What we're reading: 6 February 2014

 Coree Brown rounds-up the blogs of January, which cover a number of topics including constitutional issues associated with the vote, alternative proposals for devolution, and the nature of Britishness. 
At the UK Constitutional Law Association, Nick Barber reflects on what will happen after the vote, examining the time frame for independence as outlined by Scotland's Future. He discusses the process of negotiation that will have to take place, noting that the UK representation in this negotiating process is likely to be complicated by the UK General Elections, a vote which may delay negotiations and challenge the timeframe presented by the Scottish Government. At the Scottish Constitutional Futures Forum, Laura Cram looks at the possible relationship between an independent Scotland and the EU. She argues that despite the debate focusing on the issues regarding accession 'Scotland is unlikely to be cut off dead from the EU. There is little benefit to anyone of existing systems and relationships failing to operate in the interim'. 
Bloggers turned their attention to Catalonia this week, with Paul R Williams and Roushani Mansoor discussing implications of a Catalan vote on the future of Europe at the Atlantic Council. They point to the role that the European Union is likely to play in the prospects of a referendum on independence in Catalonia. Jordi Mas at the LSE's European Politics and Policy blog asserts that Catalan football fans support of the Spanish team is not indicative of a dual identity but perhaps of a 'strategic and pragmatic attitude towards Spain'. 
At Devolution Matters, and in conjunction with the IPPR, Alan Trench proposes Devo More as an alternative to independence and as a model with potential to revive the Union. He argues in favour of extensive fiscal devolution for the devolved governments, changes in social security, and a greater degree of awareness of the UK government as a government for England.
Writing for the Stirling Centre for Scottish Studies, Peter Lynch explains the referendum debate for readers abroad.
Tony Wright discusses the nature of Britishness at the Political Quarterly, noting that attachment to Britain has weakened and as a result, the state and the political parties engaged at the centre have thus far been unable to mount an effective defence against nationalist appeals. He argues that further devolution, while messy, could offer a way forward. 
In a brief piece at his personal blog, Paul Cairney discusses the responses by both the yes and no campaigns to the speech by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney regarding the prospects of a currency union.


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Coree Brown Swan's picture
University of Edinburgh
6th February 2014
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