Labour reveals plans to bring about 'radical change in Britain' 

Former prime minister Gordon Brown chaired the Commission on the Future of the UK.

Labour reveals plans to bring about ‘radical change in Britain’  Getty Images

Labour is due to unveil its long-awaited constitutional review, led by former prime minister Gordon Brown.

A report running to 155 pages which includes 40 recommendations in reforming the United Kingdom will be set out by the party’s leader, Sir Keir Starmer on Monday.

Starmer established the Commission on the Future of the UK back in 2020, with Brown named as chair.

Among the recommendations set out, Labour has pledged to abolish the House of Lords, ban MPs from having second jobs, and would establish a new Council of the UK chaired by the Prime Minister.

Scotland would also be given an enhanced role within the UK under the proposals, with Scottish representation on UK national bodies.

It includes representatives at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for Transport, the Bank of England and at the energy regulator Ofgem

Civil service and agencies would be dispersed from London to Scotland, as well as a devolution of the job centre network.

There are also plans for new forms of regional and local leadership to be brought in, which would see directly elected majors or provosts across Scotland’s major cities, similar to across Europe.

The review states that MSPs should be given the same privileges and protections as MPs at Westminster in relation to statements made during proceedings.

A strengthened Sewel Convention, with permanent constitutional protection of devolved power from being overridden by Westminster governments, would also be implemented.

Labour’s report further indicates that Scotland would be given an enhanced role international, with new powers for the Scottish Government to enter into international agreements and to join international bodies in relation to devolved areas of competence.

These could, as an example, include Scottish membership of Erasmus, UNESCO or of the Nordic Council.

Brown, who was prime minister of the UK from 2007 until 2010, has stated that Labour is offering people in Scotland an alternative to the status quo.

Speaking to journalists during a briefing on Sunday ahead of the release of the report on Monday, Brown

“It’s a new way forward for Scotland, it’s a radical change in Britain, in line with our values, the values of the Scottish people,” he said.

“We are a respected shareholder in the United Kingdom under these proposals and we have entrenched, extended and enhanced self-government.”

The former Labour leader explained plans to replace the House of Lords with a new Assembly of Nations and Regions.

“The issue is that the current House of Lords is indefensible,” he told journalists.

“The implementation of any reforms is a matter now for Keir Starmer. We have made our recommendation.”

Brown continued: “You will find that every second chamber in the world, with very few exceptions, is relatively small, and usually smaller than the first chamber.

“And we’ve now got a House of Lords that has got more than 830 members, I think 780 currently sitting members of the House of Lords.

“And that is compared with the American Senate, which has 100 members to cover 300 million people.

“We’ve got a House of Lords that is 800 plus to cover only 60 million people, and therefore, the current system is indefensible.”

Brown stated there will not be a referendum on the question of whether Scotland should be independent.

He said: “There is not going to be a referendum, people accept that now, the SNP accept that.

“The issue now is what sort of change can we bring about in the next year or two and we believe that if there is a Labour government, we could have faster, safer change taking place.

“And now the issue, surely, in the United Kingdom, particularly in Scotland, is between no change with the Conservatives, change within the United Kingdom with Labour, and change by leaving the United Kingdom with the SNP.

“So, it’s no longer the old question, we’ve moved beyond that today by saying that we are going to implement change within the United Kingdom.”

The former prime minister made the case for the electorate to back Labour if they want to bring about change within the UK.

“This is going ahead if there is a Labour government,” said Brown.

“The key thing of course is if you want this change, if you want change to happen and change to happen as quickly as we can do it if we’re a Labour government, then there’s no point in voting SNP or Conservatives.

“It’s vote Labour to ensure the change takes place that will make the UK a better place and instead of a one-issue election, we are proposing social, economic, political and constitutional change.”

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