An opinion poll of people in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland has found that many believe independence for Scotland would “boost support for a decentralisation of powers away from Westminster to the regions of England”.
The poll, conducted by Panelbase on behalf of the Scottish National Party, consulted a representative sample of 1,011 people and found 36% who agreed it would spur regional devolution efforts compared to only 21% who didn’t – with a sizeable 43% not sure what the impact would be.
But Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the results showed a Yes vote in the September referendum “may well be a helpful and constructive influence in the developing constitutional debate south of the border”.
She said: “The dominance of London and south-east England in determining UK economic policy is a problem for Scotland – to which in our view independence is the answer – but it is also a significant issue in many parts of England, where different solutions will be required.”
Stewart Arnold, vice chair of the Yorkshire Devolution Movement, said that the poll results were “very interesting” and would “encourage those of us who want to see powers drawn away from Westminster and Whitehall”.
He told The Targe: “The Scottish referendum should be a catalyst for a debate on how devolution is implemented in England but instead we are faced by a wall of silence from the major political parties. This is simply not good enough when it is evident that the supporters of all major parties support the idea of decentralisation towards the regions of England.”
The cross-party Yorkshire Devolution Movement, which has already considered the impact of Scottish independence, campaigns for the establishment of a directly-elected regional assembly for Yorkshire.
Sturgeon finished her remarks: “In all eventualities, we look forward to an independent Scotland having a relationship of friendship and co-operation with all our neighbours in these islands, including our next-door neighbours in the North of England.”