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Union hanging by a thread, former Scots Secretary Lord Forsyth says

Published 26/07/2015

Tory peer Lord Forsyth has called for a new Act of Union
Tory peer Lord Forsyth has called for a new Act of Union

The Union between Scotland and England is "hanging by a thread", a former Scottish secretary has warned.

Lord Forsyth said that Conservative plans for English votes for English laws (Evel) are not helping matters.

The Tory peer said that "piecemeal changes to the constitution" had led to the current situation as he called for a new Act of Union to address the problems.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, he said: "We probably need a new Act of Union, and to look not just at Scotland but the constituent parts of the UK and the powers that are appropriate to be devolved to them and the financial framework that best suits that."

Lord Forsyth said that stirring up English nationalism is not the way to deal with Scottish nationalism.

He said: "When I get members of the House of Commons telling me they want to have Evel because the Scots have stopped them getting fox-hunting amended, I worry about that.

"I do actually think the Union is hanging by a thread and I don't like the way English nationalism is being stirred up any more than I like separatism in Scotland."

A Westminster Conservative spokeswoman said: "To govern with the best interests of the whole United Kingdom, it is important that devolution is balanced and every part of the UK has a fair say.

"As part of our one nation approach, the government has introduced legislation to give Scotland new powers, creating one of the most powerful devolved legislatures in the world. Bills on Wales and Northern Ireland will follow.

"It is fair that we balance this by giving English MPs a veto on issues that only affect England. It is this fair settlement that will strengthen the Union."

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