The Scottish referendum was a great expression of democracy and the will of the Scots is that Scotland will remain part of the United Kingdom.
With more powers – over taxation and spending – being devolved to the Scottish Parliament, we should grab this opportunity to remove unfair anomalies over the treatment of other parts of our United Kingdom.
Currently, as your MP, I do not have a vote on issues already devolved to the Scottish Parliament, but Scottish MPs can vote on each of those same issues as they affect England and Wales. It is a matter of simple fairness that this anomaly should be ended and that only English MPs vote on those issues for England.
To many this is a simple point, but already some politicians are trying to confuse and complicate the issue, dressing up their party’s wishes as constitutional principles.
Let’s have no time for them, nor for delay. Some will ask for devolution to English regions or a constitutional convention but these are either distractions or different issues for another time.
Other countries have debated, written and agreed entire constitutions in just a few months, so we should be capable of resolving these amendments to how we are governed in time to meet the promises made during the referendum campaign.
We should look again at the current agreement whereby Scotland is given more tax revenues per head of population than the rest of the UK. In a union of equals, that too, is anomalous. Separately, but straight away, we should start seeking a new system of allocation that respects the Union but also the principles of self-reliance, fiscal prudence and social support that makes our United Kingdom great.