Miliband to outline vision of a fairer Union

In Glasgow today, Ed Miliband will seek to go beyond the process-driven debate over independence for Scotland, seeking to make a positive case for the Union.


In a speech in Glasgow later today, Ed Miliband will seek to go beyond the process-driven debate over independence for Scotland, seeking to make a positive case for Scotland to remain within the Union.

In a direct response to first minister Alex Salmond – who last week used the Hugo Young Lecture to argue social progress north and south of the border would best be achieved by enabling an independent Scotland to become a “beacon for progressive opinion” – Miliband will say:

“I say let’s confront the real divide in our society. Not between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom. But between the haves and the have-nots.

“So I am not here to tell Scots that Scotland cannot survive outside the United Kingdom. But I am here to tell you that we need to make Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, a fairer, more just, place to live. And we can do this best together.”

Speaking of his “humility” at the scale of the task confronted by Scottish Labour, the Leader of the Opposition will add:

“I come here today with humility about the scale of challenge for Labour – just nine months after we lost the Scottish elections.

“With admiration for Johann Lamont – the first leader of Scottish Labour – who has shown she understands the scale of the challenge and Labour’s need to change. And with determination to play my part supporting her in the long campaign for the United Kingdom.”

Miliband will deliver his speech following a weekend of yet more debate and discussions over Scotland and its future.

* Speaking to the Sunday Mail in Scotland, former chancellor Alistair Darling gave the biggest hint so far that he is ready to take a leading role in the campaign against independence, declaring:

“I am ready to do everything I can. It is something I believe in. I am passionate about this.”

* The Scottish Sunday Express carried a poll showing 51% of people in Scotland support independence, coming days after the New Statesman put the ‘yes to independence’ campaign just one percentage point behind those against.

* After Alex Hern wrote on Left Foot Forward on Friday of Alex Salmond’s proposed referendum question being a “textbook example of a leading question”, the Daily Record said of polling it had commissioned:

“We tested two different questions asking if Scotland should be independent.

“Support for independence was just 36 per cent using a Labour version which asked: ‘Do you want Scotland to be an independent country or not?’

“But it rose to 46 per cent when we posed Salmond’s proposed question: ‘Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?’”

* Salmond’s vision of an independent Scotland attracting global investors with ultra-low corporation tax was dismissed as “a fantasy”.

Quoted in the Herald, Professor John Kay, who served on the first minister’s Council of Economic Advisers during the last Parliament declared:

“No-one is going to allow Scotland to have a low corporation tax. That’s just a fantasy.

“If Scotland’s an independent country, the EU will not allow it. It’s a non-starter. What has happened on corporation tax is Ireland has this low rate and everyone around the EU is determined that that should never happen again.

“So Scotland would have to negotiate EU membership – it wouldn’t be difficult, everyone’s going to have Scotland as a member – but you can be absolutely sure that one of the conditions is that you don’t have a 12.5% corporation tax rate.

“Since a fuss has been made in Scotland about doing that, it would be inevitable that you would get the determination on the part of the Europeans that you do not have it.”

See also:

Salmond’s Scottish referendum is a textbook example of a leading questionAlex Hern

Progressives need a positive vision for ScotlandEd Jacobs

Déjà vu as Scottish referendum campaign turns nastyMike Morgan-Giles

Salmond has questions to answer, because the evidence doesn’t support himWilliam Bain MP

Hughes makes the case for an English Parliament as Salmond faces fresh scrutinyEd Jacobs

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23 Responses to “Miliband to outline vision of a fairer Union”

  1. Ed Jacobs

    RT @leftfootfwd: Miliband to outline vision of a fairer Union

  2. Anonymous

    Scotland in the EU


    The UK might veto membership until Scotland takes on RBS, HBOS and a Barnett formula share of the debt.

  3. Patron Press - #P2

    #UK : Miliband to outline vision of a fairer Union

  4. Hitchin England

    RT @leftfootfwd: [email protected]_Miliband to outline vision of a fairer Union, reports @EdJacobs1985: #NewsClub

  5. matt byrne

    [email protected]_Miliband to outline vision of a fairer Union, reports @EdJacobs1985:

  6. Political Planet

    Miliband to outline vision of a fairer Union: In Glasgow today, Ed Miliband will seek to go beyond the process-d…

  7. BevR

    RT @leftfootfwd: Miliband to outline vision of a fairer Union

  8. David Warren

    Can Mr Miliband make a positive case for the ‘Union’ to the people of England? No, of course he can’t. Nobody can. England sacrifices everything for the ‘Union’, and gets nothing from the ‘Union’

  9. leftlinks

    Left Foot Forward – Miliband to outline vision of a fairer Union

  10. Anonymous

    Nonsense, this was cleared up a couple of weeks ago as the UK will not exist so Scotland will be treated as one of two sucessor states by the EU.

    “Lawyers for the EU said an independent Scotland could be treated as one of two successor states, and that a separate seat for Edinburgh would require only a majority vote among member states.

    At the European Council, where leaders stage decisive summits, a deal could be “done by the Council, using qualified majority voting and with the required say-so of the European Parliament,” said one of those lawyers.

    Cameron last month opted out of a re-negotiation of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty on which this guidance is based.”

  11. Anonymous

    I should have also said that Scotland will take on a population share or GDP share (both roughtly 8.4%) of both UK assets and debts as per international convention.

  12. paulstpancras

    Miliband to outline vision of a fairer Union | Left Foot Forward: #UK #Union #Scotland

  13. Cliff O'Sullivan

    Miliband to outline vision of a fairer Union | Left Foot Forward: #UK #Union #Scotland

  14. John Ruddy

    I think you are confused about “the Uk will not exist”. The UK was not formed by the Union of 1707. It was formed by the Union with Ireland in 1801. As long as there is part of Ireland in union with part of Britain (as defined by the 1801 act, as amended), then the UK will continue to exist.

    The Acts of 1707 created a Kingdom of Great Britain. The words “United Kingdom” didnt apepar until 1801.

    Also, accession to the EU can only be done by unanimous vote – thats quite clear in the Lison Treaty – whatever your lawyers said. Its whats happening with Croatia as we speak!

  15. Anonymous

    No, you seem to be confused.

    The Treaty of Union formed the sovereign Parliament of Great Britain by combing the sovereign Kingdom of Scotland and sovereign Kingdom of England.

    Ireland joined in union in 1801 with Great Britain but if the original Treaty of Union is no longer upheld then there is no Great Britain which Ireland (later Northern Ireland) joined in union so there will be no UK.

    You may also find as Northern Ireland would also be defacto independent that they may not wish to renegotiate union with England and Wales and go alone as a seperate state but that will be up to the populations of England, Wales and Northern Ireland after Scotland becomes independent.

    The lawyers I mention are for the EU and this is the latest advise direct from the EU.

    You seem to confuse to Croatia who are an accession state to the EU with a member state who is already within the EU splitting as there is no current precedent so the precedent is now being set.

    Scotland and EWNI are already in the EU so the advise given is that they would be classed as two succesor states and then would each renegotiate their membership (due to rebate allocation, CFP, CAP etc).

    Have a read of the link I posted which will fill you in.

  16. Anonymous

    Don’t worry nobody can make a positive case for Scotland to be within the union either and thus we will part our ways in 2014

  17. Anonymous

    The speech yesterday in Glasgow from Ed Milliband was billed as his big speech outlining his vision for the union.

    In reality it was another speech with a lot of words yet devoid of content. It was a speech apparently making a positive case for Scotlands’ future in the Union but based entirely on the past with no reference to any future or any vision for Scotland.

    Not suprisingly the speech manages to include the Unionist full house of Fascism, Nazi’s and seperation.

    Not suprisingly the speech manages to include the full house of Fascism, Nazi’s and seperation and laughably thinks that the UK is an island.

    He wants to speak out against Scottish independence as his Belgian father came to England and joined the Royal Navy and “did his training aboard HMS Valorous, on the Firth of Forth”.

    Milliband seems to believe that this is positive a case for Scotland’s future being in the UK where in fact is a positive case for an independent Scotland in the EU.

    It highlights one of the core fundamentals of the EU, free movement of people, whereby a citizen of Belgium could move to live in rUK and work in an independent Scotland or vice versa.

    Regarding the upcoming referendum he stated “So let me say clearly – it is right that the people of Scotland decide the rules and timing of this referendum”.

    OK fair enough, the Scottish people and civic organisations are getting involved in the consultation process in order to bring forward a Devo-Max question which has the popular support of the Scottish people.

    But wait, he then went on to say in the next sentence “it is right that it is based on one fair question.”

    So at at stroke he has echoed the Conservatives by ruling out a Devo-Max question on the ballot even before the people, groups and organisations of Scotland have taken part in the consultation.

    He also wants to “confront the real divide in our society. Not between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom, but between the haves and the have-nots.”

    This is the Labour party that in power at Westminster brought participated in an illegal war, the upgrade of Trident, failed regulation of the financial system, NHS privatisation, university fees and an increased gap between rich and poor at the same time as having several of it’s MPs jailed for fraud. It is now holding out the vague, utopian promise of social justice in place of supporting substantial constitutional change which
    three quarters of the Scottish people clearly want.

    Milliband believes a story of ‘jam tomorrow’ will save this broken union but I am sure the SNP will have gained more members and the pro-independence camp more vote share with every pathetic droning word Milliband said with out raising a finger.

  18. John Ruddy

    Have a read of the Treaty of Lisbon and the Treaty of Union 1800. They’ll fill you in.

    By the way, the EU’s lawyers havnt made any announcement on this – and the Scottish Government seem to be VERY reluctant to publish the legal advice we know it has on whether Scotland would remain in the EU or have to re-apply.

    By the way, havnt you had the latest communication from “Dear Leader” yet? He now claims the UK WILL continue, and that independent Scotland will be a part of it!

  19. Ed's Talking Balls

    No, there is absolutely no way you should be allowed devo-max as an option. Have the guts to go it alone – fine. But don’t expect the English, Welsh and Northern Irish taxpayers to give you preferential treatment just because you’re more vociferous in your whingeing.

    In or out. Your choice. I’m fine with that, but under no circumstances should you be allowed to have your cake and eat it too.

  20. Anonymous

    Referenda is about leaving the UK and becoming independent.

    UK remains.

    Bit tough on Salmond, if he gets his vote to find that he has been black balled for membership of the EU.

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    […] Miliband to outline vision of a fairer Union – Ed Jacobs, January 30th […]

  22. Jack McPranker

    So did Ed actually say why it would be good for Scotland to remain within the UK? I’m having trouble reading between the lines, but it seemed to consit

  23. The Week Outside Westminster – UUP down, Leanne Wood up, and Miliband in Scotland | Left Foot Forward

    […] in Glasgow to argue that social justice was best achieved with Scotland staying in the Union, arguing: “I say let’s confront the real divide in our […]

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