Devolution

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After months of protracted negotiation, the UK and Scottish governments have finally found something they can agree on, says David Eiser - that two plus two equals five. 
 
So, after months of negotiation, a deal has finally been agreed on how the Scottish Government’s block grant will be adjusted to reflect its new powers over taxation and welfare.
 
John Swinney has effectively got the deal he wanted, at least until 2022. And Nicola Sturgeon has said the deal provides ‘not a penny of detriment’ to the Scottish budget.
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The Trade Union Bill is the latest in a series of standoffs between London and Cardiff, Furthermore, says Huw Pritchard, lecturer in Devolved Law and Governance at the University of Cardiff, the conflict may well encourage further tensions over the passage of the draft Wales Bill. 
 
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When the Draft Wales Bill was published in October 2015, it was described by Stephen Crabb, the Secretary of State for Wales as delivering on the UK Government’s commitment ‘to create a stronger, clearer and fairer devolution settlement for Wales’.  This is badly needed; the history of Welsh devolution since 1998 has been one of short-term solutions that have needed to be revised or replaced within a few years.
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Review Recommends Rejection of Draft Wales Bill

A report by an independent review group consisting of constitutional and legislative experts says that they could not recommend that politicians in Cardiff Bay and Westminster support the Draft Wales Bill in its current form.
 
The landmark report, “Challenge and Opportunity: The Draft Wales Bill 2015,” provides an expert commentary and assessment of the detailed provisions set out in the Draft Wales Bill published in October 2015.
 
Two issues dominate the constitutional landscape in the UK: the UK’s membership of the European Union (EU); and the unstable constitutional settlements between the UK and the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Whilst distinct, these two issues are deeply entwined.
 
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A camel, so the saying goes, is a horse designed by a committee. This week’s publication of The Future Delivery of Social Security in Scotland, the report by the Scottish Welfare Reform Committee, would seem to support that idea. The committee took written evidence from 98 individuals and organisations, and listened to the views of 48 people directly.

The Scottish Government has always prided itself on having a more participatory and inclusive style of policy making than its Westminster counterpart, involving a wider range of civic voices in the process.

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  • 19th October 2018

    Proposed revisions to the Basque Statute of Autonomy have revealed underlying tensions but the fault lines are not where an outside observer might assume they would be. They are fundamental and political and, explains Michael Keating, unlikely to be resolved by technocratic debate.

  • 16th October 2018

    Bavaria’s long-dominant party, the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), has reached its worst election result in 60 years. As well as causing a headache for Angela Merkel, argues Patrick Utz, this political earthquake reveals Bavaria’s predicament between regionalism and populism,.

  • 15th October 2018

    As the buildup to the EU Council meeting reaches fever pitch, Richard Parry explains that deals at dawn may work in Brussels but they don't always play to the home crowd.

  • 13th October 2018

    Theresa May’s efforts to keep her DUP allies onside may, suggests Prof Nicola McEwen, end up easing Nicola Sturgeon’s path to independence following any subsequent referendum on the subject.

  • 12th October 2018

    The Commission on Justice in Wales, chaired by Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, will further clarify the legal and political identity of Wales within the UK constitution. Doing so, explains Prof Dan Wincott, will also bring clarity to the enduring significance of other territorial legal jurisdictions.

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