Will Westminster grant devo max powers to Scotland if it stays in the union?

Lynsey Barber
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George Osborne said Scotland will get further powers if it votes No

Chancellor George Osborne has promised further devolved power to Scotland if there is a No vote in the Scottish referendum.

The government will announce a “plan of action” within days on how Scotland will be given further powers to run itself away from Westminster after a shock poll placed the Yes campaign in the lead for the first time today.

Speaking to the BBC, Osborne said proposals were being drawn up to offer Scotland greater fiscal autonomy including control over tax, public spending and welfare- a move designed to sway voters back towards No.

"You will see in the next few days a plan of action to give more powers to Scotland ... Then Scotland will have the best of both worlds. They will both avoid the risks of separation but have more control over their own destiny, which is where I think many Scots want to be," Osborne said.

Further devolved power to Scotland, know as “devo max”, is not an option offered to voters in the referendum on 18 September after being ruled out at the early stages of the vote under the “Edinburgh Agreement” in 2012.

According to a poll by ScotCen social research devo max was the more popular option over either independence or remaining part of the UK.

Scotland’s first minister Alex Salmond responded to the move by calling the plans a "panic measure".

"It shows the chaos, confusion and total disintegration of the No campaign, because quite clearly if you were serious about something.. you would tend to announce it before people voted rather than after many people have voted," said Salmond, the FT reports.

Osborne said the cross-party plans would be put into effect as soon as Scots voted no in the referendum.

According to the BBC however, Whitehall sources suggest no detailed plans had been agreed.

Osborne also warned again there would be no currency union in the event of Scotland becoming independent: “No ifs, no buts. We will not share the pound if Scotland separates from the rest of the UK.”

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