EU

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:

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Twenty five years ago, the historian Eric Hobsbawm announced the end of nations and nationalism. Like the Owl of Minerva, they appeared in view only as they flew into the twilight. In 2015, however, nationalism looks very much alive, with restive movements even in established states like the United Kingdom, Belgium and Spain. This might seem at odds with the movement to European unity but in practice the two are linked.
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On November 26th, the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT) organised the academic debate “Independence Movements in Europe. Threat or Opportunity for the EU?” in cooperation with the Centre on Constitutional Change of the University of Edinburgh and with presence of the Delegate of the Government of Catalonia to the UK and Ireland, Josep Suàrez Iborra.

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On November 26th, the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT) organised the academic debate “Independence Movements in Europe. Threat or Opportunity for the EU?” in cooperation with the Centre on Constitutional Change of the University of Edinburgh and with presence of the Delegate of the Government of Catalonia to the UK and Ireland, Josep Suàrez Iborra.

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In Scotland, despite differences in views and parties, the 1975 EC referendum shares some similarities with the EU referendum today, writes James Mitchell. He suggests that the referendum will be an unpredictable contest with the prospect that Scotland may either vote differently than the rest of the UK or swing the overall UK vote, both of which could raise constitutional questions on the future of the UK union.

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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.

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Levels of EU migration to Scotland are lower than in the rest of the UK and, consequently says David Bell, issues relating to it are less likely to affect either side of the Brexit vote.

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