The first Sceptical Scot public debate

This would have beenl the first of a Sceptical Scot series exploring what kind of Scotland we are and want to become…What kind of Scotland we become tomorrow requires a clear and honest look in the mirror today. Come and help us shine a light by taking part in an open, generous and non-partisan conversation.

What’s holding them back?

“Holyrood is an incredibly powerful Parliament with the ability to make a real positive difference to the lives of people in Scotland. Sadly, it is not in the interests of those who value independence above all else to use these powers to their full effect. The powers they need must always be those they don’t have. It is the only way their constitutional obsession can be achieved.”

Conventional wisdom: Brexit, devolution and Sewel

“It is inevitable that the balance of power between the devolved and central governments will shift, with more power going to the former, unless the UK government actively chooses what Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones has described as a ‘land grab’ “. The Sewel implications of the UK Supreme Court judgment.

Don’t count on more powers post-Brexit

“If the UK Parliament, as part of the UK government’s ‘Great Repeal Bill’ measure, decides it wishes to amend the Scotland Act to specify that all, or some, of the powers returned from the EU will be reserved to Westminster, it has the power to do that.”

Unanswered questions of Scotland’s economy

Derek Mackay’s first budget as finance secretary is assailed from all sides – even his own. Scottish Conservatives label Scotland the highest-taxed part of the UK; Labour’s Kezia Dugdale endorses higher Scottish taxes as part of a federal-style devolution of revenue-raising powers. Leading economist David Eiser pondered deeper economic issues.

A new-style Scottish foreign policy

“There would be six EU members with a population less than Scotland. Size is only one factor in foreign policy. Ideas, principles, commitment, talent and domestic support are more important. Scotland does not lack in any of the above.” Top foireign policy wonk on the post-#indyref2 prospects

Europe’s future is Walloon – and Scottish?

“Since then, the economic crisis, the travails of the euro, and the destructive impacts of globalisation have blown that logic apart. Free trade – and its liberal corollary, the free movement of people – have lost their mass appeal. Nowhere is that more true than in Wallonia.”

Scotland in single market – or not

Nicola Sturgeon says Scotland should at least stay in the EU single market but: “the political and technical complexity of the proposal does raise the obvious question as to whether such a move is easier or more desirable, even in the short term, than full independence in the EU,” argues a leading expert.

Single market route to home rule

“We are going to put forward proposals, that we would hope that the UK Government would be prepared to listen to, that would allow Scotland to preserve its place in the single market and preserve aspects of its relationship with the EU.” Nicola Sturgeon opts for post-Brexit Home Rule – indy comes later…