Councillor joins panel to discuss UK’s future
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