News and opinion

Labour: A New Britain Report

Gordon Brown’s long-run themes pose challenges for Labour

The report of Labour’s Commission for the UK’s Future relaunches themes on devolution and constitutional reform that its former Prime Minister tried to pursue in government. Richard Parry discusses how it might impact on Keir Starmer’s ultra-cautious pursuit of power
Declaration of Arbroath

A battle of sovereignties?

Since Brexit 2016, we seem to have entered a battle of sovereignties – Scottish and British – between two apparently antithetical conceptions of sovereignty, reflected in political struggles between nationalists and unionists. But can we be sure that this is a binary divide? Or do we nowadays live in a post-sovereignty world, as the late Neil MacCormick argued?
Labour: A New Britain Report

Guest Blog – A New Britain

The Labour Party’s Commission on the Future of the UK has published it report, ‘A New Britain: Renewing Our Democracy and Rebuilding our Economy'. In this guest blog, Jim Gallagher, adviser to Commission, sets out the transformative effect that it could have for the UK’s territorial constitution.
Supreme Court

Unhelpful Clarifications

The Supreme Court judgment on the legality of a Scottish independence referendum can be broken down into three elements. Two are unsurprising but the third is very problematic.
Supreme Court

Supreme Court doubles down on the UK referendum position

In rapid Court verdict on legislative competence, the justices assert that even referendums that do not directly change the law have political legitimacy. Richard Parry discusses the political implications and the balance of victory and defeat for both sides
Question mark

Scotland's Constitutional Future

EVENT - 22 November 2022

As we emerge from Brexit and the Covid crisis, and in the midst of the cost-of-living crisis, are the powers of the Scottish Parliament still fit for purpose? Is there a more optimal balance of powers for Scotland within the Union? Is federalism a viable option for the UK, and what would it look like? Alternatively, what would it mean for Scotland to be independent in today’s world? What would be the economic and political challenges facing Scotland were it to become an independent country?
Illustration of people talking

Scottish Independence And The UK Government’s Unreasonable Refusal To Negotiate

In October 2022, the UK Supreme Court heard arguments on the legal viability of a second Scottish independence referendum, in a reference brought by the Lord Advocate. The purpose of this exploratory blog is not to rerun the argument of this case, but to raise additional points against the UK Government’s conduct in refusing to negotiate with Scotland on independence.
Economic Policy Proposal

The SNP’s Currency Proposals

On 17th October, Nicola Sturgeon presented the SNP’s economic proposals for an independent Scotland, including on the currency. Albeit with slightly less fanfare, on the same day I published a report, Twenty-First Century Central Banking and an Independent Scotland’s Currency Choice.
Supreme Court

Truss and Sturgeon wait for the Supreme Court

After the Supreme Court oral hearings, Richard Parry assesses the submissions of both sides on an independence referendum and the way the case might be decided