of the income tax raised in Scotland will go towards helping to pay for the public services that are delivered by the Scottish parliament."

    14:58: English airports 'disadvantaged'

    A MP from the north of England says he fears that the new powers to be granted to the Scottish parliament could have a detrimental effect on English regional airports.

    Phil Wilson, Labour MP for Sedgefied, told the BBC that allowing Holyrood to set air passenger duty could disadvantage airports in the north of England.

    Newcastle International Airport There are fears Newcastle International Airport could lose customers

    Mr Wilson continued: "The Scottish National Party's policy on all of this is to cut air passenger duty and this will give an incentive to people to travel to Edinburgh to fly or to Scottish airports to fly, rather than go from Newcastle or Manchester.

    "And I know Ed Balls has actually written to George Osborne today to say that look, you know, regional airports - especially in the northeast of England - and the northwest, shouldn't be disadvantaged by these moves."

    14:49: Your reaction

    Michael Heron: The #SmithCommision isn't about making Yes people happy, it's about trying to placate No voters - and they *want* to convince themselves.

    KillTheWavesJoe: Scotland still very much attached to runaway train of Westminster, as it hurtles toward the social cliff. #SmithCommision

    Ian Young: What exactly are these 'job creating powers' that John Swinney wants? #SmithCommision

    DJ Johnston-Smith: Quite certain that 30% tax & 15% of welfare powers can't justly be claimed to be "as close to a federal state as you can be" #SmithCommision

    14:45: Only fools rush in

    Dr Alan Renwick, author of 'After the Referendum: Options for a Constitutional Convention' has said the Smith Commission's report makes it "even more important" to resolve the governance issues facing the rest of the UK.

    Rushing in to 'English votes for English laws', or remaining with the status quo would be wrong, he said.

    Union flags MPs from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland could be barred from voting on England-only matters

    "The risk is that the UK ends up with a system which has not been properly thought through, leading to as many losers as winners. Political leaders would be handing over even more ammunition to the critics, such as UKIP", he said.

    Mr Renwick continued: "Proper, detailed examination of all the options, and their likely effects, is needed. The best way to do this would be through a constitutional convention that allows ordinary British people to participate in the forging of a new constitutional settlement for the UK as a whole."

    14:26: Options for England

    The leader of the Commons, William Hague, has told MPs that the government will publish a command paper before Christmas on the options for England, following the Smith commission report.

    william hague

    Mr Hague said there would be proper debate and scrutiny of the Smith proposals.

    14:19: Your Tweets

    Ruth Wishart: Constitutional Convention. Calman Commisison. Smith Commission. Evolution, not revolution, but maybe same destination. #smithcommision

    Matthew Riley: Hope no one is buying that #smithcommision is near what the Scottish people want. Just recommendations & barely more than Scotland Act 2012.

    Christopher Silver: It's a potentially catastrophic approach for unionist parties to see #smithcommision as a line in the sand in advance of #ge2015

    14:09: Smith Commission: In quotes

    The proposals revealed by Lord Kelvin this morning have been met with a mixed reaction.

    Lord Kelvin with Commission report

    Find out what everyone from politicians, trade unions, business groups and charities have been saying here.

    Text 80295 14:00: Your Thoughts

    Mike Thomson, Uddingston: Interesting that Westminster will retain all oil and gas revenues, albeit they persistently talked down the value and benefit of such revenues in the weeks and months leading up to the referendum.

    Frank, Shetland: What a disappointment. I have to agree with the new first minister. The voters will decide. It's a mix off very little. Where is the can-do spirit?

    Fergus, Aberdeenshire: Smith sounds like a tax raising charter. Something i didn't vote for when I voted No.

    John, Airdrie: How sadly predictable the SNP are disappointed with the Smith Commission. For the good of our country they are going to need to get over the referendum result. We said no. Accept it and get on with running the country as per the settled will of the people.

    13:53: Reaction on Facebook

    Over on our BBC Scotland News Facebook page we're also getting your views on the Smith Commission proposals.

    Prentice Baines says: "I thought we were promised 'extensive new powers' to the effect of 'home rule'?"

    Les Mason says: "Air Passenger Duty is welcome. Hopefully allow us to make Scottish airports more competitive and negate the need to always route through Heathrow/Gatwick."

    13:45: At a glance

    So what is in the Smith Commission report?

    Smith Commission

    Here is a recap on the main points from the report, which can be read in full here.

    13:38: Poverty fight 'goes on'

    Shelter Scotland welcomed powers to abolish the so-called bedroom tax.

    Demonstration at Glasgow Green

    Director Graeme Brown said: "It is critical that the new powers for the Scottish Parliament are used to tackle poverty and inequality generally and poor housing and homelessness specifically.

    "There is a long way to go before these proposals become a reality for people across Scotland and our priority remains helping Scotland's most vulnerable tackle bad housing and homelessness."

    13:28: Are Scotland's new powers fair? Robert Peston Economics editor

    The Smith commission has apparently made some huge decisions.

    But possibly the most important economic decisions relating to Scotland's new powers, on the size of the grant Scotland will receive in future and how much it can borrow, are yet to be taken.

    Read my blog on whether the new tax spending powers to be devolved to Scotland are fair.

    13:23: 'Not enough welfare'

    Disabled people's organisation Inclusion Scotland welcomed plans to devolve control over disability benefits and the Work Programme.

    Man in wheelchair waiting for bus

    But the group said it is disappointed that the commission failed to devolve all welfare and more fiscal powers to Scotland.

    Bill Scott, Inclusion Scotland's policy director, said: "We consulted with hundreds of disabled people and their near unanimous view was that we needed Devo Max, including the devolution of all welfare benefits.

    "However, we are pleased that the Scottish Government should get more control over employability schemes. This cluster of powers has the potential to make a real difference to Scots disabled people's lives."

    #smithcommission 13:17: Reaction on twitter

    Dave Murchison: Unionist parties in Scot. Parl. telling Sturgeon to basically shut up and accept that's all Scotland is getting. #indyscot #smithcommission

    Peter A Russell: Smith Commission was @theSNP 's chance to unite Scots around new settlement. They have blown it, and failed Scotland. To their eternal shame.

    Grant McKenzie: #smithcommission is only recommendations! @jackiebmsp, you need to learn the difference between the process and having delivered

    Sam Ghibaldan: The #SmithCommission, which included the SNP, has gone well beyond #TheVow. The SNP should remember people rejected independence #FMQs

    13:09: Clegg: Over to you, Scotland

    Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg hailed the Smith Commission's recommendations as "The Vow Max".

    Nick Clegg

    He told the BBC: "Myself, David Cameron, Ed Miliband made this vow that more powers would be handed to Scotland.

    "We've not only delivered on that vow, on the timetable that we said, we've over-delivered on it - it's 'Vow Max', if you like."

    Mr Clegg added: "And now we will have a Scottish parliament which can raise the majority of the money that is spent in Scotland, you have a welfare system for Scotland.

    "It won't ask anything more of English taxpayers - anything that the Scottish government wants to do now or in the future will have to be paid for in Scotland itself. I think that is a sensible settlement and I back it, and I back it fully."

    13:04: 'Be smart with tax'

    Andy Willox, Scottish policy convenor of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said the proposals "seek to bridge the gap between the spending power of the Scottish parliament and the health of the country's private sector".

    Man working at machine

    He added: "We know that our members' preferred course of action in the event of a 'No' vote was a Scottish Parliament with more powers, and today's agreement certainly moves in that direction.

    "No matter how the Scottish Parliament chooses to use new powers, we cannot see a new administrative burden fall on Scottish businesses, or firms who trade or employ north of the border.

    "We must develop smart tax and regulatory systems which take the administrative sting out of any changes for the business community."

    12:57: Hosie: 'No powerhouse parliament'

    Deputy SNP leader Stewart Hosie tweets: The #smithcommission proposals are welcome as far as they go... But they will NOT deliver the powerhouse parliament promised. #VoteSNP

    Stewart Hosie
    12:53: Glasgow Airport reaction

    Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: "We welcome the findings of the Smith Commission which has recommended the devolvement of Air Passenger Duty (APD) to the Scottish Parliament.

    Glasgow Airport departures lounge

    "APD is the highest form of aviation tax in the world and it is important it is devolved and reformed as soon as possible.

    "APD is a damaging, regressive tax which in addition to dissuading airlines from adding new routes, makes it extremely challenging to maintain existing services.

    "Having full control of APD will play a major role in strengthening Scotland's connectivity and provide yet a further boost to our burgeoning tourism industry."

    12:38: 'Time to heal divisions'

    Alistair Carmichael says today represents "a time to heal the divisions, to bring the people of Scotland together".

    alistair carmichael

    He adds: "We had a vote and we said we would deliver change. We have now told the people of Scotland today what that change will be.

    "It's time to get together and use the powers that the Scottish Parliament has, and will get, and to use them for the good of the Scottish people and the Scottish economy."

    12:37: Nicola Sturgeon at FMQs

    At First Minister's Questions earlier, Nicola Sturgeon said the proposals fall short of genuine home rule, which she says was promised ahead of the independence referendum.

    Nicola Sturgeon

    Ms Sturgeon added it was her belief that the opinion of the Scottish people would be the powers are not enough, and that they will show that at the next election.

    Smith Commission at FMQs Douglas Fraser Business and economy editor, Scotland

    Nicola Sturgeon at FMQs: says she would raise top tax to 50%, if she could now. Cites Scottish Trade UnionCongress and SCVO disappointment at Smith Commission.

    Carmichael's claim Tim Reid Political correspondent, BBC News

    SNP disputing Carmichael's claims that more than 50 % of revenue spent will be raised by Scottish Parliament.

    12:30: Abortion devolution

    Labour MP Sandra Osborne, in the House of Commons debate, backs the decision not to immediately recommend the devolution of abortion powers "which would have caused all sorts of problems".

    sandra osborne

    Mr Carmichael, in response, said: "There is a clear statement that it is considered by the commissioners to be an anomalous situation and I can understand why they take that view.

    "However, we have always dealt with abortion differently - we have always made it the subject of a free vote in this house.

    "And I think the compromise they reached in the commission to have a recognition of the anomaly that currently exists but saying a new process will have to be devised in order to deal with that is a sensible one."

    12:28: 'Positive and exciting'

    Annabel Goldie also spoke to the BBC News Channel earlier. She was one of the representatives on the Smith Commission for the Scottish Conservatives.

    She said: "It was challenging. You'd expect robust discussion, from five different parties, in many respect with quite disparate views.

    Annabel Goldie

    She said: "I thought it was a measure of the commitment to Scotland and Scotland's future, that we managed to bang our heads together, iron out the differences, because we wanted to come out with an agreed position and I'm delighted that's what we've managed to do.

    "A very positive position, a very exciting position, for the future of Scotland."

    Smith Commission at FMQs Douglas Fraser Business and economy editor, Scotland

    FMQs at Holyrood: rarely can there have been such a stairheid rammy about a consensus. #smithcommission

    Nicola Sturgeon at FMQs quotes IEA saying Smith Commission is a "dangerous half-way house". (It then warns blame game continues, more tax and red tape).

    12:26: 'This is home rule for Scotland'

    Michael Moore, speaking on the BBC News Channel earlier, said: "This is home rule for Scotland. We have got a substantial package of financial measures coming to the Scottish parliament. It will raise something like 60% of the spending that its responsible for, in taxes directly or indirectly.

    Michael Moore

    "It has also got the beginnings of separate Scottish welfare system that builds on the social union from the cradle to the grave but also roots Scotland still very firmly within the UK; particularly that matters for job and wealth creation."

    "But we have devolved substantial powers to assist people getting to work to the Scottish parliament."

    Tim Reid Political correspondent, BBC News

    Stewart Hosie: Proposals to not reflect the powerhouse parliament many thought they had been promised #smithcommission

    Tweet using #smithcommission 12:24: Your reaction on Twitter

    Sean McPartlin: Coalition line: "This is Home Rule for Scotland" - either means they are daft, or they think we are. #smithcommission

    Calum Findlay: At least we get 100% control of speed limits and road signs! #smithcommission

    Mark Bolsover: #smithcommission whilst their are *some* positives (e.g. change of franchise for 16/17 yr olds), the, frankly, obfuscatory checks make it seem like a maintenance of the status quo, couched in apparently well-meaning platitudes...

    Kirstein Rummery: #smithcommission achieved cross party consensus - that is actually a *huge* achievement. Wish all politics looked like this

    12:23: What about England?

    Conservative MP Andrew Percy, in the House of Commons debate on the Smith Commission, says people in England are "getting the fluffy end of the lollipop."

    Andrew Percy
    12:22: On Radio Scotland John Beattie BBC Scotland

    On air on BBC Radio Scotland - what do you think of the conclusions of the Smith Commission report?

    You can text me on 80295.

    12:15: Vow 'delivered'

    Jackie Baillie MSP, who is standing in at First Minister's Questions until the Scottish Labour Party finds a new leader, says the vow made to people of Scotland ahead of the referendum has been delivered ahead of schedule.

    12:12: Proposals 'underwhelming'

    Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) national spokesperson Colin Fox says that Smith proposals were "underwhelming" and did nothing to tackle key problems facing working people.

    Mr Fox said: "As tax raising powers are devolved the block grant to Holyrood will fall leaving power still very much in London's hands.

    "On key problems facing thousands of Scots it has no real answer. No new power to tackle fuel poverty, introduce a desperately needed wage of £10 an hour or tackle the scandal of zero hours contracts.

    "What the commission shows is the stark reality between its tinkering and spin and the failure to address the crying needs for jobs, fair pay and real change.

    "It will not settle the increasing demand for independence reflected in public opinion since September 18th and underlines the SSP's view that independence has not been defeated but deferred."

    12:10: Business sectors reaction to commission Douglas Fraser Business and economy editor, Scotland

    Free market Institute of Economic Affairs says the Smith deal "dangerous 1/2-way house". Blame game goes on, with the prospect of more regulation and higher tax.

    Brad Mackay, of the Edinburgh University Business School, says business leaders don't want single market disrupted and would prefer Holyrood to keep tax rates consistent with UK.

    Meanwhile, Scottish Retailers say more devolution is not an end in itself, adding: "Priority is simple, make it easier and less costly for firms to invest, grow and hire"

    12:10: Sturgeon on Smith Commission

    Nicola Sturgeon, in First Minister's Questions, asks how Labour has managed to find itself on same side as Conservatives and on different side from STUC over Smith proposals.

    She points to comments from various charities and unions which have expressed disappointment over what is on offer and says there are no powers to create jobs.

    12:06: FMQs Graham Fraser BBC Scotland

    If you want to watch First Minister's Questions, where MSPs are discussing the Smith Commission, you can do so on the 'Live Coverage' tab of this page or follow it on the BBC's live blog and video of the Scottish Parliament.

    12:04: 'The Vow Plus'

    Labour MP Dame Anne Begg describes the Smith recommendations as "The Vow Plus".

    dame anne begg

    But she adds: "It is quite right that pensions, and in particular state pensions, should remain reserved as there is no doubt that throughout the referendum campaign and polling that voters, and indeed Yes voters, wanted it to remain within the UK."

    11:59: #SmithCommission trending

    Reaction on Twitter going wild for the Smith Commission.

    Smith Commission trending

    It was the 8th most tweeted about topic in UK, and 5th most tweeted about in Scotland.

    Wishart 'disappointed' Tim Reid Political correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: SNP's Pete Wishart gets a cheer from MPs for uttering the word "welcome" to #smithcommission, but goes on to say Scotland is "disappointed"

    Pete Wishart in statement debate

    Carmichael to Wishart: "It's about time he and his party came to terms with their loss" in the referendum vote #smithcommission

    11:57: Once in a generation

    Shadow Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael again says the independence referendum should be accepted as a once in a generation vote.

    He adds: "Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon said they would respect the outcome of the referendum. There is absolutely no reason from today for them to do anything other than make it clear that we will not be returning to this question in a referendum in a generation."

    11:56: Welfare

    Mr Carmichael says the new powers will allow Scotland to design "a welfare system that is fit for purpose".

    11:54: Fears over a rushed job

    Conservative MP Sir Edward Leigh added: "If we rush this we are at risk of throwing petrol on the embers of English resentment."

    Sir Edward Leigh
    11:52: Greater separation

    Conservative MP Andrew Robathan, in the debate on the Smith Commission in the House of Commons, says Scotland voted "against spiteful nationalist" but Smith Commission proposals will deliver greater UK separation.

    11:49: Murphy on welfare powers

    Scottish Labour leadership candidate Jim Murphy says new welfare powers are "just as crucial" to Scotland as new tax powers.

    He asks Mr Carmichael in the House of Commons to confirm that he wants to see devolution of those powers "at a pace and in a manner which will enable Scotland to challenge poverty and the generational disadvantage that blights far too many families".

    Tweet using #smithcommission 11:47: Your Reaction

    Jim Roberton: Alistair Carmichael produces the Daily Record to support his argument on Smith. A lie, supported by another lie, does not make your case.

    Dick Winchester: Alistair Carmichael now trying to drive a wedge between @JohnSwinney and other MSPs/SNP members. It won't work.

    11:45: Nick Robinson's Analysis Nick Robinson Political editor

    'If you think today's constitutional changes are only about Scotland, think again.

    Lord Smith

    'If you think they mark the end of a process of change, think again.

    'If you think they will end the debate about Scottish independence, think again.'

    Read Nick's blog.

    11:44: 'Great day for democracy'

    Labour MP Graham Allen, chairman of the political and constitutional reform committee, says: "This is a great day for democracy. What's good enough for Scotland is good enough for England."

    Graham Allen
    11:42: Votes of Scottish MPs

    Conservative MP John Redwood asks Mr Carmichael if he agrees that once Scotland is determining its own income tax rates in the Scottish parliament, it would be "quite wrong for Scottish members of this parliament to fix the bands and rates for the English".

    John Redwood

    Mr Carmichael says: "Income tax remains a tax that is shared between the two parliaments.".

    Some Tory MPs respond with cries of "rubbish".

    11:38: Repercussions in Wales

    First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones says it would now be discriminatory if air passenger duty was not devolved to Wales like it is in Scotland.

    Carwyn Jones, FM of Wales First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones

    Plaid Cymru meanwhile, have welcomed the Smith Commission but says it doesn't fulfil the 'vow' made in the last days of the referendum campaign.

    11:33: Free Church reaction

    The Free Church of Scotland has welcomed the Smith Commission proposal to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in future Scottish elections and the beginning of a process to devolve abortion.

    James Fraser CBE, chairman of the Free Church's Board of Trustees, commented: "We are pleased that the Smith Commission is recommending that young people aged 16 and upwards be able to vote in future Scottish elections.

    Young voter

    "This was an interesting by-product of the referendum debate, and it is excellent that it will now become a permanent feature of politics in Scotland. It will hopefully go a considerable way to maintaining the momentum of the political debate."

    On the issue of abortion, Mr Fraser added: "We are also pleased that the Smith Commission has put the devolving of abortion powers on the table. We are completely at a loss to think of any good reason for devolving health on the one hand, but reserving abortion policy on the other."

    Email: 11:31: Your views

    Graeme, Glasgow: We need to remember that nobody voted for the findings of the Smith Commission. It may be that they reflect the wishes of the Scottish people but until they are asked we can never know. The changes proposed are far too significant to be imposed on the Scottish people by a cross-party group of politicians who all want more powers to Scotland to increase their own influence.

    Wilma Davidson: Interesting to read this morning about the recommendations of the Smith Commission. Disappointed to see there has been no discussion throughout this whole process of The Scottish Six, or broadcasting in Scotland in general. Scotland needs more local news and current affairs produced here in Scotland, for Scotland.

    11:30: Carmichael on job creation

    Mr Carmichael responds to Mr Hosie's claim, saying: "There are significant job creating powers and the Scottish parliament already holds significant job creating powers."

    Cameron's plan Tim Reid Political correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: PM on Smith Commission: "Report makes the case for English votes for English laws unanswerable". Says proposals published before Christmas.

    He also states that the Smith Commission will achieve a "better balance in the UK".

    11:26: Hosie wanted job creating powers

    SNP deputy leader Stewart Hosie says he notes the absence of "further substantive job creating powers" in the Smith recommendations.

    Stewart Hosie
    Payday loans Lucy Adams BBC Scotland

    tweets: #smithcommission Scottish Parliament will have the power to prevent proliferation of Payday Loan shops

    11:23: Darling's reaction

    Better Together leader Alistair Darling welcomes the recommendations but asks Alistair Carmichael to "ensure he does nothing to undermine the strength and integrity of the United Kingdom".

    Alistair Darling
    11:21: Proposals 'will happen'

    The Scottish Secretary says the Smith recommendations will be implemented "without hesitation, without reservation and without equivocation".

    Alistair Carmichael
    11:19: Carmichael praises compromise

    Mr Carmichael pays tribute to the Scottish Labour party for the "compromises and progress they have made".

    11:18: Guarantees on budget

    Responding to Mr Carmichael in the House of Commons, Shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran says: "We have secured Scottish guarantees over the voting rights on the budget."

    Margaret Curran
    11:15: ICAS welcomes Commission

    ICAS, a professional body of Chartered Accountants, has welcomed the Smith Commission recommendations on further devolution to Scotland.

    Chief Executive Anton Colella said: "This is a huge moment for Scotland. With this significant transfer of powers comes major new responsibility for the Scottish Parliament.

    "We believe oversight of Government and the way the Parliament works must now be transformed. Scotland needs a new era of accountability, scrutiny and transparency to go in hand with our new financial powers."

    Coins and notes

    "This maintains the single UK market and we hope will provide the right conditions to grow business and prosperity in Scotland."

    ICAS also welcomed recommendations to improve collaboration between the Scottish and UK Governments.

    11:13: Home rule

    Alistair Carmichael adds: "Having a more powerful Scottish parliament inside a strong United Kingdom will open the door to more constitutional change in the United Kingdom.

    "We can achieve home rule all round."

    11:13: Historic moment

    Mr Carmichael says the Smith recommendations are "a significant achievement and a historic moment for Scotland and the United Kingdom".

    11:08: Carmichael speech

    Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael has started speaking about the Smith Commission in the House of Commons.

    Alistair Carmichael

    He said: "We back the agreement and will produce draft legislation in January."

    11:00: Murphy: Talk about action

    Jim Murphy adds: ""The Vow has been met. Let's now talk about values and actions."

    "I have set out very clearly what I will do if I am elected Scottish Labour leader and First Minister. I will ask the wealthiest few in Scotland to pay a little bit more tax so that we can support our small businesses and reduce poverty.

    "Nicola Sturgeon must say once and for all whether she would do the same."

    10:58: Murphy: Time to deliver

    Scottish Labour leadership candidate Jim Murphy said the vow of more powers for the Scottish parliament has "not only been delivered but exceeded".

    Jim Murphy

    He said: "The days of political parties in Scotland promising the earth but blaming someone else for their failure to deliver are well and truly over. There will be no hiding place for those parties which preach social justice but duck for cover when called to act.

    "The terms of the political debate in Scotland have now changed entirely. No longer will we obsess about the delivery of powers. That question has been answered today. The debate now moves from powers to policy."

    10:53: Keeping the vow

    David Cameron, speaking on the BBC News Channel, said: "I'm delighted with what's been announced, we are keeping our promises and we're keeping our United Kingdom together."

    David Cameron

    He added: "I always said a No vote didn't mean no change. Indeed we made a vow of further devolution to Scotland and today we show how we're keeping that vow, and will continue to keep that promise.

    "The Scottish parliament is going to have much more responsibility in terms of spending money, but it will also have to be accountable for how it raises taxes to fund that spending and I think that's a good thing.

    "I think the report today also makes the case for English votes for English laws unanswerable and we'll be taking action on that shortly.

    "It's a good day for the UK."

    10:51: 'Maximise business growth'

    Liz Cameron, director and chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, welcomed the Smith commission's recommendations to help "maximise business growth".

    Liz Cameron

    She said: "Time is of critical importance and our priority is to ensure that the Scottish business community is at the core of implementing these recommendations.

    "Now, the responsibility is on politicians to come together and focus their collective talents and skills to deliver upon these recommendations and create the new Scotland which has the right economic levers to support our businesses, which are the creators of jobs and wealth."

    10:43: STUC 'underwhelmed'

    Grahame Smith, general secretary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) said he was "underwhelmed" by the package of recommendations which "does not meet our aspirations".

    He added: "STUC continues to believe that control over employment law, equalities and minimum wages is a necessity if inequality is to be effectively challenged. We will continue to press for this.

    "The no detriment clause and retention of the Barnett Formula is to be welcomed but the proposals for further fiscal devolution do not go far enough. Without the key powers over inheritance and capital gains taxes, meaningful tax and land reform will be more difficult. "

    10:35: Davidson: 'Real accountability'

    Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, has endorsed the Smith commission's proposals.

    Ruth Davidson

    She said: "This is a plan which, for the first time since devolution, brings real accountability and real responsibility to the Scottish Parliament.

    "Future Scottish governments will have to look Scottish taxpayers in the eye when they are spending their money.

    "Successive administrations have been able to claim credit for public spending, and then blame Westminster when it runs out.

    "That now ends. The powers are there to do as they please."

    Email 10:33: Your Reaction

    Lee Wootton: It's 100% of income tax raised in Scotland Nicola, of course it's gonna remain shared or did you want control of all income tax in the UK cause that's the only way you were gonna get 100% of income tax! Scotland has gotten a good start here. Don't blow it for us by screaming about what we didn't get!

    Jacqueline Baird: I just knew it. Five minutes gone and the SNP have started already complaining. No matter what was on offer it was not going to be enough. The panel was made up to represent all of the Scottish people. The majority of people did not vote for independence. Scotland has a lot more than the ordinary working class people in the rest of the UK.

    Peter: Revise the Barnett formula in line with the outcome of this report. English and Welsh taxes for English and Welsh people. The People's Republic of Caledonia must live within its own means with no subsidies from the rest of the UK.

    #smithcommission 10:30: Journalists' views

    Martin Kettle, of The Guardian: John Swinney sets out the SNP's Smith Commission as a betrayal narrative.

    Tom Gordon, Scottish Political Editor of the Sunday Herald: "I'm just the referee," Lord Smith tells media briefing on #thevow as he repeatedly refuses to answer Qs on what it all means.

    10:29: Sarwar: 'Good for Scotland'

    Anas Sarwar interim leader of the Scottish Labour Party, said of the Smith Commission agreement was "not in our own interests but in the interests of the Scotland and the people we serve".

    Anas Sawrwar

    "People wanted more decisions taken closer to home and that is what we have delivered," he added.

    "Today is a good day for Scotland and a good day for the Scottish Parliament."

    10:25: Held to account

    The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has said the Smith commission proposals must be carefully evaluated and only introduced if they are fair to both Scotland and the rest of the UK.

    Scottish money

    Craig Vickery, head of ACCA Scotland, said: "The closeness of the referendum vote made it clear to Westminster that the momentum for further devolution continues to build, and the Smith Commission proposals are the next step in delivering this.

    "My concern is that politicians will choose the proposals they like or are easiest to implement rather than looking at the package as a whole and how the individual parts affect both Scotland and the rest of the UK."

    He added: "The proposal for the full devolution of income tax is likely be of interest to most people, and with support from both Westminster and Holyrood looks likely to happen.

    "I would caution against setting a timetable too quickly on this however; both HMRC and Revenue Scotland need to be given as much time as they need to put the processes in place, rather than it being rushed through to meet public expectation of change sooner rather than later."

    #smithcommission Reaction: On twitter

    Ewan Dow: So Iain Gray thinks #SmithCommission makes Scots Parl one of world's most powerful devolved Parls? German Länder just phoned. They laughed!

    James Bundy: The #smithcommission shows that the UK government will keep to their promise of further devolution and get control of income tax and A.P.D

    Euan Bryson: As they celebrate the Smith Commission, it is ironic that this report will consign unionist parties to the Scottish political history books.

    Iain: #smithcommission Good start and well done to Lord Smith for banging heads together to this degree...but where next from here?

    10:19: Gordon Brown response

    Gordon Brown will formally respond to the Smith Commission recommendations in a speech to Scottish local councillors this weekend in Glasgow.

    Gordon Brown

    He will tell them: "The Vow to deliver a stronger Scottish Parliament within the UK has been kept, as promised, and the timetable for draft laws to be published in January will now be honoured, as promised."

    Mr Brown will say that the Commission, by deciding that income tax is a shared UK tax and savings tax and personal allowances will not be devolved, has "rightly rejected the Conservative proposal".

    10:17: Parliament 'will be stronger'

    Shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran says the commission's recommendations are "a promise kept and an agreement delivered".

    margaret currant

    She adds: "Today we respond to the call for change that we heard on 18 September with extensive new powers for the Scottish Parliament. There shall be a stronger Scottish Parliament.

    "Politics in Scotland has changed forever and people want power close to them. This agreement today meets that demand with extensive new powers over tax, welfare and job creation being passed to the Scottish Parliament."

    10:10: Edinburgh Airport reaction

    Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, welcomes the commission's recommendation that air passenger duty is devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

    Edinburgh Airport

    He adds: "This should not and need not wait for legislation on other tax changes.

    "We strongly believe that there is a real case to see it devolved as soon as possible so that Scotland can capitalise fully on the benefits of this fantastic year where we have been in the global spotlight. The removal or reducing of this tax will see millions more passengers come to Scotland as our major airlines have indicated.

    "Airline planners are finalising 2015 now and we run the risk of losing that momentum as those people who wish to visit us are deterred by the highest aviation taxes in the world."

    BBC's Charter Tim Reid Political correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: Formal consultative role for Scot Gov and Scot Parl "in the process of reviewing the BBC's Charter" #smithcommission.

    Report says "strongly" believe abortion powers should be devolved and want "immediate" process to further consider #smithcommission

  84. Reaction: By email

    Chris Hegarty: Some nice headlines from the Smith Commission but scratch beneath the surface and it's just tinkering with issues such as welfare. I don't have any party allegiance but as a voter who wanted more powers I'm surprised, underwhelmed and disappointed.

    David, Glasgow: This is nothing like Devo Max, nor the 'home rule close to federalism' that Scots were promised. The Tories, Lib Dems and Labour will dress it up like it is something more than it is. Scots have been cheated, you can guarantee by the time these plans have gone through Westminster they will have been watered down as much as possible.

    Paul: If Scottish parliament get powers to raise income tax, then the Scottish MPs in Westminster should not be setting the income tax levels for the rest of the UK. Believe the PM about English Laws for England only? No!

    10:01: What Scotland deal would mean for UK James Landale Deputy political editor

    "If Scotland gets the powers promised to it by the Smith commission, the consequences will be felt across the whole of the United Kingdom.

    Yes voters

    "First, there will be increased demands for more devolution elsewhere.

    "Many English MPs will want a greater say at Westminster over legislation that only affects England. William Hague is chairing a cabinet committee to come up with plans to make this happen, plans that will be published in a few weeks' time."

    Read James' full analysis

    Smith expects...

    Severin Carrell, The Guardian's Scotland correspondent, tweets: Lord Smith says @David_Cameron pledged this morning #smithcommission wld be implemented "in full"; Smith expects total package be accepted

    Tweet using #smithcommission Reaction: On twitter

    Aamer Anwar: #smithcommission Just Recommendations, broken vows, no real powers 2eradicate poverty & at mercy of Westminster- BUSINESS AS USUAL.

    Stephen Crompton: You can't call this a win compared to what we could have had, not even a full step forward! A toe edged slightly closer? #smithcommission

    Pam Heinemeier: English votes for english laws was ALWAYS the favoured outcome of the Smith Commission.

    Andrew Smith: Whether or not everyone feels it goes far enough, it's fair to say #smithcommission represents a real and substantial change to devolution.

    09:56: Life on the commission

    John Swinney described the Smith Commission as a "long and intense process".

    He adds: "There has been lots of cross words, and lots of laughter. It has not been an arduous process. Politicians can find some common ground.

    "What is helping us is we have had fabulous chairmanship from Lord Smith of Kelvin, who has delivered a tremendous service to Scotland in this process."

    Tweet using #smithcommission Reaction: On twitter

    Glen O'Hara: #Sturgeon initial measures really raised my hopes for good governance in #Scotland. #SNP reaction to #smithcommission has dashed them again.

    Kirstein Rummery: #smithcommission delivered one of the most/devolved, accountable and autonomous fed settlement in the world - more tax & spend power than US.

    Iain Docherty: So Scotland can't even decide which taxes it wants. 'As close to federalism as it gets'? #smithcommission

    'Not 100% shared devolution'

    Nicola Sturgeon, in a second tweet said: Para 75 of #smith report - 'income tax will remain a shared tax'. So not 100% devolution as spun by Westminster parties.

    09:43: 'Not home rule'

    Mr Swinney said parties had to compromise in the Smith Commission, adding: "This agreement does not fulfil all of my expectations or my ambitions and more importantly it doesn't fulfil the expectations or ambitions of the people of Scotland".

    The deputy first minister said: "This is not what people were promised in the last days of the referendum, when Gordon Brown promised a system that would be delivered which would be as close to federalism as was possible.

    "We were promised modern home rule. That has not been delivered today."

    Tim Reid Political correspondent, BBC News

    tweets Licensing of onshore #oil and #gas extraction underlying Scotland will be devolved to Holyrood #smithcommision

    Nicola Sturgeon tweets

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweets: I welcome all new powers - and pay tribute to Lord Smith - but 70% of our taxes and 85% of welfare staying at Westminster not real home rule

    Tweet using #smithcommission Reaction: On twitter

    Gareth Clancy: more power for Scotland #SmithCommission on income tax & borrowing . Need strong "economic responsibility".

    Jim McLaughlin: Maggie Chapman, Greens justifiably angry with "collaborators." Can feel the hackles of the nation rising over #smithcommission sell-out.

    Rhiannon Valentine: Don't forget these are recommendations! We have no guarantee that this is what will actually be delivered. #SmithCommission

    09:39: SNP disappointed over no job creating powers

    John Swinney, speaking on the BBC News Channel, said: "There are many aspects of this report which are welcome, which strengthen the powers of the Scottish parliament and give us the ability to tackle some of the issues that affect our citizens.

    "But what civic Scotland aspired for was the job creating powers that could transform our economy in Scotland, and control over the welfare system, over the minimum wage, over the things that would enable us to tackle the in-work poverty which is a central economic problem we face today and unfortunately we don't have those powers."

    Tweet using #smithcommission Reaction: On twitter

    John Daly: #smithcommission launches the vehicle that will deliver independence.

    Jimmy Walker: Hoped for a more robust proposal from Smith Commission. What makes it through Commons will be mere lip service.

    Allan Williams: Fairly sure SNP would have criticised Smith Commission report regardless of what it said.

    09:37: What next?

    Lord Smith's recommendations, known as a Heads of Agreement, will form the basis of draft legislation due to be published by 25 January.

    The main parties at Westminster have pledged that the legislation will be taken forward regardless of the outcome of the general election in May.

    Breaking News

    Key recommendations....

    • Power to set rates and bands on earned income and retain all income tax raised in Scotland.
    • Sixteen and 17-year-olds to vote in Scottish elections.
    • Powers to create new benefits in devolved areas and make discretionary payments in any area of welfare.
    • Holyrood should have a share of VAT.
    • And Air Passenger Duty should be fully devolved.
    09:35: Lib Dem view David Porter Westminster correspondent

    Liberal Democrat sources have welcomed the findings of the Smith Commission to give more powers to Holyrood as a "quality and substantive piece of work".

    The party says the proposals go further than the vow delivered by the three unionist party leaders just before September's referendum and, in effect, create a Scottish welfare system.

    Lib Dem sources say they believe other parties in the Smith Commission have moved stewards their line on a number of issues.

    09:31: Spin begins

    And with that the conference is over, and politicians from all five parties make their way towards the assembled media to give their take on the proposals.



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