Margaret Curran, former Labour MSP, MP and Scottish Government Minister
Theresa May called the snap election hoping for a strong majority, to give her a free hand to deal with the EU. While promising a ‘UK approach’ to Brexit, the Conservatives rejected different arrangements for the UK’s component nations or anything more than a consultative role for the devolved governments. Following the General Election, this may have to change.
Now is the perfect time to think about maximising the benefits of Scottish devolution. The first independence referendum produced important new constitutional changes, enshrined in the Scotland Act 2016. It now seems unlikely that there will be a second referendum any time soon. So, we have a window of opportunity to take a step back, understand the Scottish Government’s new powers, and consider how the Scottish Parliament can best hold it to account, encourage new voices in politics, and represent the views of the public.
Following the election result some pundits have suggested that English votes for English laws might be an obstacle to the government, given its reliance on support from non-English MPs, whilst others have suggested the procedures might provide the government with an enhanced English majority. In this post Daniel Gover and Michael Kenny explain that neither of these possibilities is likely to occur.
Brexit poses profound challenges for relations between the UK and devolved governments. But, can the lack of understanding and trust that characterised intergovernmental relations in the months before the election give way to more positive relationships?
This is the third blog in the series ‘What next for…’ following the UK General Election 2017. Marco Biagi was SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central, 2011-16 and served as Minister for Local Government and Communities, 2014-16. He is currently completing a political science PhD at Yale University.
Tories should celebrate and then think of the Union
This is the first in a series of blogs reflecting on the UK General Election 2017 under the theme of ‘What next….?’ These blogs will focus on public policy, parties and the constitution. This important opening blog reflects on evidence-based political debate.