Brexit

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At one time, Scottish politics, like those elsewhere in Great Britain, divided rather clearly on the left-right axis, with elections disputed between Labour and the Conservatives. In the mid-twentieth century, they divided the vote fairly evenly between them. Since the 1970s, another axis has become significant, the unionist-nationalist divide. Now there is an additional one, on Europe, between Remain and Leave supporters. The old party system has broken down, creating instability and marked shifts in support from one election to the next.
 
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The challenges presented by an international border on the island of Ireland has been highlighted as a key challenge in Brexit negotiations but, says Prof Janice Morphett, a solution may already exist in the shape of European Groupings for Territorial Cooperation (EGTCs).
 
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That the EU has placed Gibraltar on the agenda for Brexit negotiations should come as no surprise, says Michael Keating, as the issue, which had already been indicated, remains a sensitive one in Spain. 
 
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The repatriation of powers from the EU to the UK and devolved governments is neither straightforward nor, as yet, resolved. Prof Michael Keating examines some of the issues that will play out in terms of determining whether powers from Brussels will default to London on one hand, or Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast on the other.
 
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James Mitchell looks forward to the SNP Conference which is likely to be remembered most for its timing: the postponement of the Prime Minister’s decision to invoke Article 50 formally starting the process of Brexit and the First Minister’s decision on the timing of Indyref2.

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