Green MEP for the South West, Molly Scott Cato, has thrown her support behind the Yes vote in the Scottish referendum on Thursday, believing independence from the UK is the best way to achieve a fairer, more democratic, and sustainable future for Scotland.

However, Dr Scott Cato also believes that a Yes vote could unleash a momentum towards devolution in England. She said:

“The referendum debate has transformed politics north of the border; it could also transform the nature of democracy and decision making in England too. Scotland is a nation in ferment, as I discovered during my visit there last week [1]. Many in England are looking wistfully at our archaic political structures and wondering whether we could witness similar levels of excitement at the prospect of devolution here. Most of the discussion in England to date has been about devolving powers to the cities, ignoring the rural areas. As an economist, representing a largely rural region, I think we need to move towards a model of urban centres supplied by their hinterlands. There has also been no suggestion of increasing democratic accountability for the money that is devolved. As Greens we argue for regional parliaments with tax-raising powers.”

Greens have long supported the principle of ‘subsidiarity’ – devolving decision making to as local a level as possible and believe all regions throughout Britain should decide, via a referendum of local people, whether to create directly elected regional assemblies using a system of proportional representation. Greens say regional assemblies should have powers to carry out the functions currently carried out by national and European Government, but not take powers away from local authorities. The regional assemblies would also assume regional tax-raising powers [2].

Notes

[1] http://shiftinggrounds.org/2014/09/the-referendum-debate-has-transformed-politics/
[UPDATE August 2015: Site no longer available]

[2] See Green Party policy: Regional Government in England policies for further info: http://policy.greenparty.org.uk/pa.html

For more information please contact:

Andrew Bell, Media Officer to Molly Scott Cato MEP media@mollymep.org.uk 07903 932220 @aw_bell

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