Prime Minister David Cameron has met with Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and is considering granting Scotland greater powers than those proposed by the Smith Commission.
Perhaps Cameron is contemplating these extra powers thinking it’ll keep the SNP off his back for a few years and allow him to launch his English Votes for English Laws plan, or it could be that the £8bn shortfall in Scottish public expenditure suggested by the Institute for Fiscal Studies will rear its head and put another independence referendum to bed for many years.
Cameron can force the Scots to take extra responsibility because their leading party are demanding it. Either way he will be the winner in this. He should also tell them that there can be no safety net from the British government, and any shortfall will need to be made up from extra taxation in Scotland.
The EU has given Britain a ticking off for running a 5.2% deficit. Britain will now be placed under surveillance for the next two years by EU financial authorities.
The EU wants member states to keep within a 3% limit. Although Britain is not a member of the Euro-zone, the high deficit is seen as embarrassing for the Tories, who wish to maintain a supposed reputation for financial management.
This perhaps explains why Chancellor George Osborne is to press on with huge budget cuts instead of spreading the reductions over a number of years.
If the drastic cuts have a huge impact on the British population, this will likely be another nail in the coffin of Britain’s EU membership.