British & Scottish Politics
David Cameron’s proposed areas for renegotiation have implications for the Scottish Government, a situation that will increase once the Scotland Bill is passed.
The distinct Scottish interest in the European renegotiation and referendum can be seen under two headings. The first concerns matters reserved under the devolution settlement to the UK Government but where Scottish interests and preferences may be distinct. The second concerns devolved matters that also have a European dimension. This produces a potentially long list of questions.
As the European referendum comes to loom ever larger in British politics, it is apparent that a number of distinct, pulsating national questions will do much to affect its outcome. For a start, divergent views on this issue may well lead to the exacerbation of territorial tensions across the UK, should an ‘out’ vote be the majority preference of the English, but not the other nations of the UK.
Will England or Scotland determine the outcome of the UK referendum on our European Union membership? Scotland, together with Northern Ireland and Wales, might keep a reluctant England in. Equally, a strong 'leave' vote in England could drag the other nations out of the EU.
When the real referendum campaign takes off, not the current 'phony war', watch out for a few key issues:
Complacency and turn out:
Voter’s attitudes to constitutional relationships are not the only determinant for success or failure for ‘regionalist and nationalist parties’ such as the SNP and Plaid Cymru, says Anwen Elias.
Territory - and the question of who has political control over it - continues to be an important, and often highly contentious, issue in multinational states. And yet the electoral fortunes of the regionalist and nationalist parties (RNPs) that challenge the state's political authority varies substantially from place to place.