Scotland’s ‘No’ vote pleases county MPs - two lines over to align with lead story

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The news that Scotland will stay within the UK has been welcomed by Northumberland politicians.

Voters rejected independence by 55 per cent to 45 per cent in last Thursday’s referendum. However, all three main parties in Westminster have pledged to give the Scottish Parliament greater powers.

Guy Opperman, Conservative MP for Hexham, campaigned for the ‘No’ side in Aberdeen, Argyll, Annan, Fife, Perthshire, Islay, Stonehaven, Banchory, Jedburgh and Hawick among other places.

He said in his online blog: “This was a very convincing win in the circumstances. My thanks to all who voted and all who helped.

“The country will need to change now but the biggest benefit of this fight is that our United Kingdom, and the way power is exercised in this country, is going to evolve. And that is a good thing.

“I am clear that we cannot have greater Scottish devolution (which we will) without addressing powers and governance changes for the other countries of the UK and providing more self governance for the regions, including the North East.”

Sir Alan Beith, Liberal Democrat MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed, believes the result is good not only for the prosperity of all of the UK, but also because life in Northumberland and the Borders would have been significantly disrupted by an international boundary.

He will ask the Prime Minister a number of questions about future arrangements in October’s session of the House of Commons Liaison Committee, which he chairs.

“With new powers for Scotland must come new opportunities for the regions of England and the development of a system of Government for England by the people of England within the UK,” Sir Alan added.

“But the devolution of new powers to the North East means that we must find ways of making sure that rural and minority voices are heard – this is not just about cities.”