Constitution

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After twenty years of reform, says Michael Keating, the UK constitution is back where it started. 
 
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In this blog Professor Tierney argues that the legality of a unilateral referendum organised by the Scottish Parliament is a grey area. He also offers personal reflections from his experience as a parliamentary adviser at the time of the 2014 referendum and contends that a referendum held without an agreed process would have been damaging then and would be damaging now. It is incumbent upon both governments to ensure that a political solution to the current dispute is achieved and that, in particular, such a divisive issue is not left to the courts to settle. 
 
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With Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May taking apparently incompatible positions over a second independence referendum, Michael Keating considers whether the constitution is now at breaking point. 

The UK Government’s decision appears to be final. A Scottish independence referendum is not ruled out in principle but it is off the table until after Brexit. This is understandable from the UK perspective. The Government has no desire to conduct a war on two fronts or to weaken the UK position in negotiations with the EU. 

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Following the High Court’s ruling on whether the UK Parliament should be involved in the activation of the Article 50 process to leave the EU, Tobias Lock analyses the judgement. He observes that the UK government will find it difficult to construct an effective case on appeal, and that, should legislation indeed be required, essential questions of politics and process will follow. This blog originally appeared on European Futures.

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