‘The question now seems to be why are these fundamental issues of governance and accountability only now are being exposed, and with such serious consequences? This debate should have occurred before a centralised police force was established four years ago’.
‘The decision to integrate BTP in Scotland may be political; however, the merger is a matter of public safety and public money, and the Government has a duty to demonstrate that it is not taking undue risks with either’. Foremost expert backs calls for merger to be put on hold.
‘…if Scotland is excluded from key European programmes then funding streams will dry up which are crucial to the delivery of Scotland’s policy ambitions’. An ex-adviser on EU to the First Minister examines her Programme for Government.
‘…he seems to believe that GERS are unrealiable simply because the results sound ‘improbable’ to him and ‘the last thing they should do is trust that from London’. With a belief in his own infallible ‘intuition’, he then goes looking for reasons to confirm it’.
‘While the risks and complexities associated with extricating BTPs operations in Scotland are now coming to the fore, the advantages look increasingly distant.’
‘At the end of the day, the UK Government and Parliament (subject, of course, to the constraints of parliamentary arithmetic) can legally have their way on what happens to repatriated power, even if any “will of the people” justification for doing so would be specious. But…’
‘It’s now also clear that standing up to the political impulse to go national, fast, would have enabled the costs to be pinned down better before the long-term commitment was made…
The devolved legislatures cannot block the bill but the need for their consent means that they have a considerable degree of leverage – much more so than if Theresa May had secured a landslide majority in the June election. It is likely the devolved nations will seek to exploit this leverage to the full.
It is likely, therefore, that the UK Government will retain the key powers indefinitely and devolve only cautiously. It seems unlikely that the UK Government will transfer them all back or that the Welsh proposal for joint policymaking will be adopted.
‘The SPA should be made accountable to the Scottish Parliament, not to Ministers, and the appointment of the Chair and Board made subject to cross-party approval. Taking the politics out policing appointments…’