independence

The recent report by the Growth Commission contains some interesting ideas, says Michael Keating, but also makes some problematic assumptions. 
 
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Although there are apparent similarities between the Scottish and Catalan independence movements, the differences, argues Dr Daniel Cetrà, are profound. 
 
It is tempting to think of Catalonia and Scotland as being in similar position.
 
Both have pro-independence governments, which enjoy parliamentary majorities owing to the support of smaller secessionist parties.
 
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At one time, Scottish politics, like those elsewhere in Great Britain, divided rather clearly on the left-right axis, with elections disputed between Labour and the Conservatives. In the mid-twentieth century, they divided the vote fairly evenly between them. Since the 1970s, another axis has become significant, the unionist-nationalist divide. Now there is an additional one, on Europe, between Remain and Leave supporters. The old party system has broken down, creating instability and marked shifts in support from one election to the next.
 
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Nicola Sturgeon’s letter of 31 March 2017 to Theresa May stated that ‘the Scottish Parliament has now determined by a clear majority that there should be an independence referendum’. That would now be the common assumption. But in fact the motion does not mention independence, let alone specify whether what is envisaged is independence within the European Union.
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In the event of another independence campaign, says Ailsa Henderson, both sides will need to find some answers. 
 
The First Minister’s announcement that the SNP government intends to seek a section 30 order to hold a second independence referendum contained within it a few hints about the key messages of a future Yes campaign.  
 
In 2014 they had one key weakness – arguments about risk – and one key strength – arguments about a better society.  The speech shows an effort to neutralise the weakness and play up the strength.
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Brexit poses a considerable challenge to both sides in the Scottish indeopendence debate, says Michael Keating, as the demand to take back sovereignty requires us to say where it comes back to; London or Edinburgh.
 
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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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