Michael Keating's blog

The recent report by the Growth Commission contains some interesting ideas, says Michael Keating, but also makes some problematic assumptions. 
 
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The Sewel Convention has historically worked well, says Michael Keating, but Brexit will put it to the test.

A fraught point in the handling of the EU Withdrawal Bill has been the way in which it deals with those competences that are currently both devolved and Europeanized. The UK and devolved governments were initially far apart on this. They have gradually converged in their positions but latest changes are still not enough for the Scottish Government.

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The Irish border has proved to be one of the most intractable aspects of Brexit, says Michael Keating, and the proposals put forward by the UK Government show little signs of being endorsed by Dublin or, as a result, Brussels. 
 
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The current compromise on the border issue between Northern Ireland and the Republic relies on a subsequent technocratic fix, which, says Michael Keating,  provides ample material for arguments in the course of the next round of negotiations. 
 
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The interplay between Brexit and devolution is a complex one and, as yet, says Michael Keating, there is little to suggest that the questions it raises have been answered. 
 
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Much of the Brexit-related talk has focused on the size of the money pie but, says Michael Keating, determining how it will be cut is just as important. 

After Brexit, money currently spent on EU agriculture and structural funds will revert to the UK. These are the largest items in the EU budget so that the sums are important.  The question has arisen as to how they will be distributed across the UK. Currently, the devolved governments do rather well in these fields. 

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Philosophers have long argued over who has the right to self-determination and by what means. For nationalists, the answer might be obvious – it is the nation. Yet we know that nations are created, reshaped and contested over time. Primordial constructions of the nation, based on blood and descent, are sociologically discredited. So for some of its residents, Catalonia is a nation while others see it as a region of Spain. Other thinkers argue that self-determination applies only to existing states, except in the case of overseas colonial rule (it is called the ‘salt water’ doctrine).
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Neither the Spanish nor Catalan government's have the mandate or the room for manoeuvre that would allow them to break the current impasse, says Michael Keating. 
 
Catalans’ views on the proposed independence referendum differ. Some are completely in favour and will vote Yes. Others believe that Catalonia has the right to have a say on its own future but would vote No. A few support the Spanish Government’s stance, that any kind of vote on independence is out of the question.
 
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Posts by this author:

The recent report by the Growth Commission contains some interesting ideas, says Michael Keating, but also makes some problematic assumptions.    The report of the Sustainable Growth Commission is a weighty contribution to the debate on the economics of Scottish independence, intended to face those... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
The Sewel Convention has historically worked well, says Michael Keating, but Brexit will put it to the test. A fraught point in the handling of the EU Withdrawal Bill has been the way in which it deals with those competences that are currently both devolved and Europeanized. The UK and devolved gove... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
The Irish border has proved to be one of the most intractable aspects of Brexit, says Michael Keating, and the proposals put forward by the UK Government show little signs of being endorsed by Dublin or, as a result, Brussels.    One of the most intractable issues remaining in the Brexit negotiation... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
Study: Uncertain Post-Brexit Future for Farmers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland    Agriculture in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland faces an uncertain future after Brexit according to a new study from the Centre on Constitutional Change, The Repatriation of Competences in Agriculture afte... Read more
Post type: Publication
The current compromise on the border issue between Northern Ireland and the Republic relies on a subsequent technocratic fix, which, says Michael Keating,  provides ample material for arguments in the course of the next round of negotiations.    Agreement has now been reached on moving on to the sec... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
The interplay between Brexit and devolution is a complex one and, as yet, says Michael Keating, there is little to suggest that the questions it raises have been answered.    One of the key issues in Brexit concerns the fate of those competences that are currently shared between the EU and the devol... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
Much of the Brexit-related talk has focused on the size of the money pie but, says Michael Keating, determining how it will be cut is just as important.  After Brexit, money currently spent on EU agriculture and structural funds will revert to the UK. These are the largest items in the EU budget so... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
Philosophers have long argued over who has the right to self-determination and by what means. For nationalists, the answer might be obvious – it is the nation. Yet we know that nations are created, reshaped and contested over time. Primordial constructions of the nation, based on blood and descent,... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
Neither the Spanish nor Catalan government's have the mandate or the room for manoeuvre that would allow them to break the current impasse, says Michael Keating.    Catalans’ views on the proposed independence referendum differ. Some are completely in favour and will vote Yes. Others believe that Ca... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
Decisions over the repatriation of powers and the role of a 'UK single Market' will have significant implications for the future of devolution and the nature of the UK as a state, says Michael Keating.  The devolution statutes for Scotland and Wales of the late 1990s were more permissive than those... Read more
Post type: Blog entry

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Latest blogs

  • 21st June 2018

    New research conducted by the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow suggests that a post-Brexit Scotland is likely to find itself losing out on much-needed low-skilled migrant labour from the European Economic Area (EEA) to English-speaking countries such as North America, Australia, and to countries within the EEA.

  • 19th June 2018

    Following the collapse of the Rajoy government following a corruption scandal, how does the new political landscape affect the constitutional debate in Catalonia? Prof Antonia María Ruiz Jiménez of Universidad Pablo de Olavide suggests that this apparently dramatic change will make relatively little difference.

  • 13th June 2018

    While populist leaders and movements make headlines worldwide, an often more subtle majority nationalism remains an endemic condition of the modern world. This phenomenon is comparatively understudied. The Centre on Constitutional Change invites calls for abstracts for an international workshop on the topic of majority nationalism, to be held in February 2019.

  • 31st May 2018

    The recent report by the Growth Commission contains some interesting ideas, says Michael Keating, but also makes some problematic assumptions.

  • 30th May 2018

    The Scottish and Welsh Governments worked together closely during their negotiations with the UK Government over those aspects of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill that related to devolution. Despite ultimately choosing different paths, say Hedydd Phylip and Greg Davies, this spirit of cooperation looks set to continue.

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