News and opinion

Scottish Parliament Chamber

Scotland has its own political class...just like Westminster

It is commonplace in Britain to identify a “political class”, out of touch with the general population. It was promised that the Scottish Parliament would broaden recruitment of MSPs, becoming more representative to class, ethnicity, gender, education and former careers. But, Michael Keating, University of Aberdeen, and Paul Cairney, University of Stirling, argue that we have not seen such a divergence between MSPs and MPs.



network

Is Brexit eroding the Sewel convention?

The limitations of the Sewel convention have been exposed by Brexit argues Nicola McEwen, University of Edinburgh. It highlights a weakness of intergovernmental relations in a time when intergovernmental processes are needed to manage interdependencies of reserved/devolved power. Is more effective and cooperative intergovernmental relations possible?
Sturgeon

Sturgeon is strong enough to reject the Catalan path

Richard Parry discusses the latest SNP approach showing new levels of caution about holding an independence referendum without UK consent, and Conservative and Labour responses
Northern Ireland

Why this Irish general election is important for the UK's constitutional future

By the time the Irish general election campaign enters its final week in early February 2020, the UK will have already formally left the European Union (EU). However, the shadow of the UK’s Brexit decision will linger over the Irish election, and its political consequences for the UK and Ireland will be felt long after the votes are cast, argues Mary C. Murphy, Senior Lecturer at University College Cork.
Stormont

Stormont Restored: New Decade, New Approach?

After three years of stasis, devolution in Northern Ireland is grinding back into gear, following the publication at the end of last week of New Decade, New Approach – the Irish and British governments’ plan to get power-sharing back on the road. Jonathan Evershed, University College Cork, evaluates the deal and what it is promising for Northern Ireland.
Union letter

Northern Ireland and Unionism

Unionism has come back to the forefront of politics following the election of the new Conservative government in December 2019. Jennifer Todd, University College Dublin, discusses unionism and what the future might hold for Northern Ireland's unions.
environment

Devolution and the Environment - now the show begins?

In this blog from our "Twenty Years of Devolution" series, Prof Colin Reid notes that while the role of EU law in environmental matters has so far constrained the extent to which devolution has led to divergence within the UK, current developments suggest that the future may bring greater differentiation.
House of Commons

What does the election result mean for territorial representation in the House of Commons?

The distribution of MPs is not even across the UK, this could have a significant impact on how the House of Commons handles key matters related to Brexit and the union, argues Jack Sheldon, the Bennett Institute of Public Policy.
Westminster

England votes for a break from politics

Richard Parry discusses the way that the 2019 UK General Election bucked the trend for surprise results.