‘Surveys have shown that almost half of English voters are content to leave the matter to the Scots, with many of the rest having no opinion. There appears to be little appetite for coercing Scotland, should Scotland really want to leave.’
‘Westminster is also extending its reach to some detailed local policies that are clearly devolved and local. It is not clear, for example, why UK ministers should have a say in the decision about a new concert hall in Edinburgh…’
A Scottish Citizens Assembly could breathe fresh air into the political debate. But it poses risks for all the parties, argues Michael Keating.
‘There is both and economic and a social case for expanded health care. As the Commission notes, inequalities of wealth and income are massive. Independent or not, Scotland will have to have a serious debate about taxation.’
‘EU member states are still divided on the recognition of Kosovo. The time may have come for some better European international principles about who has the right to self-determination and how’.
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.
“Scots are only slightly more egalitarian than people in England, while support for redistribution has declined across the UK. People will pay for specific services, notably health, but are not keen on redistribution. They want more powers for Scotland but are less keen on different policies or taxes.”
The Remain and Leave campus are neck-and-neck in the run-up to the June 23 EU referendum so where does that leave Scotland – and Nicola Sturgeon’s on-off desire for #indyref2 in the event of a vote for Brexit? Four scenarios set out here…
Two thirds of Scots, polls tell us, will vote to stay in the EU. Scotland’s stance pre-EUref is more positive but Cameron calls the shots. Yet the new post-Smith powers could enable Holyrood to deal with the most contentious issue – free movement and migration – in a more social way.
A year on: there may be a time for a Big Debate on how the UK and its peoples define identity and sovereignty but it’s not now, argues one of our foremost political analysts.