Coun­cil­lor joins panel to dis­cuss UK’s fu­ture

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

A Ruther­glen coun­cil­lor has played a key role in dis­cus­sions about the fu­ture of the United King­dom.

Coun­cil­lor Robert Brown was part of a four-per­son panel giv­ing ev­i­dence last week to a House of Lords con­sti­tu­tional com­mit­tee.

The Lib Dem was joined by Labour MSP Claire Baker, for­mer Scot­tish Con­ser­va­tive leader Annabel Goldie and Green Party rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mag­gie Chap­man in giv­ing the views of the dif­fer­ent par­ties on the fu­ture shape of Bri­tain af­ter the Scot­tish in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum.

Coun­cil­lor Brown, who rep­re­sents Ruther­glen South, has been a long-term ad­vo­cate of a fed­eral UK as well as a writ­ten con­sti­tu­tion which he says will “de­fine the pow­ers both of West­min­ster and of the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment and other na­tional or re­gional bod­ies across Bri­tain.”

He added: “I have my­self been in­volved in de­vel­op­ing and putting across the Scot­tish Lib­eral Demo­crat po­si­tion on this for many years and was a mem­ber of both the Steel and Camp­bell Com­mis­sions on the sub­ject.

“I made it clear that, in our view, it was now vi­tal to move to­wards a re­formed, fed­eral UK and to make the pos­i­tive case for the United King­dom based on 300 years of com­mon sen­ti­ment and val­ues, our shared in­ter­est in a se­cure sin­gle mar­ket across Bri­tain, and com­mon com­mit­ment to a pen­sions and ben­e­fit en­ti­tle­ment across the UK.”

Coun­cil­lor Brown will stand as first on the Lib Dem list for the Glas­gow re­gion at next year’s Scot­tish elec­tion.

He added: “There is an in­creas­ing sense that the peo­ple of Scot­land made the right de­ci­sion in re­ject­ing in­de­pen­dence last Septem­ber.

“Even Alex Sal­mond’s own for­mer se­nior ad­viser Alex Bell re­cently de­scribed the SNP eco­nomic case for in­de­pen­dence as ‘delu­sional’.

“What we need is a more flex­i­ble struc­ture for the United King­dom which recog­nises the di­verse na­ture and needs of the dif­fer­ent parts of Bri­tain but as part of a strong Union.”

United front Ruther­glen coun­cil­lor Robert Brown with (from left) Claire Baker MSP, Mag­gie Chap­man of the Green Party and for­mer Scot­tish Con­ser­va­tive leader Annabel Goldie

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