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Theresa May’s efforts to keep her DUP allies onside may, suggests Prof Nicola McEwen, end up easing Nicola Sturgeon’s path to independence following any subsequent referendum on the subject. 
 
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The highly-anticipated publication of 'Scotland: A New Case for Optimism' outlines the new economic case for independence but, asks Coree Brown-Swan, it remains to be seen whether this will prompt a constructive debate by Unionists and Nationalists alike about some of Scotland's economic woes. 

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The First Minister's statement to parliament was uncomfortable for her but at least gives her a deadline. In the light of which, suggests Richard Parry, political observers might like to look at a calendar.  
 
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The SNP machine has been quick to point out that the party has just won its (and any party’s) highest ever share of constituency votes.   The translation of constituency votes into seats highlights the disproportionality of that element of the system: 46.5% delivered 81% of seats.  This compares with the result from last year’s Scottish results in the UK general election when the SNP won 95% of seats with 50% of the vote.  But this was not a first-past-the-post election.  The SNP advanced in the constituencies but fell back on the lists.
 
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The influence of the SNP at Westminster is yet to be truly measured, says Nicola McEwen, but the Scotland Bill may demonstrate that real change is achieved behind the scenes. 
 
It was 27 years ago when the Jim Sillars, flush from winning the Govan by-election for the SNP, taunted Scottish Labour MPs for being the ‘feeble fifty’, unable to defend Scotland against the excesses of Thatcherism. As the Westminster parliament begins its summer recess, we can reflect on what, if anything, the 56 SNP MPs have been able to achieve.  
 
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Craig McAngus looks at how the SNP has to both protest and oppose, and this won’t be an easy balancing act. This post orignally appeared on Holyrood.

The SNP’s result at the General Election was nothing short of astounding. Despite being on the losing side of the referendum, the party has become a winner in an electoral contest that it has never managed to conquer before.

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The results of the general election in Scotland were described by Ed Miliband as a "nationalist surge" however, explains Jan Eichhorn, voting for the SNP and supporting and supporting independence are two different things. 
 
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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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