Kenneth Campbell QC: Sand in the Gearbox: Devolution and Brexit

“A second independence referendum?

Further down the road, but perhaps not so much further, lies the real possibility of a second independence referendum in Scotland. While an early poll may not be the Scottish Government’s preferred timing, the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has made clear that a second independence referendum is ‘on the table’. Graeme Cowie has posted a reminder that comes with a subset of constitutional law challenges of its own.”

UK Constitutional Law Association

KennethCampbellIn the immediate aftermath of the EU referendum result, political comment from a number of quarters suggested that the Scottish Parliament could vote to block Brexit. For the comprehensive reasons given by Mark Elliott on his blog, that was a triumph of hope over the constitutional competence of the institution. However, that is not to say that the structures of devolution do not have a significant role in the working out of Brexit, and may yet act as a trigger for wider constitutional change. This post will suggest that the place of the devolved institutions has been underplayed in the debate thus far, and seeks to identify some of the issues which will require to be addressed. These include: the operation of the Sewel convention and other steps to take account of the interests of devolved areas, discussions around the place of Scotland in the EU, and some effects…

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