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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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  • 13th July 2018

    The White Paper published this week talks about the UK Government making ‘sovereign decisions’ to adopt European rules but, as we know from the experience of Norway and Switzerland, this can be an illusory sovereignty when the costs of deviating from the rules is exclusion from the single market or European programmes. CCC Director Professor Michael Keating looks at whether the UK is ready for this kind of deal.

  • 12th July 2018

    Last week the government released its fisheries white paper. While most of the fisheries and Brexit debate centres on quotas and access to waters, there is also an important devolution dimension. Brexit already has profound consequences for the UK’s devolution settlement and fisheries policy is one example of this. So, in addition to communicating its overall vision for post-Brexit fisheries policy, the white paper was also an opportunity for the government to set out how it would see that policy working in the devolved UK.

  • 4th July 2018

    At the same time as Parliament prepares to ‘take back control’ from Brussels, the executive is in fact accruing to itself further control over the legislative process. CCC Fellow Professor Stephen Tierney addresses a number of trends – only some of which are a direct consequence of the unique circumstances of Brexit – which suggest a deeper realignment of institutional power within the constitution and a consequent diminution of Parliament’s legislative power.

  • 27th June 2018

    Faced with a choice between splitting her Cabinet into winners and losers, Theresa May has sought to keep the Brexit crap game going. She does this by avoiding betting on either a hard or soft Brexit. Professor Richard Rose of Strathclyde looks at the high stakes outcomes facing the Prime Minister. .

  • 25th June 2018

    CCC Director Professor Michael Keating considers the career of iconic Irish nationalist leader Charles Stewart Parnell whose mastery of Parliamentary tactics and ability to build a broad national alliance for radical change may have important lessons for the modern SNP.

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