>> Yesterday English Tory MPs put down over 200 proposed amendments to the
>> six clause referendum bill.
> Subtle. Do you think they might be a bit peeved?
No, they just want to ensure that the bill gets proper scrutiny. Honest,
> Was this a rogue act or was it done with the full knowledge and
>support of the Conservative Party leadership?
Yes. The Tory leadership has set up a committee to oppose devolution.
There are 2 scots on it, but if this morning's interview with one of
them is anything to go on, they haven't consulted anyone. Most Scottish
Tories seem to be coming round to devolution simply as a fact of life,
and of realism.
>> Amongst the proposals are requirements that the
>> can only take place on St Andrew's Day (a Sunday), can only take place in
>> daylight hours (in November..?) and would be eligible to all those BORN in
>> Scotland (whether or not they would be affected by the result).
> I don't suppose they offered a mechanism for collecting votes from
>abroad? Or would you have to nip over to Scotland to cast your vote?
Oh, I'm sure you have to do it here, and produce your birth certificate
> On a more serious note, it might actually be an advantage to the
>cause to exclude from the referendum those born outside Scotland. Is
>there any indication that foreign-born citizens of Scotland are less
>likely to support either devolution or independence?
Haven't seen any figures one way or the other. I go with Alisdair Gray's
theory that Scots are all those who live & vote here. These are the people
who will be affected, so it's their democratic right to influence their
future. No-one else's.
>> In response, the Secretary of State for Scotland, Donald Dewar, has
>> the amount of time available for debate of the bill, and has said that the
>> Commons will sit all night if necessary to ensure the bill's passage this
> Surely with the large Labour majority, these amendments can be
Yes. But the guillotine motion restricting debate also ensures that
the fairly tight Parliamentary timetable (there's not much time before
the summer recess) wasn't compromised. The Tories used the guillotine
loads of times anyway.
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