Don’t throw away gains of devolution, urges Wallace

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FORMER deputy first minister Jim Wallace has urged Scots not to throw away devolution by opting for independence.

In a speech to the Scottish Public Law Group in Edinburgh, Lord Wallace of Tankerness, now advocate general in the UK coalition government, said: “Devolved government is not some sort of halfway house on the route to a separate state. It is a form of government which recognises different levels of political decision-making within one state.”

He said independence would end Scotland’s union with England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which some people would welcome, but it would also mean the end of devolution.

He said: “In essence, devolution gives us the strengths of the bigger state of 60 million people when that is best, and the advantages of a state of five million people when that works best.

“It also gives substance to our sense that the interests of, for example, a pensioner in Shetland are linked to the interests of a pensioner in Sheffield.”