scottish devolution

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research has warned Westminster that pushing for "English votes for English laws" - dubbed the West Lothian Question – is undemocratic and could be unfair, considering how much Scotland contributes to the British economy in exports.

Speaking to the Treasury Select Committee, Dr Angus Armstrong, director of macroeconomic research at the NIESR, said that while England contributes to 84% of the UK economy, Scotland's exports industry accounts for nearly half of the nation's balance sheet.

"While England accounts for a majority of the UK economy, Scottish exports account for a great deal of the economy," said Armstrong.

"If only English MPs voted on English laws, those laws would still have an impact on Scotland and therefore it seems quite undemocratic.

"You also have to have the appropriate balance of powers for Scotland. If there is greater power over taxation there is arguably more cause for granting more powers over borrowing."

In the run-up to the referendum the three main political parties - Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, and Labour - pledged to grant Scots more power over taxation and spending if they voted against independence in the referendum.

Scotland's independence referendum was held 18 September and over 80% of the country's population turned out to vote. In the end 55% decided the country should stay part of the UK.

Subsequently, Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Alex Salmond tendered his resignation and claimed voters were "tricked" into voting no.

Talks have already started in granting Scotland more powers but politician and expert comments over how devolution implementation timeframes promised were "mission impossible" have left thousands disillusioned.

A total of 120,000 people have since signed a petition urging Westminster to keep its promises on devolution.

Meanwhile, a number of MPs have raised the concerns that greater devolution should lead Scottish MPs being barred from making decisions in Westminster, therefore "English votes for English laws"- dubbed the West Lothian Question.