‘…if Scotland is excluded from key European programmes then funding streams will dry up which are crucial to the delivery of Scotland’s policy ambitions’. An ex-adviser on EU to the First Minister examines her Programme for Government.
The UK Government has published plans to maintain a border-free zone with Ireland once it has left the EU. Analysing the long-awaited paper, Professor Christina Boswell, finds it knocks out one of the main arguments for refusing Scotland more autonomy over its immigration policy
“Truth springs from argument among friends,” is often attributed to Hume, although it doesn’t appear in his writings. As long as it doesn’t count as a slogan or a soundbite, I’m happy to subscribe to it. The former David Hume Institute director says au revoir…as a happy sceptic to the end.
‘The rest of us – Yes, No or Undecided – need to make a claim for changing Scotland regardless of its nation status. For power to reside here, rather than elsewhere. This must take the form of articulating distinct responses in Scotland to another era of crisis’.
‘While the risks and complexities associated with extricating BTPs operations in Scotland are now coming to the fore, the advantages look increasingly distant.’
‘At the end of the day, the UK Government and Parliament (subject, of course, to the constraints of parliamentary arithmetic) can legally have their way on what happens to repatriated power, even if any “will of the people” justification for doing so would be specious. But…’
‘I am the warning, I am the guinea pig. What’s happening to me now, might happen to you, unless you fight and oppose.’ Polish writer Kasia Kokowska describes a European life still in limbo while surrounding compassion is running out.
‘Young people are now increasingly turning to social media as their first source of information about current events. If the BBC is to win back this section of the audience – or at least stem the ebbing tide – it needs to examine, and respond quickly, to the current mote in its political eye.’
The devolved legislatures cannot block the bill but the need for their consent means that they have a considerable degree of leverage – much more so than if Theresa May had secured a landslide majority in the June election. It is likely the devolved nations will seek to exploit this leverage to the full.
‘In a democracy, it is always possible to think again and to choose a different direction. We need to think again about Brexit, to have a UK-wide debate about calling a halt to the process and changing our minds.’