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 January 2019

    Richard Parry assesses a memorable day in UK parliamentary history as the Commons splits 432-202 on 15 January 2019 against the Government's recommended Brexit route. It was the most dramatic night at Westminster since the Labour government’s defeat on a confidence motion in 1979.

  • 17th January 2019

    What is the Irish government’s Brexit wish-list? The suggestion that Irish unity, as opposed to safeguarding political and economic stability, is the foremost concern of the Irish government is to misunderstand and misrepresent the motivations of this key Brexit stakeholder, writes Mary C. Murphy (University College Cork).

  • 17th January 2019

    Brexit is in trouble but not because of the Irish backstop, argues the CCC's Michael Keating.

  • 16th January 2019

    Fellows of the Centre on Constitutional Change respond to the rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement by the House of Commons and the impending no-confidence vote in the government.

  • 11th January 2019

    Richard Parry assesses the unfolding drama at Westminster around no-deal scenarios. The deal ‘would be an uncomfortable outcome for the EU: providing quota-fee, tariff-free access to the EU market without any accompanying financial obligations; without any access to UK fishing waters in the absence of further agreement; and without any commitments to align with the majority of so-called level playing field arrangements’. For Tory leavers, what’s not to like in this negotiating triumph for Theresa May?

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