A DOSSIER of 20 questions demanding answers to the “fundamental flaws and rampant hypocrisies” in Labour’s paper on constitutional reform has been unveiled by the SNP.

Labour’s commission on the future of the UK – headed up by former prime minister Gordon Brown – announced plans last week to give more powers to devolved nations, abolish the “indefensible” House of Lords and create a “New Britain” with more local control over decision-making.

But the SNP have called for answers on issues such as how the plan will stop Scotland having policies imposed on it by Tory governments it hasn’t voted for and why a majority of pro-independence MSPs in 2011 was a mandate for a referendum while a greater majority in 2021 was not.

Nicola Sturgeon’s party have also criticised Labour for offering no alternative to the UK Internal Market Act despite Brown previously describing it as an attack on devolution.

READ MORE: Gordon Brown UK reform report 'looks like rushed job' - Durham expert

Brown said Labour would push forward with the plans even if they were rejected by Scots at the ballot box.

SNP depute leader Keith Brown said Brown’s panel had produced a “spectacularly underwhelming” set of proposals.

He said: “Labour’s latest effort at pulling the wool over the eyes of the people of Scotland is riddled with fundamental flaws and rampant hypocrisies. It is so spectacularly underwhelming it’s an insult to the intelligence of the people of Scotland.

“Absolutely nothing in it protects Scotland from the catastrophe of Brexit, nor does it even attempt to address the democratic deficit of Tory governments being inflicted on Scotland despite voters here rejecting them at the ballot box for the last 70 years.

“After Labour bigging up this report for months, Brown himself wholly undermined it on day one by saying Labour will ignore what the people of Scotland vote for and will impose their plan anyway if they form the next government.

The National: SNP depute leader Keith BrownSNP depute leader Keith Brown (Image: PA)

“How dare they claim their contemptuous attitude is respecting Scottish democracy. Increasingly, when it comes to the key issues of the day affecting people in Scotland, there is zero difference between Labour and the Tories these days.

READ MORE: Ex-SNP health minister calls on Yousaf to end zero-hours contracts

“Instead of treating the people of Scotland with contempt, Keir Starmer, Anas Sarwar and Gordon Brown should be challenged to answer our dossier of questions.”

The 20 questions are:

1. Where are there proposals that will stop Scotland from having policies imposed on it by Tory Westminster governments it doesn’t vote for?

2. Where are there proposals that will allow Scotland to re-enter the European single market at the very least to repair the Scottish economy from the damage being done by Brexit? 

3. Why have no proposals been made to repeal those post-Brexit laws that take power away or give Westminster ministers the power to veto or overrule devolved decisions? 

4. In a statement of June 17, 2014, the Scottish and UK Labour party leaderships signed a pledge, along with the Tories and Labour, that “Power lies with the Scottish people ... to decide how Scotland is governed"  if the people of Scotland voted 'No', and after the referendum - as part of the Smith Commission Report – they agreed with all other parties that it would be a matter for the people of Scotland to choose. Why are Scottish Labour supporting these proposals when Gordon Brown says Labour will push on with constitution overhaul even if Scots reject it

READ MORE: Stephen Flynn suggests he's open to working with Alex Salmond's Alba

5. Five months ago Anas Sarwar made six pledges that his work on Scotland’s constitution and reform of the UK would be rooted in six key principles, the top three of which were that “the Scottish people are sovereign and have the right to determine the best form of government suited to their needs”, that the UK should be a union of equal nations, and power should lie with the people not in parliaments and governments. Where in Gordon Brown’s report are any of those principles being met?

6. In Keir Starmer’s signed pledges during the 2020 Labour leadership contest he promised “radical devolution” and “federalism”. As Aileen McHarg, Professor of Public Law and Human Rights at Durham University, has pointed out in terms of Scottish proposals, “Nothing says 'enhanced respect for devolution' like proposing to change things that are already within the competence of the Scottish Parliament”.  How can those be regarded as “radical devolution” and where is the federalism in the report? Nothing in this proposal takes power away from Westminster to stop them vetoing the powers of devolved governments.

7. Why was a majority of MSPs for an independence referendum in 2011 a mandate for a referendum but a greater majority in 2021 is not?

The National: Gordon Brown delivered a press conference on the report in Leeds Gordon Brown delivered a press conference on the report in Leeds (Image: PA)

8. Why is Labour becoming the UK government a mandate for its constitutional proposals whilst the election of the SNP as the Scottish Government is not a mandate for its constitutional proposals?

9. In January 2020, Keir Starmer said that the SNP winning the 2021 election would justify another independence referendum. Why is Keir Starmer now denying that election result and arguing that the only mandate you need for these changes is to be the elected as the government?

10. After the Supreme Court judgement Anas Sarwar said it was now time to focus on rising bills and the NHS. At the launch of Labour’s proposals, when asked about whether constitutional policy should be a priority, Keir Starmer said the issue “could not be more relevant”. Why are they focussing on the constitution - is that not double standards?

READ MORE: Anger as Wes Streeting launches attack on the BMA health union

11. Anas Sarwar claims there is not a majority for another referendum or independence. Considering he said mandates were based on elections and not polls and there is a majority of MSPs for both in the Scottish Parliament what is he basing that claim on?

12. Anas Sarwar claims there is not a majority for independence or the status quo. What evidence does he have that there is a majority for Labour’s proposals considering polls show further devolution could only muster 14% to 17% and DevoMax – which Labour is not offering – can only muster 30% at most?

13. The Labour Welsh Government has set up a constitutional commission that will now examine three 'viable' options for Wales' future which includes independence. Why do the UK and Scottish Labour parties refuse to accept independence as an option for Scotland?

14. Labour refused to devolve employment law during the Smith Commission deliberations but in April 2019 the then Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard announced support for devolving it. Yet these proposals fail to show support for devolving employment law. Why has Scottish Labour backtracked on devolving employment law?

15. Gordon Brown’s constitutional proposals recommend “establishing new forms of local and regional leadership, such as directly elected Mayors” in Scotland. Is Scottish Labour planning on abolishing the title of Provost in Scottish local government and replacing it with Mayor?

16. In March 2019 Labour’s constitutional reform adviser said that Labour’s reforms would ensure the Scottish Parliament is “no longer subordinate to Westminster”. Why is the proposal of a Scottish Parliament no longer subordinate to Westminster not included in Gordon Brown’s report? Has Labour backtracked on this promise?

17. In 2014, Scotland was told to vote No to protect the NHS yet following Brexit the Tories voted against protecting the NHS from being opened up to US-style private health corporations in future trade deals. Why does this report not address the threat to Scotland’s NHS?

18. Before the 2014 referendum the No campaign said: "...we support Scotland being member of UK which is in EU. All parties that make up Better Together support EU membership...". Why has the Labour party now abandoned that position?

19. Before the 2014 referendum Gordon Brown said that people should vote ‘No’ because Westminster “serves Scotland so well - and also serves the UK well” as well as saying Scotland should vote ‘No’ “to create a more socially just country”. Why does he think that did not happen since he now says he has never seen poverty so bad? Why did voting ‘No’ not “create a more socially just country”?

20. Does Gordon Brown still think Westminster's claim to undivided authority over the country is “dead and buried”?