‘There is a saying among global trade negotiators that the world is divided between cannibals and lunch. The UK may be finding painfully that leaving the protection of the cannibals has condemned it to become lunch. It was certainly Stephen (Haseler)’s view that the English superstate was just as incapable of responding to new challenges internationally as it was domestically.’
‘The territorial politics of Brexit is a bewildering mix of ignorance, apparent disdain, confrontation, cooperation and collaboration. Rarely have the so-called devolution ‘settlements’ appeared more unsettled.’
‘This week’s court (Supreme Court) case may prove not to be the end — or even the beginning of the end — of the constitutional crisis. Perhaps we will find that it was merely the end of the beginning.’
‘Campaign spending categories make it almost impossible to tell what campaigners are spending on social media. The Commission recommends that these gaps in transparency be closed and that a repository of online political advertising should be created.’
‘One thing is clear – the days of a neat division of powers between UK, Scottish and local government are gone. Brexit will paradoxically make these multilevel dynamics very much like those of the regionalised states in the EU27,’ the bead of COSLA office in Brussels writes.
‘The UK could, therefore, be in the process of a fundamental constitutional reconfiguration that partially reverses devolutionary patterns of development of the preceding two decades. This project is taking place in a fashion that is not wholly consensual, and involves the UK government deploying, or at least threatening to deploy, parliamentary sovereignty for purposes of legal coercion.’
‘Furthermore, while Nicola Sturgeon, naturally, has to go along with today’s tomfoolery, it is difficult to imagine a politician who has spent 30 years helping to mould the SNP into a credible party of government approving a stunt that is more befitting of a student union meeting.’
Westminster and the three devolved governments should conclude a new constitutional settlement for pooling sovereignty within the UK, with fresh powers and competences given to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to control their people’s destinies. Otherwise, it will only undermine the current devolution settlement and assume even greater central powers in the name of national (UK) sovereignty’.
As a new case for Scottish independence emerges and #indyref2 looms, the latest Sceptical Scot podcast looks at the case for federalism as the best route to true community empowerment.
‘The polls do not indicate a pro-independence surge, but after the shock of 2016 only a fool would predict the outcome with confidence. Westminster could in principle refuse to allow another referendum, but emulating Madrid’s handling of Catalonia would surely not be the right course of action.’