“For the last few years, the British state has at least been able to pretend that a Labour government might come over the horizon, and solve some of the problems created by the Tories and their austerity. If and when that cavalry does arrive, it will likely come in the flaccid form of Keir Starmer, triangulating towards a far-right Tory opposition. A Sinn Féin-run Ireland may not have to work too hard to convince voters that they are better off under its wings.”
‘…Scotland’s relatively normal politics and pro-European aspirations may look in many ways more in the contemporary political mainstream than Johnson’s past-its-sell-by-date Trumpism. And a more open attitude from the EU to an independent Scotland may impact to some degree on US views too. But hard realpolitik interests – whether in the US or EU – will always be there.’
‘The potential shorter and longer-term economic transition and structural change Scotland faces as an independent state within the EU, while rUK is outside post-Brexit, needs careful economic analysis and an understanding of likely costs and benefits. What it does not need is a studied looking away from the challenging economics of a Scotland-rUK border.’
‘Brexit will undoubtedly shape the next chapter in Ireland’s European story and test whether the ‘island behind the island’ can transcend its geography to define its future.’
‘The Sewel convention will need to be revived and reformed, with stronger guarantees that Westminster will not rewrite the rules of devolution without agreement.’
Is the proposed new citizens assembly in Scotland an SNP stunt designed to swing behind #indyref2 – or a genuine democratic gain?
‘An early poll, particularly if it takes place in a political atmosphere that is strained following a hard Brexit, could seriously destabilise both parts of Ireland, and put at risk the political gains and civil order of recent decades.’