A blueprint for the future of the UK being drawn up by former prime minister Gordon Brown will be both a “safer” and “more radical” alternative to Scottish independence, the Labour conference will be told.
Shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray will tell the gathering in Liverpool that Brown’s proposals are “nearing completion”, with the document to be launched “in the coming months”
It comes after Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer asked the former PM to head up a special commission to look at the future of the UK.
With reports suggesting the proposed reforms will include the abolition of the House of Lords – something Labour has previously raised – the SNP dubbed it “Broon’s Brigadoon”, claiming it was a plan that “magically emerges from the mists before vanishing as quickly as it appeared”.
However, Murray will insist that the plan will have “proper economic devolution at its heart” and will lead to a “redress of the UK economy where we unleash the talents and contributions of all parts of the country”
The Commission on the Future of the UK was set up “so that the United Kingdom works for every part of our country”, the Labour shadow minister will say.
He will make the comments at the same time as insisting politics in Scotland “can’t keep being about the false binary choice of separation versus the status quo”.
Murray will add: “It will not just try to convince Scotland to stay, but to make Britain such a good place to be that everyone, in all corners of our country, will want to be part of it.
“And in doing so it will set out both a safer and more radical offer for change than the risk of independence – the chance for a fairer, more secure, more respected Scotland within a reformed and modern United Kingdom.”
However, SNP depute leader Keith Brown said: “Labour has been promising to abolish the Lords for the past 112 years but, despite having been in government six times since for a total of 33 years, it has never come close to honouring that promise.”
Brown added: “There are Disney films more believable than Broon’s Brigadoon.
“This is just another repeat of his same old, same old which magically emerges from the mists before vanishing as quickly as it appeared.”