‘In this regard, there is no escaping the fact that the GERS numbers paint a difficult picture. It is simply not possible to operate under independence with budget numbers like this on a consistent basis’.
‘While the risks and complexities associated with extricating BTPs operations in Scotland are now coming to the fore, the advantages look increasingly distant.’
‘If Davidson was to be elected to Westminster via a Scottish constituency, her status as a political outsider would be cemented. Every time a piece of legislation affecting England passed through the House of Commons, Davidson’s opponents would be able to highlight her lack of a democratic mandate in England.’
‘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.’
It is likely, therefore, that the UK Government will retain the key powers indefinitely and devolve only cautiously. It seems unlikely that the UK Government will transfer them all back or that the Welsh proposal for joint policymaking will be adopted.