Speaking at a press briefing today ahead of the party's 2014 conference, the Co-Convenors of the Scottish Green Party Patrick Harvie MSP and Cllr Maggie Chapman unveiled the party's vision for radical devolution to Scotland, as set out in a submission to the Smith Commission.

Harvie and Chapman will sit on the Commission, which was set up by the UK parties to deliver on the pledges they made to the Scottish people during the independence referendum.

The Greens are committed to working cooperatively to help deliver the strongest and most coherent set of powers for the Scottish Parliament, but are also concerned to strengthen public involvement in the Commission process.

The Scottish Parliament this week agreed the Green proposal that a period of “meaningful public participation” must follow the Commission’s work given the severely limited time available during its consideration.

The party proposes that a formal written constitution will be required if the future of the Scottish Parliament is to be properly secured, and that the following should be devolved to Holyrood as a minimum:

* all franchise and electoral law for Scotland, which would allow 16-18 year-olds to vote in the 2016 election, allow Scotland to use a fairer electoral system, and ensure that those convicted of serious criminal acts, as in the recent Walker case, can be removed from office
* wide economic powers including borrowing as well as taxation
* the bulk of the welfare system
* energy powers relating to industrial emissions standards, community renewables, public energy companies and investment in energy efficiency currently delivered through power companies
* transport policy, such as the barriers to publicly owned railways, and road speed limits
* responsibility for employment law and employment rights, including industrial relations, plus health and safety
* human rights and equalities law, which would allow more radical equal pay legislation to be pursued, and protect Scotland from the threatened scrapping of the Human Rights Act

Green MSP Patrick Harvie said:

"The UK political parties committed to a very tight timescale, and cannot now ignore that commitment without betraying public trust. But that leaves the Smith Commission with almost no scope for meaningful public engagement.

"The danger is that the infectious energy of the referendum debate is followed by the familiar sight of a stitch-up between political parties. We will do our best to work constructively with the others on the Commission, but the first item on the agenda for me is to encourage Lord Smith to agree an urgent programme of open public engagement so that the people of Scotland have the chance to shape the country's future.

"The Scottish people were promised what some called devo max and others called home rule. Tightly limited tax powers designed to force Holyrood to follow Westminster's austerity agenda would be unacceptable.

"While most Scottish Greens campaigned for independence, we must all accept the result of the referendum and ensure that Scotland achieves the radical devolution settlement that was promised. These are the powers we believe are needed if the pledge is to be honoured, and if Scotland is to have the opportunity for radical self-governance within the UK."