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Constitution Street

An uncertain outcome

Fellows of the Centre on Constitutional Change respond to the rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement by the House of Commons and the impending no-confidence vote in the government.

The sleepwalkers of 2019 meet their unknown destiny

Richard Parry assesses the unfolding drama at Westminster around no-deal scenarios.
The deal ‘would be an uncomfortable outcome for the EU: providing quota-fee, tariff-free access to the EU market without any accompanying financial obligations; without any access to UK fishing waters in the absence of further agreement; and without any commitments to align with the majority of so-called level playing field arrangements’. For Tory leavers, what’s not to like in this negotiating triumph for Theresa May?
supreme court

The Scottish Continuity Bill Reference

Aileen McHarg looks at last week’s decision by the Supreme Court in the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Legal Continuity) (Scotland) Bill reference which demonstrates both the strength and the weakness of Holyrood as a legislature.

Brexit legislation in the Supreme Court: A Tale of Two Withdrawal Acts?

The Supreme Court's ruling on the Scottish Continuity Bill gave both sides something but acknowledged that the vast bulk of the Bill was within Holyrood's competence at the time it was passed however, suggests Sionaidh Douglas-Scott, the strong feeling that devolved interests are not taken seriously highlights underlying fractures within the Union.
Brexit Jack

Brexit, Borders and Backstops

Disagreements about the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland are about more than practical considerations of where customs checks should be performed, says Michael Keating.
Scottish notes

Analysis of the 2019/20 Scottish Budget

Derek MacKay’s third budget of this parliamentary session was doomed to be overshadowed by events at Westminster.
Belgium

A Belgian conundrum

Although the N-VA has insisted it left the Belgian government to pursue ’principled opposition’ those principle are, says Coree Brown Swan, at the very least informed by a strategy that allows it to maintain policy influence from outside government while countering the electoral threat posed by a resurgent Vlaams Belang.
Brexit Jack

Beyond the backstop: understanding Unionist sentiment in the Brexit debate

Conservative MPs who offer their Unionism as the basis of their rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement have a very particular understanding of both the Union and Conservatism, says Jack Sheldon.

Brexit and the Irish backstop: Where are we now?

Theresa May's public recognition of the realities of the Norther Irish border in her Commons speech withdrawing the Meaningful Vote was, says Jonathan Evershed, much too little and far too late.