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Lord Smith is due to present his report on proposed additional powers for the Scottish Parliament on 27 November. In the first of a series of blogs taken from our upcoming e-book, Beyond Smith: Contributions to the continuing process of Scottish devolution, Professor Charlie Jeffery considers how the politics of fifteen years of devolution will determine the outcome. He argues that, while there is clearly room for compromise between the parties, each sees Smith as a staging post on very different journeys.

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Professor Kirstein Rummery discusses the opportunity provided to Scotland when on the 9th Oct the Finance Cabinet Secretary John Swinney delivered the 2015-16 budget to the Scottish Parliament. For the first time since 1707, Scotland had the opportunity to start raising its own taxes.  A chance for the Secretary to start flexing his muscles and demonstrate would Scotland could do to achieve its goal of a fairer, more prosperous society ahead of the Smith Commission’s recommendations for further devolved powers.

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Opinion polls have consistently suggested strong support for the Scottish parliament to have powers over social security. Over the next 6 weeks, the Smith commission now has an opportunity to consider, as part of its broader process, whether agreement can be reached over welfare devolution.

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One of the questions not asked in the Referendum debate on the 5th of August was what the result might mean for childcare. A key issue for many families, survey evidence suggests that this is an area where people think independence could help (McAngus 2014). And it might well have formed part of the discussion on how public spending can be maintained as the working age population decreases. So what questions should be asked of the two campaigns?

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Latest blogs

  • 20th July 2018

    Richard Parry reviews a fast-evolving situation as the march of time and need to reconcile rhetoric and practicality constrain policy-makers

  • 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. .

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