independence

The recent report by the Growth Commission contains some interesting ideas, says Michael Keating, but also makes some problematic assumptions. 
 
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Although there are apparent similarities between the Scottish and Catalan independence movements, the differences, argues Dr Daniel Cetrà, are profound. 
 
It is tempting to think of Catalonia and Scotland as being in similar position.
 
Both have pro-independence governments, which enjoy parliamentary majorities owing to the support of smaller secessionist parties.
 
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At one time, Scottish politics, like those elsewhere in Great Britain, divided rather clearly on the left-right axis, with elections disputed between Labour and the Conservatives. In the mid-twentieth century, they divided the vote fairly evenly between them. Since the 1970s, another axis has become significant, the unionist-nationalist divide. Now there is an additional one, on Europe, between Remain and Leave supporters. The old party system has broken down, creating instability and marked shifts in support from one election to the next.
 
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Nicola Sturgeon’s letter of 31 March 2017 to Theresa May stated that ‘the Scottish Parliament has now determined by a clear majority that there should be an independence referendum’. That would now be the common assumption. But in fact the motion does not mention independence, let alone specify whether what is envisaged is independence within the European Union.
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In the event of another independence campaign, says Ailsa Henderson, both sides will need to find some answers. 
 
The First Minister’s announcement that the SNP government intends to seek a section 30 order to hold a second independence referendum contained within it a few hints about the key messages of a future Yes campaign.  
 
In 2014 they had one key weakness – arguments about risk – and one key strength – arguments about a better society.  The speech shows an effort to neutralise the weakness and play up the strength.
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Brexit poses a considerable challenge to both sides in the Scottish indeopendence debate, says Michael Keating, as the demand to take back sovereignty requires us to say where it comes back to; London or Edinburgh.
 
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  • 19th February 2019

    Over the course of the UK’s preparations for withdrawing from the EU, the issue of the UK’s own internal market has emerged as an issue of concern, and one that has the potentially significant consequences for devolution. Dr Jo Hunt of Cardiff University examines the implications.

  • 12th February 2019

    CCC Fellow Professor Daniel Wincott of Cardiff University examines how Brexit processes have already reshaped territorial politics in the UK and changed its territorial constitution.

  • 7th February 2019

    The future of agriculture policy across the United Kingdom after Brexit is uncertain and risky, according to a new paper by Professor Michael Keating of the Centre on Constitutional Change. Reforms of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy over recent years have shifted the emphasis from farming to the broader concept of rural policy. As member states have gained more discretion in applying policy, the nations of the UK have also diverged, according to local conditions and preferences.

  • 4th February 2019

    In our latest report for the "Repatriation of Competences: Implications for Devolution" project, Professor Nicola McEwen and Dr Alexandra Remond examine how, in the longer term, Brexit poses significant risks for the climate and energy ambitions of the devolved nations. These include the loss of European Structural and Investment Funds targeted at climate and low carbon energy policies, from which the devolved territories have benefited disproportionately. European Investment Bank loan funding, which has financed high risk renewables projects, especially in Scotland, may also no longer be as accessible, while future access to research and innovation funding remains uncertain. The removal of the EU policy framework, which has incentivised the low carbon ambitions of the devolved nations may also result in lost opportunities.

  • 1st February 2019

    The outcome of the various Commons votes this week left certain only that the Government would either secure an amended deal and put it to a meaningful vote on Wednesday 13 February, or in the overwhelmingly likely absence of this make a further statement that day and table another amendable motion for the following day, the Groundhog Day that may lead to a ‘St Valentine’s Day Massacre’ for one side or the other. Richard Parry assesses the further two-week pause in parliamentary action on Brexit

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