The House of Commons voted today to allow Scots to vote in the UK General Election in 2015, even if they vote for Independence. Meaning they will return 59 MPs to a Parliament of a country they will not be a part of. This could mean putting Labour in power across the UK without it having won a majority in the countries that will remain in the Union.
John Stevenson MP for Carlisle, proposed the 10 Minute Rule Bill to deny Scots the right to vote, but it was opposed by Labour MP Thomas Docherty. These types of motions are rarely opposed because even if they pass they are not given parliamentary time so almost always fail at the Second Reading.
But on this occasion Labour members indicated that their party had decided to oppose the bill and forced a vote.
John Stevenson said: “Imagine if Scottish MPs, about to leave, held the balance of power, this is not inconceivable. The Prime Minister would be picked by a group of MPs from a part of the UK that was about to leave.”
The Carlisle MP described himself as a “proud Scot” who represented an English constituency in Cumbria. But in opposition Thomas Docherty pointed out he was a “proud Cumbrian” who represented a Scottish constituency.
Docherty raised concerns about what would happen to the 430,000 Scots still living in the UK. He also pointed out that “we continue to enjoy the confidence of the majority of Scots”, a reference to the fact that every opinion poll so far says Scotland will vote to stay in UK. He did however acknowledge that this was an “interesting issue in need of further debate”.
The final result was Ayes:16, Noes: 226. Meaning the proposal to deny Scots votes in the election was overwhelmingly defeated. This will now make it hard for the government to push through similar proposals if Scotland does vote to leave the UK.