Scotland decides: Britain must honour pledge to grant Scotland powers, Gordon Brown says

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown told British leaders on Saturday that they must honour their promise to grant further powers to Scotland after voters backed staying in the United Kingdom in an independence referendum. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown told British leaders on Saturday that they must honour their promise to grant further powers to Scotland after voters backed staying in the United Kingdom in an independence referendum. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

EDINBURGH (REUTERS) - Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown told British leaders on Saturday that they must honour their promise to grant further powers to Scotland after voters backed staying in the United Kingdom in an independence referendum.

Just days before the Sept 18 vote, Brown appeared to be making British policy by announcing that laws granting further devolution to the Scottish parliament would be drafted by the time Scots celebrate the birthday of their most revered poet, Robert Burns, on January 25. "The eyes of the world have been upon us and now I think the eyes of the world are upon the leaders of the major parties in the United Kingdom," Brown told supporters in Fife, Scotland. "These are men who have been promise makers and they will not be promise breakers and I will ensure as a promise keeper that these promises that have been made are upheld," he said.

During the campaign, Prime Minister David Cameron, Labour leader Ed Miliband and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg promised to guarantee Scotland high levels of state funding and grant Scots greater control over healthcare spending.

After Scots rejected independence, Cameron said the issue of Scottish independence had been settled "for a generation" but pledged a swift constitutional shake-up for all parts of the United Kingdom.