independence

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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Brexit may open a new constituency of support for Scottish independence but, says Nicola McEwen, the implications of the change for independence are about far more than political arithmetic.
 
In September 2014, Scots voted by a clear majority to remain within the United Kingdom. Less than two years on, might a vote for the UK to leave the European Union trigger a second independence referendum and the potential break-up of the UK? 
 
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Latest blogs

  • 25th April 2018

    Mary C. Murphy offers a detailed and in-depth analysis of Northern Ireland’s relationship with the EU, the role the EU has played in rebuilding the region after the Troubles, and the challenges and opportunities that Brexit might offer Northern Ireland in terms of its fragile politics and economy.

  • 25th April 2018

    The path being pursued by the DUP in Brexit, says Jonathan Evershed, is not so far from the mainstream of Unionist opinion.

  • 24th April 2018

    Antonia Ruiz, CCC visitor, looks at the rise of the populist radical right in Europe. She stresses that it's a topic that worries citizens, journalists, political elites and scholars alike.

  • 24th April 2018

    The promise of ‘change’ was key for the Austrian Christian democrats’ landslide victory in last year’s general elections. Recent sub-state elections, however, have perpetuated the influence of incumbent governors – and their power to veto reforms of Austria’s federal system. In light of current electoral dynamics, Patrick Utz analyses the (limited) potential for federal reforms in Austria.

  • 17th April 2018

    Richard Parry discusses the interacting policies on devolution and Brexit in the current impasse between UK and devolved governments.

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