EU

Instead of breaking the deadlock, the recently held elections in Catalonia only deepened existing fault lines in Catalan politics. As the Spanish government maintains direct control of the Catalan administration, and keeps several Catalan politicians and activists imprisoned, the whole of Spain is still holding its breath. Only the EU and its member states are now in a position to defuse the mounting tension between Catalan secessionists and Madrid. But what would be a desirable outcome to push for in the long run?
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The post-Hogmanay atmosphere is always sobering, and never more than this year when the party may be over for some many people in so many ways. During 2017, three great political experiments - Brexit, the Trump Presidency and the Catalonian independence project - failed to progress beyond the damage limitation stage into the payoffs their proponents expected. In Scotland, the snap UK election was a piece of bad luck for the SNP and accelerated the comeback of Scottish Conservatives and Labour.
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Austria’s new centre-right government plans to introduce dual citizenship for members of Italy’s German-speaking minority. These plans have been met with suspicion or outright rejection by all parties in Rome but have been welcomed by many minority leaders. CCC Researcher Patrick Utz asks what it would mean for German-speaking South Tyroleans to hold an Austrian passport besides their Italian one, and what are the implication for the existing autonomy provisions in Italy’s northernmost province.

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The first stage deal reached between the UK and the EU27 is an important staging post, says Kirsty Huges, but any suggestions that this opens the path to an easy future relationship are wide of the mark. 
 
The UK-EU27 deal on EU citizens’ rights, the divorce bill and Northern Ireland’s border will unlock the second stage of Brexit talks at next week’s European Council summit in Brussels.  The summit is expected to issue guidelines on a transition period while the crucial trade guidelines will come later perhaps in February or March.
 
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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. 

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The EU Withdrawal Bill passed its first parliamentary hurdle in the House of Commons on Monday night. On Tuesday, both the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government tabled legislative consent memorandums making clear their opposition to the Bill as it stands. Professor Nicola McEwen highlights the key issues at stake for devolution, and considers some next steps.

 

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  • 17th September 2018

    The upcoming New Caledonian independence referendum on the 4th of November 2018 is the outcome of a 30 years-long process of gradual decolonisation. Dr Alexandra Remond examines the prospects.

  • 14th September 2018

    For Ireland, the Brexit discussion has focused heavily on the Irish issue. This has meant an unrelenting emphasis on securing a Brexit deal which ensures no border on the island of Ireland, and achieving a backstop provision which guarantees this scenario. The expectation is that this will be achieved in the context of the Withdrawal Agreement, and before the transition phase begins. Dr Mary C Murphy looks at what the Brexit transition period means for Ireland, North and South.

  • 13th September 2018

    In her third blog on international trade issues and Brexit, Dr Kristen Hopewell looks at the high-tech US-Canada border amid claims that it offers a template to ensure a "frictionless" border in Ireland.

  • 7th September 2018

    In the second of her blogs focusing on international trade issues, Dr Kristen Hopewell looks at some of the difficulties that the UK might face as it seeks to negotiate new bilateral agreements

  • 6th September 2018

    With little more than six months to go before the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019, the position of Scotland vis-à-vis the EU is not much clearer than it was in the immediate aftermath of the EU referendum more than two years ago. Dr Tobias Lock looks at what has Brexit meant for Scotland so far and what developments can we expect?

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