SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor has praised the success of devolution twenty years on from the referendum on a Scottish Parliament.
82.6% of voters in North Lanarkshire backed the plans in the 1997 referendum, which saw 74% of Scots vote for a devolved parliament. The Scottish Parliament was then reconvened in 1999.
Commenting, Fulton MacGregor said:
“Devolution has been an enormous success for North Lanarkshire and for Scotland.
“A whole generation of Scots has now grown up with a Scottish Parliament – and because of devolution those young people have votes at 16 for Scottish elections, the Educational Maintenance Allowance, free university tuition and one of the lowest youth unemployment rates in Europe.
“And whether it’s effectively ending the Bedroom Tax, providing free personal care for the elderly or having the best performing A&Es in the UK, devolution has benefited people across Scottish society.
“But we should always be restless in our ambition to make life better for the people who live here. And the more powers our Parliament has, the more we can, collectively, do for Scotland.
“Over coming months the Scottish Government will bring forward proposals for further devolution of powers over employment, social security, immigration and trade.
“But the Tory Brexit plans threaten to undermine the very principle of devolution by reserving powers over areas such as agriculture, fishing and the environment as they return from Brussels.
“That would be an unacceptable power grab – and we shouldn’t stand for it.”