Region Archives: Scotland

Theresa Villiers: “ultimately it is parliament’s decision whether we repeal the 1972 European Communities Act or whether we don’t.”

Andy’s valiant attempt at providing clarity on the role of the devolved institutions in the UK’s withdrawal from the EU doesn’t appear to have worked for some of our local representatives. The Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, couldn’t have been clearer. “In the weeks and months ahead we will be working with both the more…

Devolved legislatures and the EU

Devolved legislatures and the EU

Jim Fitzpatrick drew our attention to an interesting possibility the other day: (extract from Chapter 7 of The process of withdrawing from the European Union) The key issue here is the competency of Westminster to amend the Northern Ireland Act 1998, the Scotland Act 1998 and the Government of Wales Act 2006 (and 1998 to more…

We can already see a post-Brexit economy emerging. It’s grim.

Here’s a confusing financial press headline from today: German 10-year sovereign bond yields turn negative for first time. What does that mean in plain English: it means traders are so worried about what the UK economy would look like post-Brexit, they’re pulling their money out of the UK, and actually paying the German government to more…

Jonathan Powell blasts Brexit

On The View on the day the former PMs Major and Blair warned of the threat of Brexit to the Union and stability, Eamonn McCann erupted. It wasn’t “Blair,  that man steeped in the blood of Iraq that brought peace”, he thundered (I quote him freely) “but the people of Northern Ireland who don’t want more…

Unionism’s experience in NI should give Alex Salmond pause for thought on Derry’s Walls tomorrow…

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When travelling outside Scotland,  Alex Salmond usually doesn’t miss an opportunity  to  characterise his Scottish National Party as ‘peaceful, civic, and inclusive’.  He did it in Bilbao in January when he was receiving the Sabino Arana award from  the authorities in the Basque Country. He is likely to bathe it in the same virtuous light more…

EU referendum: The Reverse Sturgeon Option?

From Eirigi's Facebook page

The activities of dissident Irish republican groups is clearly something on the minds of many in Northern Ireland and Westminster. Following-on from the Home Secretary’s warning last month that a fresh attack was “a strong possibility” a number of arrests have been made at the gatherings of various dissident groups in different parts of Northern Ireland. more…

More Brexitref alarms: could a Corbyn government deliver Irish unity?

When we’re taking about Brexit fears, Newton Emerson in the Irish Times has an outlier scenario that’s sounds plausible but is full of holes.   He imagines the possibility of an early UK election out of the post-referendum chaos regardless who wins, with the Conservatives in worse disarray than Labour. Jeremy Corbyn gets SNP support more…

Abandonment of policy and a growing ‘cult of managerialism’ in education…

Interesting piece by Frank Furedi in the Times Educational Supplement this week. It’s a well-aimed dig at managerialisation within education. It highlights a broader degradation of policy-making in England, courtesy of several generations of activist politicians. Yet some knock-on effects are evident elsewhere too (not least in devolved regions where there’s a dearth of policy more…

Northern Ireland’s first fact-checking service launched: FactCheckNI

FCNI Postcard

FactCheckNI — Northern Ireland’s first ever fact-checking service — was officially launched at the Skainos Centre in Belfast. The project — funded by the Big Lottery Fund through Building Change Trust — aims to influence public policy in regards to the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector, keep politicians right in terms of both more…

Just a day to go to the Big EU Debate from Belfast

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Tomorrow evening we’ll be holding our EU Referendum debate featuring some of the leading pro-leave and pro-stay campaigners. We’ll be pitting Owen Paterson MP (a former Secretary of State) against Vernon Coaker MP (the current Shadow Secretary of State). We’ll have Kate Hoey MP against former Conservative MEP, John Stevens. The good news is that more…

1916-2016 play Rebellion has its premiere in Glasgow…

Worth a mention, given the day that’s in it. One of our bloggers Phil Mac Giolla Bhain has just ended a short run of his play Rebellion in his native Glasgow. Rebellion is themed around the rediscovery of a family history tracing one Glaswegian family back several generations to the 1916 Rising. Former Herald journo, more…

Orange, green…time for a new idea on ‘the border’ in between?

An excellent piece by Belfast Barman recently asked why, since the dream/ threat of a United Ireland allegedly defines our politics in Northern Ireland, we rarely hear the details of how exactly it would work discussed by those in favour or the precise, alleged horrors of such a thing debated by those strongly against. In more…

Referendum & devolution: 3 different pictures

Will they toe the line together?

The elections this May are almost certain to see the return of familiar faces of both nationalism and unionism. Of course I’m referring to the elections to the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly, whose electorates will go to the polls on 5 May and then again most likely later in the year for the more…