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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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This week, we are highlighting the contributions of our fellows to Scotland's Decision: 16 Questions to think about for the referendum on 18 September.  Today’s topic is the international role an independent Scotland might have.The book is available as a free download.

Our experts look at three questions on the international dimensions of the independence debate:

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Academics gathered in Edinburgh to discuss the concept of borders. Dani Cetra sums up the event. The full report of the event is available for download.

Dr Dennis Novy (University of Warwick and CEPR) - "Estimating Border Effects: The Impact of Geographic Aggregation"

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The Yes and No camps are busy telling us that Scotland will be made better or worse off as a result of independence.  What they both seem to assume is that “what is best for Scotland?” is the relevant question to ask.  But why?  The referendum will have an impact on people beyond Scotland’s borders.  So isn’t the relevant question to ask, “what is best for everyone affected by the referendum, wherever they live?” Clearly, the outsiders who will be most affected are those living in the rest of the UK.  In the event of a Yes victory, politics within the rest of the UK is set for a shake up. 

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  • 22nd January 2019

    The UK is increasingly polarised by Brexit identities and they seem to have become stronger than party identities, a new academic report finds. Only one in 16 people did not have a Brexit identity, while more than one in five said they had no party identity. Sir John Curtice’s latest analysis of public opinion on a further referendum finds there has been no decisive shift in favour of another referendum. The report, Brexit and public opinion 2019, by The UK in a Changing Europe, provides an authoritative, comprehensive and up-to-date guide to public opinion on each of the key issues around Brexit. CCC Fellow, Dr Coree Brown Swan contributed a chapter on "the SNP, Brexit and the politics of independence"

  • 22nd January 2019

    In the papers accompanying the draft Environment (Principles and Governance) Bill published at the end of 2018, the UK Government says that it is “exploring opportunities to co-design the final proposals with the devolved administrations.” There are clear benefits in having strong co-operation and collaboration across the UK in the oversight of our environmental law and performance. Yet the challenge of finding a way forward in terms of working together is substantial since each part of the UK is in a different position at present. Given where things stand today, it may be better to accept that a good resolution is not possible immediately and to revisit the issue at a later stage - so long as there is a strong commitment to return and not allow interim arrangements to become fixed. Colin Reid, Professor of Environmental Law at the University of Dundee examines the issues.

  • 17th January 2019

    Richard Parry assesses a memorable day in UK parliamentary history as the Commons splits 432-202 on 15 January 2019 against the Government's recommended Brexit route. It was the most dramatic night at Westminster since the Labour government’s defeat on a confidence motion in 1979.

  • 17th January 2019

    What is the Irish government’s Brexit wish-list? The suggestion that Irish unity, as opposed to safeguarding political and economic stability, is the foremost concern of the Irish government is to misunderstand and misrepresent the motivations of this key Brexit stakeholder, writes Mary C. Murphy (University College Cork).

  • 17th January 2019

    Brexit is in trouble but not because of the Irish backstop, argues the CCC's Michael Keating.

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