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Yesterday there was a symbolic and non-binding vote on independence in Catalonia. In a festive atmosphere, 2.3 million Catalans made their way to polling stations. Voters were asked two questions: whether Catalonia should be a state, and if they replied yes, whether it should be an independent state. Results showed that 80.7% (almost 1.9 million) voted yes to both questions, 10% (more than 230.000) voted yes to the first question and no to the second, while 4.5% (almost 105.000) voted no.

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The effects of the independence referendum are playing out beyond Holyrood, Westminster and the party conferences. The 19th of September also saw Catalonia, itself no stranger to constitutional debates, enter a new stand-off with Madrid. The dispute has once again set the Spanish Prime Minister on a collision course with the Catalan President, leading to an intervention by Spain’s Constitutional Court but, explains Dani Cetrà, that is unlikely to be the end of the story.

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With two weeks to go until the independence referendum it is perhaps worth looking at what was happening in the final weeks of the 1995 referendum on sovereignty partnership in Quebec to see if there are any interesting parallels or useful lessons.

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  • 18th May 2018

    Different political actors have responded to the decision by the Scottish Parliament to withhold its consent for the UK Government’s showpiece EU (Withdrawal) Bill in very different ways. Prof Nicola McEwen sifts the facts from the hyperbole and explains where we are and where we go from here.

  • 15th May 2018

    On 8 May the UK’s House of Lords passed an amendment to require the House of Commons to vote on remaining in the European Economic Area (EEA), the possibility of Britain adopting the so-called ‘Norway model’ is back on the agenda of British politics. Here the authors of Squaring the Circle on Brexit: Could the Norway Model Work?, John Erik Fossum and Hans Petter Graver, give some background to Norway’s relationship with the European Union and reveal the truth behind some common myths about the Norway model.

  • 4th May 2018

    The Sewel Convention has historically worked well, says Michael Keating, but Brexit will put it to the test.

  • 3rd May 2018

    Amendments to controversial Clause 11 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill were agreed in the House of Lords yesterday evening, following a deal between the UK and Welsh governments last week. Jack Sheldon and Mike Kenny explain the significance of this agreement for the UK as a whole and outline a number of unresolved issues it raises.

  • 2nd May 2018

    The hesitant progress of Brexit legislation through Westminster has provided parliament with an opportunity to show its teeth and, says Tobias Lock, it demonstrates that the legislature has bite as well as bark.

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