Independence movement

Could a ‘reverse Greenland’ arrangement keep Scotland and Northern Ireland in the EU?

Could a ‘reverse Greenland’ arrangement keep Scotland and Northern Ireland in the EU?

While no member state has ever left the European Union, Greenland opted to leave the EEC in 1985. Ulrik Pram Gad assesses what lessons the case of Greenland might have for the UK following its decision to leave the EU. He suggests that while the two situations are radically different, Greenland could serve as inspiration for a model in which Scotland, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar could retain membership of the EU while England and Wales pursue their own arrangements.

Assuming Brexit takes place, we are at the beginning of a fundamental transition – but we do not know where it will lead us

Assuming Brexit takes place, we are at the beginning of a fundamental transition – but we do not know where it will lead us

The political ramifications of Brexit keep making themselves known, with Labour pondering Leadership change, the Prime Minister resigning, and Scotland perhaps heading for a second independence referendum. Here, Andrew Blick looks at the constitutional ramifications of Brexit, arguing that if it goes ahead, we are on the brink of fundamental constitutional change. 

Does Nicola Sturgeon’s refusal to increase the Additional Rate to 50p unless it is increased in the rest of the UK undermine the case for tax devolution?

Does Nicola Sturgeon’s refusal to increase the Additional Rate to 50p unless it is increased in the rest of the UK undermine the case for tax devolution?

Nicola Sturgeon recently let her opposition to an increased top rate of income tax to 50p be known, arguing that such a move would be desirable only were it implemented across the whole of the United Kingdom. Here, David Eiser weighs up the political and economic case for increasing the rate, and asks whether that this stance is inconsistent with her advocacy of more powers for Scotland in the form of either independence or greater devolution.

A Brexit could make it easier for Scotland to join the EU as an independent state

A Brexit could make it easier for Scotland to join the EU as an independent state

One of the key issues in the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence was the question of how an independent Scotland could join the EU and whether it would retain the same membership terms as the UK. Merijn Chamon and Guillaume Van der Loo revisit the issue in light of the UK’s upcoming referendum on EU membership. They argue that if the UK were to leave the EU, it could simplify the process for Scotland to retain its membership should the country opt to become independent.

Scottish devolution will now have a bigger fiscal dimension

Scottish devolution will now have a bigger fiscal dimension

A deal has finally been struck on the fiscal framework for the Scotland Bill. Holyrood will now be supported by a mixture of shared UK resources and its own tax revenue, levied in Scotland, but supplemented by UK resources as well. Here, Jim Gallagher reviews the compromise and the negotiations leading up to it.

In the state of the British left, there are warning signs for Scottish nationalism

In the state of the British left, there are warning signs for Scottish nationalism

The age of insecurity has turned out to be an age of rage and anger. Yet, so far, a near-decade of economic collapse, turmoil and corporate deception hasn’t led to a widespread revival in the fortunes of the left’s ideas and popularity, argues Gerry Hassan.

By 19th February 2016 0 Comments Read More →
The time is right for an audit of Scottish democracy

The time is right for an audit of Scottish democracy

Last year, we launched Democratic Audit – Scotland to provide meaningful, in depth, scrutiny of Scotland’s democratic record. The aim of the site is to provide a democratic audit, to examine the effectiveness of its political system, a democratic dashboard, to help members of the public make an informed choice when they participate in Scottish elections, and regular blog posts, to report on current developments in areas such as elections and representation, political parties, accountability, and human rights.

By 22nd January 2016 0 Comments Read More →
‘Emotive nationalism’ does not explain Scotland’s young ‘Yes’ voters

‘Emotive nationalism’ does not explain Scotland’s young ‘Yes’ voters

The independence referendum of 2014 granted 16 and 17 year old Scots the right to vote in a nationwide contest for the first time, with the increased political engagement of young people proving to be one of the key positives to come out of the election. Here, Maddie Breeze, Hugo Gorringe, Lynn Jamieson and Michael Rosie look at the attitudes of those 16 and 17 year olds who voted ‘Yes’, finding that their views can’t be explained by ’emotive nationalism’.

By 6th January 2016 0 Comments Read More →
The real ‘Northern Powerhouse’? A collaborative relationship between Scotland and the North East and Cumbria holds real potential

The real ‘Northern Powerhouse’? A collaborative relationship between Scotland and the North East and Cumbria holds real potential

Many progressive voices in the border regions of England were nervous about Scottish independence and continue to be so about new powers due to the potential for their region to lose out due to potential cross-border differences such as tax rates. However, Keith Shaw argues that increasing collaboration between Northumberland and Cumbria and the Scottish border counties could represent the real ‘Northern Powerhouse’. 

By 15th December 2015 0 Comments Read More →
The gendered dimensions of constitutional change: Women and the independence referendums in Scotland and Catalonia

The gendered dimensions of constitutional change: Women and the independence referendums in Scotland and Catalonia

Constitutional debates around independence claims present various gendered dimensions and implications for women and gender equality policy issues more broadly. In this article, Tània Verge and Alba Alonso challenge the idea that differences between women and men’s voting patterns can be simply reduced to risk aversion, and write that the public debates largely suffered in both countries from the absence of women’s voices and gender equality discussions. However, they highlight that while the women’s movement engaged actively with the campaign in Scotland, women’s groups in Catalonia generally remained distant from the territorial debate.

By 10th December 2015 0 Comments Read More →