For citizens in a modern democratic society, knowledge and the access to it is a necessity to enable us to keep the powerful in check. It is curious, then, that among the initiatives most regretted by former Prime Minister Tony Blair, was the … [Read more...] about The Guards Can’t Guard Themselves
The Deposit Return Scheme The Scottish Government’s quest to introduce the beleaguered Deposit Return Scheme (“DRS”) appears to be like trying to catch lightning in a bottle. Originally, Scotland was due to launch the UK’s first DRS for drinks … [Read more...] about The Deposit Return Scheme and the UK Internal Market
Last week the Constitution Society went on the road to Edinburgh to host two events connected with what is increasingly termed the “territorial constitution”. Some months in the planning, the Society is indebted to our partners who helped make both … [Read more...] about In Review: Two Constitution Society Events in Edinburgh
For Scotland, the campaign continues, and the dream shall never die. These, the assuaging words of then-First Minister Alex Salmond announcing his intention to resign the morning after losing the Scottish independence referendum in September 2014. … [Read more...] about A tale of two paradoxes: Sturgeon’s legacy to the constitution
On 23rd November, the UK Supreme Court delivered a unanimous judgment on a Reference by the Lord Advocate concerning whether the Scottish Government could introduce a draft bill legislating for a referendum on Scotland’s independence. Can’t touch … [Read more...] about Reference by the Lord Advocate of devolution issues under para 34, sch.6 of the Scotland Act 1998
With Nicola Sturgeon having recently addressed the Scottish Parliament about her plans for a second independence referendum, and the Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales, established by the Welsh Government, currently … [Read more...] about It is now necessary for the UK to move towards a UK-wide Constitutional Convention
On June 28th, Nicola Sturgeon set out her “route map” for securing Scotland’s independence, setting a date for a second independence referendum to be held on 19 October 2023. Her “Plan A” remains a consensual referendum, following the precedent … [Read more...] about Securing Scotland’s independence: moving beyond process?
On Friday 13 May, The Constitution Society held a conference at the French Senate in Paris looking at a range of topical constitutional issues – from the Northern Ireland Protocol to retained EU law. Recordings from the various panels and talks given … [Read more...] about Conference: France-United Kingdom – Two Constitutions After Brexit
In 1967, Winnie Ewing uttered the immortal words ‘stop the world, Scotland wants to get on’ and helped thrust the SNP into centre-stage of Scottish politics. Decades later, it is clear that Scotland has indeed gotten on in the world. More than two … [Read more...] about ‘Stop the world, Scotland wants to get on’: devolution and Scotland’s role in the world
Introduction and history In spite of high-profile meetings with world leaders, Nicola Sturgeon has largely been excluded from the formal decision-making processes at COP26. This contradiction is reflected elsewhere: the Scottish government … [Read more...] about The politics of Scotland’s autonomous foreign policy
It has often been assumed that sub-state nationalisms, whether in Scotland, Wales, Quebec, Catalonia or the Basque Country, must be motivated by distinct values or attitudes about the great issues of public policy. Indeed, there is a whole school of … [Read more...] about Will ‘British values’ keep us together?
From nineteenth-century Irish home rule debates onwards there has been one consensus: the Union could not survive if England were allowed its own political identity or institutions of government. Winston Churchill said in 1912 that it would ‘tear the … [Read more...] about England and the Union: time to think again