UK Politics

Nigel Farage: Time to stop Scots tail wagging the dog

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Media captionUKIP's leader says the package of extra powers on offer to Scottish voters is a "panic measure" from the prime minister

Nigel Farage has said the time has come for an English Parliament, to give the country a "proper voice" in the UK.

The leader of the UK Independence Party told the BBC: "We've had a lot from Scotland but the tail cannot go on wagging the dog any longer."

He said there should be a full constitutional convention.

Mr Farage, whose party has no MPs but topped the Euro elections, also called for Scottish MPs to give up their right to vote on England-only issues.

Mr Farage's comments came after Scotland voted decisively to stay in the United Kingdom.

With the results in from all 32 council areas, the "No" side won with 2,001,926 votes over 1,617,989 for "Yes".

The vote is the culmination of a two-year campaign. Talks will now begin on devolving more powers to Scotland.

However, Mr Farage maintained that English taxpayers should not be bound by promises made by the three main party leaders during the referendum campaign.

'Wagging the dog'

David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg pledged to hand further tax powers to the Scottish Parliament and committed to preserving the controversial Barnett funding formula.

Following the "No" vote, Mr Cameron said in a speech that the rights of other people in the UK needed to be respected and enhanced - and a new and "fair settlement" had to apply to all parts of the UK.

Image caption Nigel Farage posts his letters to Scottish MPs

But Mr Farage claimed the prime minister was "panicked" by the English question, and dismissed plans for a committee to look into a solution.

"I really do think now we absolutely need to have a constitutional convention to talk about how we create a fair, federal United Kingdom," he argued.

Mr Farage said: "I think England needs a voice - we've heard a lot from Scotland. The tail can't continue wagging the dog any longer.

"We must have English MPs voting on English only matters."

The UKIP leader has suggested an English Parliament could operate within the existing Palace of Westminster, with certain days dedicated to business affecting England.

He has written to all 59 Scottish MPs to say to them "in the spirit of finding a fair settlement for the United Kingdom, will you please commit from today not to take part in debates or votes in Westminster on English devolved issues".

Many English MPs have demanded that further devolution to Scotland will necessitate wider constitutional changes, with some backing a federal model where all the different nations of the UK have the same financial autonomy.

They say it would no longer be fair for MPs from Scottish constituencies to vote on devolved matters relating solely to England when English MPs cannot vote on matters devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

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