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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

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Scottish yes vote threatens constitutional crisis, says Carlisle MP

The UK could be plunged into a constitutional crisis if Scotland votes in favour of independence, Carlisle MP John Stevenson has warned.

John Stevenson photo
John Stevenson

A staunch opponent of Scotland’s proposed split from the union, the MP has now drawn up a Parliamentary Bill under the so-called “10 minute rule”, proposing a law which would bar Scots from voting in the 2015 General Election if September’s referendum approves independence.

Mr Stevenson says it highlights one of the profound problems that could flow from a yes vote.

“Clearly, I would like Scotland to vote no to independence,” he said.

“But if they did vote yes, Scotland wouldn’t become independent overnight.

“There would be a period of negotiations which would not conclude until 2016, and after the General Election of 2015 you could end up with a situation in which Scotland may be sending 59 MPs to Westminister even though they have chosen to be an independent country.

“There could be a situation where the Prime Minister of this country could be determined by Scottish MPs.

“It would be a constitutional crisis.”

Mr Stevenson’s Bill would effectively disenfranchise – remove the vote from – all Scottish citizens at the next General Election should Scotland chooses independence on September 18.

He added: “You just can’t have your government chosen by the citizens of another country.”

In January, Mr Stevenson, who grew up in Aberdeen and went to university in Dundee, warned that independence could be followed by the introduction of ‘border controls’ at Gretna, with visitors being asked to show their passports.

He spoke out after Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael claimed an independent Scottish Government would be unable to maintain an open border.

The SNP dismissed Mr Carmichael’s claims as “scaremongering”.

The SNP MSP Mark McDonald said: “It is perfectly possible to have your own immigration policy and be part of the Common Travel Area.”

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