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Monday, 26 March, 2001, 11:28 GMT
SNP: Constitutional reform

Find out more about SNP policies on constitutional affairs.


Devolution

The SNP wants a fully independent Scotland in the long term and full membership of the EU.

In the short term it would like further devolution of powers to the Scottish Parliament. Namely, control over the minimum wage and working conditions, along with housing benefit.

The SNP leader, John Swinney, sees full fiscal freedom as the next major step towards independence.

He wants the ability to control and spend all the revenues generated in Scotland.

At the moment MSPs can vary the basic rate of tax by up to three pence in the pound.

On the so-called West Lothian question about whether Scottish representatives should be allowed to vote on matters which concern the rest of the country, the SNP already prefers not to participate or vote in Westminster debates on purely English and Welsh matters.

However, it rejects the Conservative proposal for a statutory ban on this.

The SNP believes there are some debates which may appear to be English in nature, but still have implications for Scotland.

The party does not want to cut the number of Scottish MPs. It believes this could lead to a similar reduction in MSPs in the Scottish Parliament.

In fact, John Swinney wants to secure 129 MSPs in the Scottish Parliament, regardless of any changes to Scottish representation in Westminster.

The SNP's general election slogan is, "We stand for Scotland". It claims to be the only party which works solely for the Scottish interest. Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, it says, all have split loyalties.

Therefore, it says, the election of SNP MPs to Westminster is a vote for Scotland and a vote for independence.

The more SNP MPs elected to Westminster, the stronger the case for a referendum on independence, the party says.

It hopes a majority of SNP members among Scottish MPs would trigger a referendum.


House of Lords Reform

The SNP believes in the abolition of the House of Lords.

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