David Cameron dubbed a Brexit 'villain' in devo row

Written by James Millar on 7 November 2016 in Diary

Labour peer lays into former Prime Ministers Gordon Brown and David Cameron

David Cameron has been branded a "villain" by campaigners who want a more federal UK.
Labour peer George Foulkes has called on the government to set up a constitutional convention but he accused former PM Gordon Brown of confusing the issue by trying to tie it to Brexit negotiations.
Britain's route out of the EU became muddied last week after a High Court ruling that parliament must have a say on starting the process. The UK's devolved assemblies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have also suggested they should be consulted.
Brexit is likely to have a huge impact in the devolved nations. There are questions over the future of Northern Ireland's open border with the Republic of Ireland and the SNP administration in Scotland is threatening another independence referendum after Scots voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU.
In a speech to the Fabian society last week former Labour leader Brown claimed the Brexit result was a "revolt by the regions" against the centralisation of power. He suggested Labour should make a constitutional convention central to the Brexit debate to look at devolving the powers that will be repatriated from Brussels to regional mayors and national assemblies.
But writing for centrist think tank Progress, former defence minister Foulkes said Brown's intervention would "confuse and complicate" the issue.
He explained: "The case for a constitutional convention is strong, perhaps stronger, without needing to include any possible transfer of powers from Brussels and it is important to get support from both, or rather all, sides of the Brexit debate."
But he saved most of his ire for Brown's successor David Cameron. He said: "David Cameron is the villain in all of this. We should have realised when he allowed Alex Salmond to decide the franchise, date and wording of the question in the independence referendum that he was not too great a negotiator.
"His capitulation to Ukip and the Tory right gave us a totally unnecessary European Union referendum, where he refused the vote to 16 and 17 year olds and EU citizens who voted in the Scottish referendum and a threshold because he complacently thought he could win. The result was a win for Brexit with 37 per cent of a flawed franchise."  

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