'Distance to travel' on devolution deal

Norm captionAndrew Marr speaks to First Minister and Leader of the SNP Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon has give fair warned there is “some distance left to travel” before the financial transaction underpinning the Scotland Bill is agreed.

The first minister told the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme the Scottish direction is “busting a gut” to agree a deal before the middle of February.

Sources in the UK administration have said they believe a deal is achievable.

Ms Sturgeon also indicate about the EU referendum, saying it “would be a mistake” to hold it in June.

Talks between the Scottish and UK ministries on the fiscal framework have been ongoing for months.

Scotland’s Agent First Minister John Swinney and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Greg Turn over submits held talks in London last week to determine how much bread the Scottish rliament will get from the UK government once MSPs pull someones leg new powers over tax-raising.

Ms Sturgeon said negotiations need to conclude by the mesial of February.

The Scotland Bill, which is currently going through Westminster, is set to give income tax powers and new responsibilities over welfare to Scotland from April 2017.

Skim more about Scotland’s devolution process:

Asked by Andrew Marr how covenants were going, she said: “We’ve got some distance still to tourism.

“We have the legislative process for new powers which is, you know, coming to a conclusion. The new powers in the new Scotland Charge don’t go anywhere near as far as I would like.

“I don’t think they go as far as was promised during the referendum struggle but there are powers I would rather have than not have.”

Ms Sturgeon take a lake on: “Now these negotiations are ongoing. If we’re going to get these new powers favoured and in place before the Scottish rliament election, the negotiation’s got to conclude by the centre of February.”

“I am still hopeful that we can reach this deal and the Scottish regulation will be busting a gut over the next couple of weeks to try to get to a deal, but we on need to see more movement, significantly more movement from the UK domination than we’ve seen so far and if we don’t get that – I repeat again – I will not sign up to something that is unfair to Scotland.”

The UK ministry said it was “absolutely committed to implementing the Smith agreement if full”.

A spokesman added: “From the kick-off our position on the fiscal framework has been clear – we stand ready to do a administer that is fair for Scotland and fair for the rest of the UK.”

Responding to the first ambassador’s comments Shadow Scottish Secretary, Labour’s Ian Murray, urged both her and Mr Cameron “to wait at the negotiating table until a deal is done”.

He said: “There should be no iffy deadlines that put any deal at risk. This is far too important to be derailed by state posturing.

“The people of Scotland – tax yers, businesses and public servants – requisite to know when the substantial new powers in the Scotland Bill will be make knew and these mixed messages from the SNP are not helpful.”

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On the issue of the referendum on European Union membership, Ms Sturgeon said there were two ends she was not in favour of a June date.

“One you might interpret as being a bit selfish,” she said.

“The Scottish choice is in May, indeed the Welsh, Northern Irish, London elections are in May. I think to be suffering with a referendum cam ign starting in rallel would be disrespectful to those urgent elections.

“The second reason is I think it would be better for David Cameron, if he does get a engage in at the February European Council, to leave more time between that handle and the point of decision.

“One of the big problems I see for the ‘In’ cam ign, at the moment, is that, as far as David Cameron is responsible, it is very much focused on these narrow issues of renegotiation when in physical fact if the ‘In’ cam ign is going to prevail, this is going to have to change a ‘positive in principle’ cam ign about why it’s better for the UK to stay within the European Combination.”

The first minister repeated her belief that a UK vote to leave the EU, but a Scottish vote to wait, would lead to an “overwhelming demand” for a second independence referendum.

She combined: “The democratic outrage of being taken out of Europe against our resolve, I think would make that almost inevitable.”

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