Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore MP writes a weekly column for local newspapers in his Borders constituency. Here’s this week’s edition.

Diamond Jubilee service of Thanksgiving

A number of church services and events last week marked the Scottish celebrations of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and it was a privilege to take part in my role as Secretary of State. I was especially pleased to be able to attend the Thistle Installation Service in Edinburgh which was followed by a procession down the Royal Mile led by Lothian and Borders police pipe band and featuring the Scout Fellowship band from Hawick. As local MP, this was an extremely proud moment and the bands put on an excellent show for the Queen and the gathered crowds.

 Armed Forces

In a statement to the House of Commons last week, the Defence Secretary announced his plans for our armed forces to ensure they are able to meet to challenges of the 21st century while being sustainable and affordable. The previous Labour Government left the country with a £38 billion black hole in the defence budget so it has been a huge challenge for this Government to balance the books while not damaging the country’s defence capabilities.

In light of the financial situation I was extremely pleased to hear that all of the historic regimental names and cap badges of the Royal Regiment of Scotland have been retained. In the Borders and Scotland we have a proud military history and tradition and it is right that these have been respected. Many Borderers also contribute to the army reserves and I am pleased that the Defence Secretary outlined that reservists will become better integrated into the armed forces as a result of these changes.


These past few weeks have seen some shocking revelations about interest rate rigging at Barclays and the mis-selling of financial products by other UK banks. I am extremely concerned that local businesses and homeowners in the Borders have been affected by these practices and I am backing Government moves to hold a parliamentary inquiry into the culture and behaviour of the banks. We want the inquiry to be swift, decisive and transparent so we can legislate on this as part of the Banking Reform Bill next year.

The Government is already taking action to reform our banks and tackle the damaging culture which saw the taxpayer bailout the banks to the tune of billions of pounds in 2008. On the structure and future of banking, we are implementing the recommendations of the Vickers inquiry to separate the risky investment banking from high-street banking. This will protect the deposits of people here in the Borders and all across the UK and prevent future bailouts.

* Michael Moore was the Liberal Democrat MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk from 1997-2015 and Secretary of State for Scotland from 2010-2013.

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