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How will Scotland feel the day after the referendum next year? A Yes/No referendum inevitably has a polarising effect. And a Yes/No debate can become a bitter debate, and some think it already has.

Sir John Elvidge, the Scottish Government’s former chief civil servant wrote in the Herald a few weeks ago that

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Two linked themes have cropped up recently around the debate on Scottish independence. The first is a sense that Scots do not yet have the information they need to understand the issues at stake in next year’s referendum. The second is what role academic experts might play in illuminating those issues.
 
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One of the regular features of the Future of the UK and Scotland blog will be ‘The Debate in Review’ – a digest of some of the key issues that have come up, an update on what’s happening in the Future of the UK and Scotland programme, spiced with some reflection and comment. This is the first …

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The referendum on independence is still almost 13 months away and already most attention is focused on major substantive issues such as economic relations between an independent Scotland and the United Kingdom, and the ease or difficulty with which an independent Scotland would achieve membership of the European Union. What is often overlooked is that the credibility of the outcome of the vote on 18 September 2014, whatever that might be, will depend greatly on the legitimacy of the referendum process itself.

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As measured by Father Time at least, we have now reached the half way mark in the referendum campaign.  It is just over twelve months since the two ‘official’ referendum campaigns, Better Together and Yes Scotland, were launched. And it is just over twelve months to polling day on 18th September 2014.

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