Duncan Hothersall, Editor of Labour Hame, welcomes the first Labour Hame debate, which will take place on 12th May and tackle the vexed subject of federalism.


I’m delighted to say that Labour Hame is hosting an event to discuss the option of federalism for the future constitutional structure of Scotland and the UK, and what that would mean for both Scottish and UK Labour.

UK map

The prospect of a federal UK has been debated both within and beyond the Labour Party for many years. Scottish Labour’s new leader, Richard Leonard, recently expressed his strong support for a federal UK as part of a wider constitutional reform.

This debate, which will take place in Edinburgh on 12 May, will feature a number of leading voices from Scottish Labour, with wide experience from local, Scottish, UK and European level. There will also be plenty of opportunity for Labour members and supporters to give their views and contribute to the discussion.

We expect that the following questions will be among those which will be discussed:

  • What is meant by federalism – what are the different options?
  • Is there a difference between a federal option for Scotland and ‘devo-max’? And what does ‘devo-max’ mean anyway?
  • Can federalism be introduced on a gradual basis across the UK, or does it have to be introduced in a ‘big bang’?
  • Should the UK be transformed into a partnership of nations?
  • Can federalism be ‘entrenched’ in the UK’s constitutional settlement?
  • What should be Scotland’s future relationship with the EU?
  • How can UK wide policy objectives be reconciled with either federalism or ‘devo max’?
  • What happens to the UK parliament in a federal system?

Speakers will include:

  • Henry McLeish, former MP, MSP and First Minister of Scotland
  • Catherine Stihler, MEP for Scotland, Vice Chair European Parliament Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection
  • Ian Murray, MP for Edinburgh South, former Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland

The event will be held in the Augustine Church Centre, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh between 10 am and 12 noon, on Saturday 12 May 2018. Registration and coffee from 9.30 am.

The event is for Labour Party members and supporters and is free of charge, but attendees must reserve their place using the link below.

Reserve your place today.