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Brown: UK should be partnership of equals

Staff writer |
The former UK prime minister Gordon Brown has proposed the UK should become a "partnership of equals" to save the union.

The former prime minister gave a speech proposing six changes to transform the "unitary and centralised" system in the UK. He called for a new UK constitutional law to set out the purpose of the UK as being to pool and share resources for the defence, security and well-being of all four nations.

Mr. Brown suggested that the Scottish Parliament should raise about 40% of the cash it spends and said giving Holyrood more powers over income tax was the best way to achieve this. He has submitted his proposals to Labour's devolution commission, which will shortly put forward plans to boost devolution in the event of a No vote in September's Scottish independence referendum.

Mr. Brown said: "I believe there are six constitutional changes we have got to make for a better relationship between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom, to turn what I would call a unitary and centralised state of the past into a partnership of equals and one where there is power-sharing across the United Kingdom."

Scotland is already due to get new powers over income tax from April 2016, when the U.K. Treasury will deduct 10p from standard and upper rates of income tax in Scotland and give MSPs the power to decide how to raise cash.

Mr. Brown said: "The first 5p of income tax should be decided by the UK, the next 15p by the Scottish Government. I believe that is a fair way of raising 40% of the revenue of the Scottish Parliament in Scotland."

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