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Jeremy Corbyn has rejected Kezia Dugdale’s new Act of Union proposal

 

Dear Member

Although Jeremy Corbyn has rejected Kezia Dugdale’s new Act of Union proposal he still will not bring himself to talk about England as a country, instead he again promotes the regionalisation of England.

Jeremy Corbyn’s comment

“There is a huge issue about regional government across England, and there is a need to have a discussion about the relative powers in Scotland, in Wales and in Northern Ireland of devolved assemblies.”

Best Eddie

 

Telegraph – Jeremy Corbyn rejects Kezia Dugdale’s keynote plan for new Act of Union Jeremy Corbyn has rejected Kezia Dugdale’s plan for new Act of Union Credit: Reuters

12 January 2017 • 6:54pm

Jeremy Corbyn has delivered a damaging blow to Kezia Dugdale’s attempt to win back voters on both sides of Scotland’s constitutional divide by rejecting her keynote plan for a new Act of Union.

The Scottish Labour leader delivered a major speech last month in which she argued that transforming the UK into a federal system codified in a new Act would help “heal our divided society” following the independence and EU referendums.

Mr Corbyn said he agreed with her plan to set up a constitutional convention to draw up a new blueprint for how the UK should be governed but objected to her central proposal of a new Act of Union, saying he would not use those words.

He also told BBC Scotland that a second independence referendum was not needed and rejected Nicola Sturgeon’s proposal for some immigration powers to be devolved, saying this would require “regional borders” within the UK.

But his rejection of a new Act of Union is particularly unhelpful for Ms Dugdale as her blueprint would appear to have no chance of success if she cannot convince her own UK party leader. She said last week that he backed the proposal.

Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Tory leader, said Mr Corbyn was right to reject the proposal, which she described as “clearly little more than a Scottish Labour gimmick, from a party all at sea on the constitution.”

Ms Dugdale has been trying to reassert Scottish Labour’s Unionist credentials since she gave a disastrous interview during last year’s Holyrood election campaign in which she suggested she would consider voting for independence following a Brexit vote.

The Scottish Labour leader has since seen her personal and party poll ratings slump, with Unionist voters moving to the Tories. Her federalism plan is aimed at winning back voters from the Tories as well as some ‘soft’ independence supporters.

Kezia Dugdale set out a plan for a new Act of Union last month Credit: James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock

Mr Corbyn said he wanted to look at the constitutional relationship across the UK, but said he “wouldn’t use the words new Act of Union”.

He added: “What we will be doing is looking at a new constitutional convention for the whole of the UK because there are issues of lack of democracy in parts of our political structure, such as the unelected House of Lords.

“There is a huge issue about regional government across England, and there is a need to have a discussion about the relative powers in Scotland, in Wales and in Northern Ireland of devolved assemblies.”

The Labour leader said Scotland should be able to have another independence referendum if Holyrood votes for one but it was “much more important” to address the economic issues facing the whole of the UK and the upcoming Brexit negotiations.

Ms Davidson said: “I never thought I’d find myself agreeing with Jeremy Corbyn. But he’s quite right to reject the idea of a new Act of Union.

“Instead of constant flip-flopping on the issue, Labour should be standing full-square behind Scotland’s decision to stay part of the UK.”

Ivan McKee, an SNP MSP, said: “This is a complete and utter embarrassment for Scottish Labour, with their position on the constitution fatally undermined by Jeremy Corbyn.”

A Scottish Labour spokesman said the Union was only under threat because of the “Tories’ reckless Brexit gamble” and the party opposed another independence referendum.He added: “Kezia Dugdale has proposed a new Act of Union, to strengthen our union across the whole of the UK for generations to come. Being part of the UK protects jobs and the money we need to invest in our public services.”

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