‘Certainly, the tawdry displays of English chauvinism, the ugly racist sentiments behind it, the Dad’s Army nostalgia for empire, quite apart from the liars and cheats that delivered Leave, are reason enough to stay in (and reform) Europe – and quit the rotting ship of the British unitary state before it’s too late.’
‘Fudging both the timing of an independence referendum and the SNP’s position on a ‘people’s vote’ looks like getting more difficult as Brexit D-day draws nearer this autumn.’
‘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.’
‘For them (Leave voters), Brexit wasn’t about rebooting Britain as a global player, in fact it was about recognising we have limited capacities—particularly economically—and that these should be focused almost exclusively domestically.’
‘The question is not whether the EU will accept or reject these plans. Of course it will reject them. The question is whether the EU will engage in discussion about a future trade relationship, even knowing what these plans are.’
‘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.’
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’.
‘ The story of betrayal is already being constructed. It is a dispiriting prophecy that foretells we will still be arguing about our relationship with Europe, and only that, in four years’ time’.
‘In the continental pre-summit debate, Brexit hardly gets a mention. The June summit is seen as the great test of President Macron’s ability to deliver some form of credible reform plan. The precise details may be less important than a sense of a clear direction of travel – the impression that the EU is willing to look beyond its familiar muddle and fudge and take charge of its own destiny.’