THE independence referendum was a truly historic event not just for the people of Scotland, but for all of us in the United Kingdom.
I was in Scotland on polling day itself helping to get out the ‘No’ vote in the village of Thornhill, about 40 miles north of the border.
I was delighted with the final outcome, showing by a clear margin that most in Scotland thought we are better together.
Local residents were only too aware of the significance of their vote. I could not put the case for the union better than one lady I spoke to who said, “Why break what isn’t broken?” I am glad the majority agreed with her wise words.
As the dust settles, it is vital that the people of Scotland now come together as one to successfully take forward the agreed devolution process. David Cameron was right to say, in his speech following the declaration, that the question of English votes for English laws – the so-called West Lothian question - must now also be addressed.
It is essential that there is a settlement that is not only fair to Scotland, but to the other parts of the United Kingdom, and that must include England.
It would no longer be acceptable for Scottish MPs to vote on English laws. Just as Scotland will be able to vote separately on issues of tax, spending and welfare, it would be right for English MPs to vote on those same issues relating to England only.
The Prime Minister also said that more powers would be given to our great cities, such as Manchester and Liverpool.
This will help realise the economic potential of the north west.
I will work to ensure that the interests of Macclesfield and Cheshire are represented in this debate going forward. It is vital that we now work together to build a better future for the entire United Kingdom.
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