Mundell says UK government will never agree to full fiscal autonomy

Scottish Secretary David Mundell
Scottish Secretary David Mundell

Scottish Secretary David Mundell told a committee of MSPs at Holyrood today that he would work constructively with them to deliver all the proposals contained in the all-party Smith Commission agreement.

Mr Mundell said the UK government would resist amendments to the Scotland Bill that would weaken Scotland’s position inside the UK.

He described proposals on full fiscal autonomy as “bad for Scotland” and made it clear the government would never agree to such plans.

Appearing before the Scottish Parliament’s Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, Mr Mundell said: “I am grateful for the opportunity to attend the Committee this morning as part of the government’s work to implement in full the all-party Smith Commission Agreement.

“That was the manifesto commitment of this government and that is what we are doing at the earliest opportunity.

“In making the Scotland Bill as effective as possible I will continue to be constructive and look for ways to work with members of both parliaments, and to continue working closely with the Deputy First Minister and the Scottish government.

“I would like to be very clear about the government’s position on full fiscal autonomy. Full fiscal autonomy was not in the Smith Agreement and it is not going to be added to the Scotland Bill.

“It would be bad for Scotland - leaving us with £10 billion less to spend by the end of this Parliament.

“The government will resist changes to the bill that would be bad for Scotland. The referendum result must be respected. The Scotland Bill is about strengthening Scotland’s position within the United Kingdom.

“It is not an opportunity for those whose ambition is to end the United Kingdom.”

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