British & Scottish Politics

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The Scottish Parliament’s Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh doesn’t think that Holyrood is broken, but ‘in need of an MOT’.  Car owners know all too well that sometimes an MOT ends up identifying major problems that need significant – and expensive – work.
 
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For the Scottish government the twin goals of withdrawing from the UK and remaining in the European Union are challenging but potentially attainable. The prospect is not a unicorn vision like the belief that it is possible to leave the EU while keeping current benefits of remaining in the single European market. The Scottish government’s strategy is about sequencing: withdraw first from the UK so that an independent Scotland can then remain a member state of the EU. 
 
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The EU referendum result has fundamentally reshaped the Scottish independence debate, and the new draft referendum bill is a both political and practical step by the Scottish Government, writes Peter Lynch. He observes that, in this unpredictable constitutional environment, Brexit has created opportunities for the SNP to engage with those who haven’t previously contemplated Scottish independence. This blog originally appeared on European Futures.

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What are the points of contention in establishing different relationships for Scotland and rUK with the EU? Dr Kirsty Hughes works her way through the details. 
 
Nicola Sturgeon has set out a clear demand that Scotland should stay in the EU’s single market, even if the rest of the UK (rUK) leaves, as part of the UK’s Brexit deal with the EU. Sturgeon has yet to set out the details of how she thinks this could happen but the big questions are already clear.
 
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Latest blogs

  • 18th December 2018

    Aileen McHarg looks at last week’s decision by the Supreme Court in the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Legal Continuity) (Scotland) Bill reference which demonstrates both the strength and the weakness of Holyrood as a legislature.

  • 17th December 2018

    The Supreme Court's ruling on the Scottish Continuity Bill gave both sides something but acknowledged that the vast bulk of the Bill was within Holyrood's competence at the time it was passed however, suggests Sionaidh Douglas-Scott, the strong feeling that devolved interests are not taken seriously highlights underlying fractures within the Union.

  • 14th December 2018

    Disagreements about the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland are about more than practical considerations of where customs checks should be performed, says Michael Keating.

  • 14th December 2018

    Derek MacKay’s third budget of this parliamentary session was doomed to be overshadowed by events at Westminster.

  • 12th December 2018

    Although the N-VA has insisted it left the Belgian government to pursue ’principled opposition’ those principle are, says Coree Brown Swan, at the very least informed by a strategy that allows it to maintain policy influence from outside government while countering the electoral threat posed by a resurgent Vlaams Belang.

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