POLITICAL parties should be pushed to include the abolition of devolved powers in their General Election manifesto to “100% guarantee” the Union, anti-independence campaigners have said.

A blog posted by Scotland Matters, a Unionist group which is registered with the Electoral Commission, has said Holyrood, the Welsh parliament and Stormont should be replaced by a system of administrative devolution instead.

If a party won an election on this manifesto pledge, it said the “path to ending devolution is straightforward and clear” – and there would be no requirement to seek the consent of Holyrood beforehand. 

It stated: “The Union is 100% guaranteed as there is no devolved legislature through which modern aggressive nationalism, as personified by the SNP, can push for independence referenda, the fatal intrinsic flaw in legislative devolution and undeniably the case in Scotland.”

Pro-UK group Scotland Matters was one of a number of small groups which spent thousands of pounds in the run up to the Holyrood election of 2021 in a bid to convince voters not to back pro-independence parties.

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Records from the Electoral Commission show it spent £56,265, most of which went on what the Electoral Commission categorises as “manifesto or referendum material”, which includes advertising.

The group pushed tactical voting among anti-independence voters, a strategy which leading pollster Professor John Curtice has said contributed to the SNP not securing an overall majority.

The article on the Scotland Matters website, published under the author name Stephen Bailey, claims it would be a “far, far better world” if New Labour had not introduced legislative devolution, but this “happy state” can still be achieved by pushing for its abolition.

It said: “How? Could we possibly try to persuade a UK political party to include the abolition of the devolved legislatures, Holyrood, the Welsh ‘parliament’ and Stormont (legislative devolution) and its replacement with administrative devolution in their manifesto for the next General Election?

“If this party won an election on a manifesto pledge to abolish legislative devolution, then that would give them a cast-iron democratic mandate to do so. A referendum win would also provide a cast-iron democratic mandate for abolition of legislative devolution.”

The article went on: “Once a future government has won a mandate for abolition through a General Election victory based on a manifesto promise to do so, or a referendum win, the path to ending devolution is straightforward and clear.

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“Under UK Constitutional Law, all that is required to end the existence of the devolved legislatures is to introduce an act into Parliament that repeals the original acts that set up devolution in the first place and that would be it – no more Holyrood, Welsh ‘parliament’ or Stormont.

“It is important to note that there is absolutely no requirement under the constitution to seek and receive the consent of the devolved legislatures beforehand.”

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The call comes in the wake of a growing war of words between Scotland’s two governments last year with the Tories in Westminster accused of attempting to roll back devolution.

The UK Government blocked Scotland’s planned transgender law reforms after a bill was passed at Holyrood and refused to give permission for glass bottles to be included in plans for a deposit return scheme which has now been shelved.

Former Tory government minister Lord Frost (above) also sparked an outcry after saying that the SNP’s "implosion" is a chance to put devolution into reverse.

An SNP spokesperson said: “The Scottish Parliament is the beating heart of democracy in Scotland and any party standing on a platform which advocates for its abolition will be given short shrift by the Scottish electorate.

“Westminster’s recent attacks on devolution demonstrate that independence is the only way to protect the powers of the Scottish Parliament and the SNP will continue to work towards making that a reality.”

The Sunday National contacted Scotland Matters to clarify if the blog represented the views of the group and if it intended to take up the idea, but did not receive a response.