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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  • 18th May 2018

    Different political actors have responded to the decision by the Scottish Parliament to withhold its consent for the UK Government’s showpiece EU (Withdrawal) Bill in very different ways. Prof Nicola McEwen sifts the facts from the hyperbole and explains where we are and where we go from here.

  • 15th May 2018

    On 8 May the UK’s House of Lords passed an amendment to require the House of Commons to vote on remaining in the European Economic Area (EEA), the possibility of Britain adopting the so-called ‘Norway model’ is back on the agenda of British politics. Here the authors of Squaring the Circle on Brexit: Could the Norway Model Work?, John Erik Fossum and Hans Petter Graver, give some background to Norway’s relationship with the European Union and reveal the truth behind some common myths about the Norway model.

  • 4th May 2018

    The Sewel Convention has historically worked well, says Michael Keating, but Brexit will put it to the test.

  • 3rd May 2018

    Amendments to controversial Clause 11 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill were agreed in the House of Lords yesterday evening, following a deal between the UK and Welsh governments last week. Jack Sheldon and Mike Kenny explain the significance of this agreement for the UK as a whole and outline a number of unresolved issues it raises.

  • 2nd May 2018

    The hesitant progress of Brexit legislation through Westminster has provided parliament with an opportunity to show its teeth and, says Tobias Lock, it demonstrates that the legislature has bite as well as bark.

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