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Federalism is too important a concept to be dismissed on partisan grounds

IAN O Bayne dismisses federalism apparently on the basis that the Liberal Democrats who support the idea cannot be trusted to deliver (Letters, November 7).

This dismissal of the concept is inherently flawed on the simple basis that the intellectual rights to federalism are not exclusively owned by the LibDems.

The constitutional future of Scotland is too important to be decided on short-term partisan party political grounds. Many prosperous nations, including the US and Germany, have federal structures that are supported across an arguably wider political spectrum than ours. A federal United Kingdom would involve each of the four constituent nations largely taking control of their own internal affairs, with defence and foreign policy being handled at what may be termed a joint level. There would then be no uncertainty about Scotland's continuing membership of the European Union, of its permanent role on the UN Security Council or its membership of Nato – all of these vital strategic memberships would be maintained through membership of the UK. I suspect such a model will appeal to many who have previously voted for the SNP.

It is all too easy to suggest that the LibDems sit on the fence and cannot be trusted to deliver, but in politics sober compromise is often the intelligent option. As for delivering on policies, the LibDems have shown, through articulate persuasion, perseverance and engagement with all parts of society, that policies they support are implemented without the need to form a majority government, as demonstrated by the freedom of information laws that have transformed the society we live in and are now cherished by more than just LibDem supporters.

Allan C Steele,

22 Forres Avenue, Giffnock.

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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