A proposal for a new Act of Union to make the UK more federal and lessen the possibility of Scottish independence will go nowhere, an MP has said.
A cross-party group of Lords is hoping to win the backing of the devolved governments for their plans.
But their policies would have to be put to the people of the UK’s four nations in yet another constitutional referendum if they were to become law.
SNP MP Martin Docherty said: “Despite their utter irrelevance, Lords now want to try to influence the democratic debate on Scotland’s future proposing a new House of Lords Act of Union.
“This idea has come from nowhere and that is where it will go.
“Lectures on the future of democracy in Scotland from the House of Lords shows just how ridiculous and out of touch they are.”
Labour peer Lord Hain, a member of the steering group of the Constitution Reform Group, argued their model was “distinctive” because it is “a bottom-up process”.
The former Welsh Secretary said the four nations would “federate upwards to the UK and decide what is done at the centre and at a national level”.
He claimed this would make the UK a lot stronger and more appealing, particularly to Scotland.
The new Act of Union would have to win approval from voters in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland for the new system to be implemented.
That means any one of them would have a veto in a similar vein to Nicola Sturgeon’s “double lock” argument for the EU referendum, which would block a so-called Brexit in the event of a leave vote if just one nation voted to stay in Europe.
In written evidence to the Lords Constitution Committee, the group said: “We see an immediate threat to the constitutional future of the UK in the likelihood of a repeated referendum on Scottish independence in the near future.”
Lord Salisbury told the committee: “Those who want to keep Scotland in the UK need to wrest back the initiative from the separatists, which has been lost (to them).”
He said the “neatest way” of doing that was to propose a new Act of Union; 300 years or so since the original acts created one united kingdom of Great Britain.