» Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Asked to clarify whether the UK Government had a view on the Scottish Government’s wish to ask the Devo max’ question, the PMOS said Government was having a consultation and listening to people’s views. Government had expressed some views in the consultation document, but the document made clear we were seeking people’s views on the question or questions to be asked in a referendum. There were a set of proposals in the consultation document and Government was asking people to put forward their views on those proposals. Government would consider their views and the consultation responses before coming to a final position.

Asked if the Prime Minister had any plans to speak to Alex Salmond or meet with him, the PMOS said he didn’t believe there was anything in the diary.

Asked about talks suggested by the leader of the Opposition and whether there would be talks after the consultation ended or if talks would go on during the consultation, the PMOS said there was the specific issue addressed in the consultation about how you put in place a legal, fair referendum, and no doubt there would be discussion over the coming months on that and lots of people would put forward their views. There was then the wider issue about independence and no doubt there would be discussions between the parties on that too. The PMOS said that as the media had seen at PMQs, it was an issued where the Prime Minister and the leader of the Opposition share a common view.

Asked if the Prime Minister welcomed this new spirit of cooperation, the PMOS said there were some issues that the political parties agreed on and some they didn’t and that this was an incredibly important issue, and one were there was a lot of common ground between the main political parties.

Asked for details of the Save the Union’ roadshow, the PMOS said there was a consultation on the referendum and that the expectation was there would be public meetings and in particular the Secretary of State would take the opportunity to meet a lot of people over the course of the next few weeks.

Asked if it would include the Prime Minister, the PMOS said the Prime Minister was very focused on the issue and clear he wanted to take every opportunity to argue the case for the Union. He would expect all Government Ministers to do the same.

Asked if the Prime Minister would be willing to share a platform with the leader of the Opposition, the PMOS said the Prime Minister was keen to make the case for the Union and keen to work with the Opposition on this.

Put that often when you have consultations you end up being judicially reviewed, and that the Prime Minister had already set out his view, which created that risk, the PMOS said whether Scotland should be independent was not the subject of the consultation.

original source.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Search for related news

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