David Cameron ‘playing fast and loose’ with constitution

Former PM says Conservative plans to hand 100% of income tax-raising powers to Scottish parliament are gift to separatists

David Cameron is playing fast and loose with the UK constitution, the former prime minister Gordon Brown has said as he warned the Conservatives were wrong to suggest that Scotland should be 100%-responsible for its own income tax revenues.

Brown was speaking before a debate on Tuesday and Thursday in the House of Commons on how to respond to the narrow defeat of the yes campaign in the Scottish referendum. He said the state of the union was still fragile with many grievances strongly felt.

The prime minister has committed to produce a white paper on further Scottish devolution as a well as a draft bill before the general election.

Political parties have submitted their proposals on devolution to the Smith commission set up by Cameron to try to secure a cross-party consensus, but they are still far apart.

Brown has been given a special status in the debate since his critical intervention in the no campaign in the runup to the referendum last month.

Speaking on Sky News’s Murnaghan show, he said:“The Conservatives have got it wrong. I think they are 100% wrong on this 100% devolution of income tax. They have got to understand their measures are a gift to the separatists and will play into the hands of the nationalist party. They would drive a wedge between Scotland and England and make the constitution unstable.”

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