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On the night of the 1995 Quebec independence referendum, twenty years ago yesterday, then Quebec premier Jacques Parizeau, who had campaigned for independence, suggested that the Yes side had been defeated by money and the ethnic vote, undoing decades of careful work on the part of the Parti Québécois (PQ) to emphasize its model of civic nationalism and inclusiveness.  Support has historically been low among Anglophone Quebecers and those Allophones whose mother tongue is neither English nor French.
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As politics in Catalonia becomes increasingly polarised over territorial concerns, finds Sandra León, those parties and policies that don't speak to the issues of sovereignty and relations with Madrid are being squeezed out. 

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In the light of the Catalan results both Madrid and Barcelona have some options, says Michael Keating, but the current political climate is unlikely to see an immediate breakthrough.

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The 2015 election in Catalonia has provided a clear mandate for the pro-secessionist movement but, argues Marc Sanjaume, there is no obvious institutional means to deliver it.
 
The results of the Catalan elections bear a close resemblance to Wittgenstein’s “Philosophical Investigations” duck-rabbit. That is they can be read simultaneously as a victory leading to a fast-track secessionist plan or as a defeat that would abort any attempt to pursue any pro-sovereignty step in Catalonia. 
 
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    What has been presented as an endgame is really just the beginning of the process and what is being described as the 'transition' or 'implementation' period, says Michael Keating, is really the time in which the real negotiation of what Brexit means will take place.

  • 15th November 2018

    With the politics of the process changing almost by the minute, Richard Parry assesses the ‘stable text’ of the Brexit agreement.

  • 15th November 2018

    As the DUP position shifts and Threatens Theresa May's working majority, Jonathan Evershed assesses the scope and limits of Unionist resistance to the Brexit backstop.

  • 15th November 2018

    Professor Michael Kenny and Jack Sheldon discuss a new report from the Centre on Constitutional Change and the Bennett Institute offering a comprehensive analysis of the weaknesses that bedevil the machinery for relations between the UK government and the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Over the coming weeks, we will highlight some of the findings and recommendations.

  • 13th November 2018

    Experts from the Universities of Edinburgh and Cambridge have called for far-reaching reforms to the UK’s system of intergovernmental relations (IGR). The report, Reforming Intergovernmental Relations in the United Kingdom, provides the framework for a new system of intergovernmental machinery built around principles of respect, transparency and accountability.

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