No plans for Scottish 'yes' vote, MPs told

For all the talk of plan As and plan Bs in the Scottish referendum campaign, how much planning has the UK government done for a "yes" vote?

The answer is, er, none - much to the surprise of MPs on the public administration committee, who took evidence from the UK's top civil servant yesterday.

Former Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan challenged Sir Jeremy Heywood directly after he said the UK government had done no contingency planning.

"Are you telling me," she asked, "that my former department, the Wales Office, is not doing any work at all on the implications for Wales and the devolution settlement if there is a "yes" vote in Scotland? Are you saying that no work has been carried out at all?"

Sir Jeremy replied: "I'm saying that no contingency planning is going on for a yes vote, as instructed by the prime minister."

Mrs Gillan tried to ask the same question in a slightly different way: "Would it be safe to assume that officials always look at possible future scenarios in order to protect the government they are serving?"

Sir Jeremy: "I can say this as many times as you like. We are not doing any contingency planning."

Mrs Gillan: "Ok."

Newport West Labour MP Paul Flynn was equally sceptical about the UK government's approach. He asked Sir Jeremy: "Is the civil service and the government prepared for a yes vote in 10 days' time?"

"We're not doing any contingency planning, as you know. the prime minister's made it clear that the government isn't and the civil service isn't doing any contingency planning on that."

Mr Flynn asked: "Are they blinded by their own optimism on this not to take no precautions and plan for what could be a very probable result, a yes vote?"

Sir Jeremy replied: "No, I think they're just focused on the task in hand, which is winning that referendum."

So what would a Scottish "yes" - or "no" - vote mean for Wales?

We asked the Wales Office for an interview with a minister. That request was declined and we were advised to call Downing Street.