News and opinion

Supreme Court

The UNCRC and European Charter of Local Self-Government Bill References: Once (and twice) more unto the breach?

Dr Chris McCorkindale explores the political, legal and constitutional factors behind the UK Government's decision to refer two Acts of the Scottish Parliament to the Supreme Court.
Union flag, Scottish flag, European flag

Scottish independence: Lessons from the Brexit process?

Benjamin Martill writes: Scottish independence is back on the agenda, largely thanks to Brexit, which has provided the ‘material change in circumstances’ necessary for a further challenge to the status quo.
covid 19 mask

Designing and funding the devolved nations’ policy responses to COVID-19

Luck, huge sums of money and ad-hoc bypassing of the normal rules mean the devolved governments’ funding arrangements have largely coped with COVID – but problems are brewing find IFS, Strathclyde and Stirling researchers

A first glimpse of post-Brexit politics? England’s May 2021 elections

Jack Sheldon looks ahead to the mayoral and local elections in England which will be held on 6th May. He suggests that they could provide a first glimpse of the shape England’s post-Brexit politics might take, but that the election which seems likely have the most lasting impact on the course of English politics (and that of the wider UK) will be that in Scotland.
Union at the Crossroads

Union at the crossroads: can the British state handle the challenges of devolution?

The looming sense of crisis over the Union of the United Kingdom seems to thicken with each passing week. As we head towards the May elections, polls indicate that there will be a nationalist majority in the Scottish parliament, giving renewed vigour to the demand for a second independence referendum.
Scottish Parliament Marco Varisco CC License via Flickr

Policymaking in an independent Scotland: profound change is possible but unlikely

In a new blog from the ebook ‘Scotland’s new choice: Independence after Brexit’, Paul Cairney reflects on policy-making in an independent Scotland, concluding that independence would likely be a remarkable event with an unremarkable impact on policy.
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Constitutionally Sound: Scottish Independence, then and now

In 2014, Scotland voted 55% to 45% that Scotland should not be an independent country, and many thought that settled the matter for a generation. But much has changed in the years since, most notably Brexit and Covid-19. Join Allan Little, Nicola McEwen and Ciaran Martin to discuss in the latest episode of our podcast Constitutionally Sound.
Pathway

Constitutional pathways to a second independence referendum

In a extract from their contribution to the recent ebook ‘Scotland’s new choice: Independence after Brexit’, Chris McCorkindale and Aileen McHarg explore the legal route to independence, but ultimately conclude the vote "will be a matter of politics and not law."
Board game

Constitutional Groundhog Day

The first leader's debate focused on the prospect of a second referendum. As Malcolm Harvey suggests in this new blog, "the constitution is the only game in town".