Michael Moore MP, the Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland has just been on the Andrew Marr show talking about the deal brokered between Scotland’s two governments over the Independence Referendum.
The two people conducting the negotiations, Mike and Nicola Sturgeon, have sorted everything out in just over a month and there has been very little bitching on the sidelines. What little there has been has come from the Tories. There certainly has been a high degree of professionalism about the whole thing.
We’ll see the detail tomorrow, but Mike was keen to stress that both governments had been able to meet their objectives. Let’s look at what both wanted:
Legal – Section 30 Order needed as Scottish Government didn’t have power to do it alone.
Decisive – no possibility for a confused result
Fair – overseen by the Electoral Commission
As soon as possible
Electorate as per Holyrood elections
Made in Scotland
Made in Scotland with absolutely no interference from Westminster
Overseen by a group of people put together by the SNP
Flirted with idea of second question on devo max and tried to whip up support for it in civil society
16/17 year olds to get vote
In the Autumn of 2014
A score draw where everyone gets a bit of what they want. That’s how negotiations should end up when people are being reasonable. Liberal Democrats will be happy to see an election where 16 and 17 year olds get the vote to build the case for permanent change in all elections.
If we can’t get it at Westminster, I think we should push for a Section 30 order to change the law for Holyrood and Council elections once the referendum has taken place.
The referendum will take place on the SNP’s timescale with one question with the UK Government’s supervision.
You also have to remember that the UK Government has done the SNP Government a huge favour. Can you imagine Jim Murphy as Labour Secretary of State for Scotland, who loathes the SNP with a passion and talks all this poison about patriots vs nationalists conducting negotiations in the entirely reasonable way Mike Moore has done.
Mike has had one of the most difficult jobs in the Government over the past couple of years. Getting the Scotland Act through and now delivering a referendum with minimal fuss is pretty spectacular.
Anyway, here is a brief storify of tweets from the Marr interview.