We must devolve more powers to Scotland - but we also need to treat England fairly
I am relieved that Scotland has voted to remain within the United Kingdom. After all we've achieved together, it would be very sad to see our countries broken apart.
But there's absolutely no room for complacency. Nearly 85% of those eligible to take part cast a vote - far higher than in any General Election - and nearly 45% of them voted for independence. In places like Glasgow and Dundee there was a majority for independence and polling suggests that if it wasn't for strong support for the Union among elderly voters the Yes campaign would have won.
Clearly many, many Scots are unhappy with the current arrangements. If we want to secure our Union, we need to address those concerns.
It was with this in mind that the Prime Minister - along with Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg - promised to devolve further powers to the Scottish Parliament. He was quite right to do so. Crucially, these powers will include much more tax raising powers. This will make the Scottish Government more accountable for the decisions it takes - if it wants higher government spending in Scotland (eg having no tuition fees), it will have to raise taxes to pay for it, relying less on funding from the UK Government calculated using the Barnett formula.
Since the Prime Minister announced his support for more powers for Scotland a few days ago, a number of constituents have contacted me saying "That's all very well but what about England?"
It's a valid point. The current situation - where Scottish MPs can vote on laws relating to England, but English MPs have no say on many laws relating to Scotland - is already unfair. If even more powers are devolved to Scotland, it will become even more so.
That's why I am delighted with the statement the Prime Minister has made this morning. I would encourage you to read it in full.
He starts by explaining why it was right to have this referendum - the SNP won the 2011 Scottish Parliament elections and they therefore had a democratic mandate to put the independence question to the Scottish people.
He makes it clear that he intends to honour the promises he made to devolve further powers in full.
But crucially he says that the new arrangements must also be fair to England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In the case of England, that means ensuring that laws that only relate to England must have the support of a majority of English MPs and also devolving more powers to our counties and great cities.
And most importantly of all, the Prime Minister said that these changes must happen at the same pace as the devolution of new powers to Scotland.
It's good to see a number of Labour and Liberal Democrats agreeing with what the Prime Minister said. Sadly, Ed Miliband seems to want to kick the issue into the long grass with a "citizen-led constitutional convention" whatever that means. He clearly doesn't think he can win a majority in England and is putting his self-interest above what is fair. Disappointing but perhaps predictable.
If we want to keep our country together, it is clearly that our Union has to change, but that change must be fair to all four nations of the United Kingdom. The Conservative & Unionist Party, to give us our full name, will work with others to make sure that happens.