David Davis writes to the Guardian about Scottish devolution


It is an act of extraordinary political gall for former prime minister Gordon Brown to criticise William Hague’s proposed English votes for English laws ( Scotland didn’t kill off the United Kingdom – but Cameron would, 4 February) when it was his devolution settlement, designed to shore up Scottish Labour’s vote, that created the tensions and conflicts that are placing such a strain on the union today.

As chairman of the public accounts committee, I raised directly with Mr Brown the problems that would be caused by denying the Scottish parliament a sufficient tax base to fund its legislative programme, relying instead on drawing from general UK taxation. Mr Brown, with characteristic hubris, rejected these concerns out of hand, and we are now trying belatedly to patch up his mistakes.

He complains that the current proposals will leave us with two classes of MP. This is the fault of the system he helped to create. Now, either we have two classes of MP, so feared by Mr Brown, or we have two classes of citizen, where some are afforded greater representation that others.

Of course, in reality the only way to fully address the rising tensions within our union would be to move towards a more federal style system. It is a shame that this choice is not being presented to the public by either party.

David Davis MPConservative, Haltemprice and Howden