The paper Guy Lodge and I have written on Devo More and Welfare as part of the wider Devo More project is published on Tuesday. There’s extensive coverage of it in today’s Scotland on Sunday to whom we’ve given a preview of the paper, including a news article here and a comment piece by Guy and me here. The paper will be available from the IPPR’s website, and I’ll update this post to include further relevant links as they become available.
If ever a report deserved careful consideration rather than an immediate response, it’s the Silk Commission’s Part 2 report. The product of more than 15 months’ evidence-taking and deliberation, it is a carefully framed, principles-based blueprint for the next step for Welsh devolution. The full report is available here, and the executive summary (which I must admit to having relied on for this post) is here. There’s BBC News coverage here, here and here, and from Wales Online here.
The key recommendations are:
- devolution of policing to the National Assembly
- devolution of responsibility for youth justice, but not the courts or the legal system generally
- devolution of planning powers to approve energy projects of up to 350 megawatts, of powers relating to sewerage and the regulation of some aspects of water supply within Wales, and for there to be a Welsh Crown Estate Commissioner.
- some further devolution of powers in relation to rail franchising, bus and taxi regulation, and speed limits and drink-driving
- appointment of a Welsh member of the BBC Trust (something already in place for Scotland), and control for the Assembly over public funding for S4C
- an increase in the size of the National Assembly, noting many calls for 80 members but leaving the issue for further consideration
- an enhanced approach to the conduct of intergovernmental relations and the machinery for that. The Secretary of State for Wales would also lose his seat in the National Assembly, his right to receive its papers and obligation to present the UK Government’s legislative programme each Parliamentary session.
- perhaps most importantly, a move to a ‘reserved powers’ model for the National Assembly’s legislative powers, away from the current ‘conferred powers’ one, along with a removal of the current and problematic protection of pre-devolution powers of UK ministers.
There are also calls for further study of a number of matters – not just the size of the Assembly and the number of AMs, but also the possible devolution of prisons and the court system. It sees no need for a further referendum on any of these proposals.
What is notable about this is how cautious it is. The recommendations eschew a number of more radical calls – for the establishment of a separate legal jurisdiction, or for devolution of the civil or criminal courts, the civil or criminal law, or of welfare. I argued in my own submission that it would be very hard to establish a ‘reserved powers’ model without establishing a separate legal jurisdiction, and that this could be done without losing many of the advantages of the current shared arrangement. (See also THIS EARLIER POST on the relationship between a legal jurisdiction and legislative powers.) I suggested as well that the Welsh Government’s proposals for a reserved powers model would imply a devolved power to legislate for areas like land or contract law (these are omitted from the Welsh Government’s proposed list of reserved matters). This would achieve the substantive outcome of a separate legal jurisdiction without formally calling it such –which may be the worst of all worlds.
Welfare devolution is another area which would create a number of administrative problems but offers scope for major gains for both governments and for citizens – as we’ll be arguing shortly through the Devo More project.
The Silk proposals are, in essence, an attempt to make sure the division of powers between Welsh and UK institution catches up with reality. They’re not actually very radical; they don’t take account, for example, of the impact of the September referendum on Scottish independence (whether there’s a Yes vote leading to Scottish independence and a restructuring of the remainder of the United Kingdom, or a No vote resulting in further devolution for Scotland). Rather like Holtham before it, this is an exercise in bringing Welsh devolution up to date not making far-reaching plans for the future.
However, the proposals do represent a clear consensus across the Welsh political parties about what should happen next. I’ll shortly be putting up a post about the problems arising from the way the UK Government approached Silk Part 1, and its profound misreading of the political and economic situation in Wales compared with Scotland. The gravest mistake the UK Government could make would be to cherry-pick these proposals. The second gravest would be to take a year to decide what to do, especially given that it has a legislative slot in the next Parliamentary session and not using that would mean a significant wait for any action – even though, from his initial reaction (saying a response would be for the next UK Parliament not the current one), that’s just what the Secretary of State seems to intend.
UPDATE, 4 March: Carwyn Jones’s response to the Silk Part 2 report, here, is interesting. Although Jones calls for a substantial expansion of the powers of the National Assembly and Welsh Government, he appears unwilling to accept the logical implication that greater self-government means no longer being in a privileged position when it comes to UK-wide institutions. He seeks to maintain the office of the Secretary of State (despite his well-publicised difficulties with both Conservative holders of that post), and the present number of Welsh MPs. Both cases are poor. For a discussion of the Secretary of State, see HERE. The latter case is if anything weaker. Wales is presently over-represented at Westminster; if MPs were allocated to Wales on a similar basis to England, it would have around 32, not its present 40. Scotland was similarly over-represented in the Commons before devolution, and the creation of the Scottish Parliament saw the number of Scottish MPs reduced to the English ‘quota’. That meant a reduction from 72 to 59. This was provided for in the Scotland Act 1998, and (to avoid a reduction in the size of the Scottish Parliament as well) required further legislation to ‘decouple’ the number of MSPs from the number of MPs. (Decoupling has already happened for Wales, as part of the abortive plans to reduce the size of the Commons.)
Wales cannot expect to maintain a privileged position at UK level if devolved powers are to be extended. Carwyn Jones is trying to have his cake and east it.
The UK Government has now taken to using publicly a clear line about the independence referendum. A Yes vote, and Scottish independence, will lead to Scotland leaving the United Kingdom (despite semantic objections from the Yes side). That means an independent Scotland will also cease to be part of UK institutions. It can’t expect to be able to maintain participation in such bodies as the Bank of England (as emphasised by the row over currency union), the BBC (illustrated by Maria Miller’s comments in Oxford), and others. The European Union is another of these. Lord Wallace’s impending speech makes the point vividly clear. Expect to see the research councils added to the list over the coming weeks, as another body where an ‘independent’ Scotland would seek to share arrangements with rUK. There may be some hard choices to be made about a common travel area and its security implications. The ground for both of those has already been laid in the Scotland Analysis papers. And expect arguments about such detailed matters as the organ transplant ‘pool’, which currently operates on a UK-wide basis.
None of this should be a surprise. It’s been implicit in the UK Government’s position since the beginning of the Scotland Analysis programme. Remember that that kicked off with an analysis of the international legal issues, concluding that (r)UK would be the successor state in international law and Scotland would be a new state. The line of argument now emerging is simply the logical fulfilment of that.
This is also perfectly consistent with the strategy of the Unionist side in another respect. Since the May 2011 Scottish election result, and David Cameron’s prompt acceptance of the need for referendum and stipulation that it be ‘legal, clear and decisive’, the UK Government has pursued an excluded-middle strategy. It has drawn a clear line between being part of the UK and not. Independence-lite reflected not just long-term SNP thinking about independence, but also sought to appeal to centre-ground voters by persuading them that independence would deliver something close to what they wanted (and closer than the status quo). That ground is what the excluded-middle approach is intended to undermine. The SNP embraced this approach by signing up to the Edinburgh Agreement, and a single, ‘clear’ and ‘decisive’ referendum. The problem with such strategies is that they do exclude the middle, and the Yes side could not expect to maintain its monopoly on setting out the terms of debate indefinitely.
Nor is this ‘pre-negotiation’ of the terms of independence. If anything, it’s the opposite; declaring what items are not on the table for negotiation. That, among other things, complies with the Electoral Commission’s call for each side to indicate what would happen after a Yes vote. Those who think the UK side does not mean what it says – whether about currency, the BBC, a common travel zone or anything else – need to answer the question: what is in what they propose for rUK? How does that serve the evident utility of both sides, not just one? Many of the white paper proposals are negotiating positions more than firm, deliverable proposals, and it is becoming increasingly clear that there will not be negotiations on many of the key ones.
The Yes side are under pressure to redefine what ‘independence’ means, and that pressure will only increase – as, for example, businesses operating across the UK find the uncertainty of a post-independence world increasingly hard to deal with. If the Yes side stick to indy-lite, they will find their position increasingly hard to support – it will look more and more like an unachievable castle in the air. So either they need to find a way to make indy-lite look credible once again, given that the UK Government is neither sympathetic nor willing to remain silent, or find a strategy that is more convincing and achievable. A more radical approach to independence might do that, and would clearly appeal to significant parts of the Yes campaign, though its appeal to voters is much more doubtful. The middle ground that the Yes side have sought to occupy so far is turning into a more and more boggy morass.
So far, of course, the evidence is that this more clear-cut approach has produced little change in the polls. That is perhaps unsurprising; the objective of the different approach is to alter the terms of debate more than produce a quick bounce in opinion polls, and any dividends that produces will show in the longer term. But there is still a pressing need for the No side to emphasise the positive aspects of such a vote – that it will mean an extension of devolution, and ensure that the Scottish Government has the powers to deliver the aspirations of the people of Scotland. That, of course, is what the Devo More project seeks to do.
Nicola Sturgeon at UCL: the positive, England-friendly case for independence, and laying down a challenge on Devo More
Nicola Sturgeon’s lecture for the Constitution Unit on Thursday evening, 13 February, was a rare opportunity for her to speak to a London audience, and for a London audience to see her. What they heard was a very slick presentation of the SNP’s case for ‘soft independence’, carefully tailored for the audience, and predicated on advancing Scottish self-government rather than breaking up the UK. Her key arguments were that Scotland could be independent, and was well-prepared for that because of the development of devolution; that Scotland could and should become independent, because Westminster’s politics and policies were at odds with those of Scotland; and that independence would be a firm basis for good relations with all the nations of the British isles. She emphasised that Scottish independence was ‘emphatically not separatist or insular … [n]or … driven by antipathy towards or resentment of our neighbours in the rest of the UK.’ Indeed, she said she was sure independence could be achieved without any lingering sense of resentment in the rest of the UK. She added that the debate was not about ‘identity’ and that the SNP were not asking people to choose their identity as part of the process which may come as a surprise to some observers). Rather, it was about the best form of self-government for Scotland.
Much of this was familiar to those who have heard the SNP in recent years, and much could be strongly contested. The line that Scotland’s politics were different to those of England was undermined by arguing that Scottish independence would not doom the rest of the UK to unending Conservative governments, for example. Sturgeon made a good deal of how important it was for Scotland to have control of such issues as economic management, defence and foreign affairs from Westminster – even though an independent Scotland’s room for manoeuvre under its white paper blueprint would be limited, and even though there is little sign from polling that these issues are key in voters’ minds.
This wider formulation of the objectives of independence enabled Sturgeon to avoid the trickiest issue; the previous day’s announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer (supported by his Labour shadow and Lib Dem Chief Secretary) that there would be no currency union between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK. This shift is highly significant in itself, because it embodies the elements of continuity and certainty for Scottish voters in voting for independence, and Scottish businesses after it. Indeed, in his 2012 Hugo Young lecture (and on some subsequent occasions) Alex Salmond ended up going so far as to say that Scottish independence was not about monetary policy but securing fiscal autonomy. A sterling currency union is also a key element of the wider scheme for what has been called ‘independence lite’, by which independence would change undesirable aspects of the status quo (rule from Westminster), but preserve desirable ones such as currency, the Crown and the EU. (For a discussion of that, see my earlier post here.)
Sturgeon’s position on the issue was what she stated earlier on the Daily Politics, and Alex Salmond was saying in Edinburgh; the UK was seeking to bully Scottish voters, but it was all bluff and the position would change after a Yes vote. In other words: UK ministers don’t mean what they say in clear and plain terms, and even when they explain it in terms of the plain self-interest often invoked by SNP speakers as justification why rUK should do what they want it to. Their true meaning is different, veiled, concealed behind their words. Sturgeon may have invoked two of UCL’s Scottish founders at the beginning of her speech, Thomas Campbell and Henry Brougham, but the shade inspiring her here was more that of the Chicago political philosopher Leo Strauss.
The most interesting point of her speech – the one where she departed from well-known positions – was when she was asked (by me) about options for enhanced devolution – not on the referendum ballot paper, but being discussed among all three unionist parties in Scotland. Such an option clearly has wide public support, and the IPPR Devo More project is designed to formulate what such an option might be. Sturgeon had already noted the lack of support for the status quo. Responding, she said that such an option was necessary for the No side; failure to offer it meant that No-inclined voters might otherwise switch and vote Yes. While she said no offer could convince her, she set out three tests that such an offer would have to satisfy to be credible. First, the substance would have to be meaningful, and include substantial tax, welfare and employment policy devolution. Second, it would have to be agreed between the three unionist parties. Third, there would need to be a clear timetable, and assurances that it would in fact be delivered.
The present positions of the unionist parties are a long way from what Sturgeon stipulated here, with a cross-party platform rejected by Ruth Davidson for the Scottish Conservatives and serious-infighting within Scottish Labour over tax devolution. It would also be absurd to expect unionist parties to subscribe to a form of further devolution just because it would be acceptable to the SNP. But the Devo More model includes all those elements of which Sturgeon spoke, in a way that is designed to reinforce not weaken the Union in the longer term. Sturgeon might be rather surprised by the Devo More proposals for welfare devolution when those are published in March, for example. Signing up to that model would narrow the ground for the SNP very greatly, in a way they clearly recognise as a threat.
This post also appears on the Constitution Unit’s blog here, under the title Scottish independence lecture: Nicola Sturgeon on her best behaviour.
The heavy trailing of an announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer (and Danny Alexander and Ed Balls) that the UK Government is not prepared to establish a currency union with Scotland for use of the pound in the event of Scottish independence (see also BBC News coverage here) is a serious blow to aspirations of the SNP for a form of ‘independence lite’. The logic of this was that it would avoid disrupting many key symbolic and economic ties between an independent Scotland (iScotland) and the remainder of the UK (rUK), so comforting swing voters about the limited scale of the risks of independence. Those risks are real; think of how attractive Scottish investment trusts and insurance companies look if the complexities and exchange-rate risks of using a different currency are introduced into the equation, for example. But this shift in the ground also emphasises a number of key issues about the implications of a Yes vote, and what would happen after it.
The first problem – which is particularly the case with the idea of a currency union, but applies to many other important issues – is the asymmetry of interest. A currency union is central to the way the SNP has formulated its model for independence. (That view can be contested, of course – whether by the likes of Jim Sillars on, essentially, autonomy grounds, or by Angus Armstrong and Monique Ebell on economic ones, relating to the flexibility of economic policy instruments and the implications of a debt burden.) But it is of marginal interest or benefit to rUK at best, poses a serious risk at worst, and concluding that the risks of it from an rUK point of view exceed the benefits is a reasonable judgement to come to. This isn’t the only issue where iScotland has a strong interest in something of limited concern to rUK, either. In bargaining situations, iScotland has got to have something convincing to offer to rUK – and other than staying in the UK, or the Clyde nuclear bases, it’s hard to see what that might be.
The second problem is what the Yes side do in response to being denied a currency union – the ‘Plan B’ for iScotland’s currency. There aren’t many currency options; they are using the pound without a currency union (‘dollarisation’ or perhaps ‘sterlingisation’), establishing a Scottish currency, or seeking to join the Euro. (The clearest exposition of those is in a video put together by NIESR, available here.) The first and third of those pose major problems – dollarisation/sterlingisation would be unstable and expose iScotland to a range of monetary policy risks over which it had no control, while membership of the Euro normally requires having a national currency first, and then joining the Exchange Rate Mechanism to start the process of tying that currency to the Euro. That implies a lengthy transition, a currency that sunders Scotland from what at the moment is its closest trading partner, and the question of what the constraints of the Eurozone might be in future. From that point of view, an independent currency is the least unattractive option by some way – even if it seems riskiest to referendum voters, and proposing it now would indicate a significant reshaping of plans for independence at a late stage in the referendum campaign.
The third problem is how rejection of a currency union affects other options for Scotland. Talk of repudiating iScotland’s share of UK debt may be attractive to SNP politicians, but is hot-headed nonsense. It would create the very opposite of the ‘velvet divorce’ which underpins the Yes side’s strategy. Indeed, it would amount to a unilateral declaration of independence, as well as creating a major ongoing dispute with rUK. That would affect all plans for independence, not just currency; social union, an open border, co-operation in other matters will all be off the table. It would create significant obstacles to any negotiations over EU membership, and an insuperable barrier to NATO membership, and make it very expensive for iScotland to borrow from international lenders if it could do so at all. Reaching a deal on at least the main issues that underpin statehood with rUK would be vital for Scotland to become independent, and the asymmetry of interest means that rUK holds the whip hand in each strand of those negotiations.
The fourth problem is what this means for ‘independence lite’ as a wider project. The idea that independence would widen the realm of autonomy in some areas (such as fiscal and social policy, and to some degree foreign policy) while retaining existing aspects of the Union such as currency or freedom of movement across the England-Scotland border may be attractive in Scotland. But the reliance on rUK co-operation and goodwill has never made it a robust and achievable plan for independence, and that is what is starting to unravel for the Yes side. Moreover, they are hoist to their own petard in two ways. They have wanted to clarify the basis for independence before September’s poll; while the UK Government has rejected ‘pre-negotiation’ of independence, on currency it is clarifying its position in perhaps the most unhelpful way possible. The Yes side also has (perhaps reluctantly) embraced the binary Yes/No approach to the referendum (and lost the possible ‘third option’ from the poll). ‘Independence lite’ was a way of softening the impact of the choice of independence for swing voters and reinstating to a degree the middle ground that was otherwise excluded. But the rejection of a currency union deprives the Yes side of that comfort as well. As a result, the choice between independence and remaining part of the UK is becoming increasingly stark.
The challenge that now faces the SNP and the wider Yes campaign is whether to embrace a more radical approach to independence, which may be less attractive to key groups of swing voters (though not other parts of the Yes movement), but produce a more intellectually cogent model of independence, or stick to a middle course predicated on agreements with rUK that look increasingly hard to attain. Nicola Sturgeon’s diary for the next few weeks includes lectures at UCL (this Thursday) and Cardiff on 24 March, so she will have plenty of opportunity to answer such questions.
None of this alters certain key facts, though. The Scottish public still support an expanded form of devolution – not independence, but something that confers signficantly greater autonomy than the status quo. Formulating that option is something that the Unionist parties need to do. It is in their interests to make devolution work better, after all, as well as enable Scots to have the form of government they desire. And putting such an option on the table will help people to regard voting No as a positive choice, not just a reaction to the uncertainties surrounding independence. That also appears to be what voters want, and it is certainly necessary if the referendum is to resolve the wider question of Scotland’s place in the United Kingdom, rather that invite a ’round 2′ of the independence argument at some later date.
UPDATE, 13 February: There are also interesting comments on the currency announcement from Angus Armstrong of NIESR here, Alex Massie for the Spectator Coffee House blog here, and from the Guardian David Torrance in Comment is Free here and Larry Elliott’s Economics Blog here.
Further update: The Chancellor’s speech is now available here. The key points are his linkage of a banking union (necessary to support a shared currency) with a wider fiscal and political union, the question of what benefit rUK would derive from such a union given the asymmetry of the risks, and how stable and durable such a union would be – the possibility of one party choosing to break it. To quote one passage:
The continuing UK would be almost ten times the size of the Scottish economy. So this would be a totally one-sided deal where UK taxpayers would have to transfer money to an independent Scotland in times of economic stress, with limited prospect of any transfers the other way.
We got Britain out of the eurozone bailouts. Now we’d be getting into an arrangement that was just the same.
The citizens of the rest of the UK could not sign up to such a deal. And frankly, even if we could, I do not think Scotland would want to either.
For the logic of a currency union would mean that Scotland would have to give up sovereignty over spending and tax decisions.
Because sharing the pound is not in the interests of either the people of Scotland or the rest of the UK.
The people of the rest of the UK wouldn’t accept it
and Parliament wouldn’t pass it.
Guy Lodge and I had a post in the New Statesman’s politics blog, The Staggers, on Friday about income tax devolution in Scotland.
Since this went up, there has been further coverage of the story. John McTernan came up with a rather doubtful proposal in Friday’s Scotsman – calling for substantial welfare devolution (including key UK-wide redistributive benefits like Job Seeker’s Allowance), but no fiscal devolution. Saturday’s Guardian leader highlighted the importance of a ‘proposition that goes beyond the status quo’ from the unionist parties as part of their campaign in the Scottish independence referendum. Scotland on Sunday’s coverage includes the front-page lead, a detailed analysis piece, and a leader. Unsurprisingly, Alex Salmond is making the most of Labour’s disarray.
The Staggers post can be found here, and the text is also below.
Labour must not retreat from further devolution to Scotland
Those concerned about the survival of the Union would do well to turn their attention away from David Cameron’s ”seven months to save the UK” speech and look instead at developments taking place in the Scottish Labour Party. Worryingly, just at the moment when the Yes camp appear to be gaining some momentum in the polls, Scottish Labour appears to be retreating from providing Scottish voters with a clear alternative to independence in the form of additional powers for the Scottish Parliament.
Specifically, there are signs that Scottish Labour are preparing to dilute the centrepiece of their package of new powers: the devolution of income tax. This was the recommendation of the interim report of their devolution commission published last April (a recommendation which builds on the partial devolution of income tax set out in the Scotland Act 2012). Since then, the proposal has been met with fierce opposition within some sections of the party. Initially this was managed in private but it has now spilt out into the open with Ken Macintosh MSP coming out strongly against (remarks echoed by Ian Davidson MP, and Owen Smith MP in a Welsh context). So strong is the opposition, that a number of Scottish Labour MPs have threatened to boycott the party’s spring conference, where the commission’s final report will be unveiled.
The prospect of a retreat is worrying precisely because surveys have consistently shown that there is a real appetite for more powers in Scotland, including tax powers – indeed, stronger devolution is more popular among voters than either the status quo or independence. Thus, the weaker Labour’s offer of more powers becomes, the greater the risk that significant numbers of the large pool of undecided voters will opt for independence. Equally, pollsters are finding that while the No vote has a healthy lead over those saying they will vote Yes, it may be softer than people realise. “Give us something to feel good about voting No” is a complaint heard in the focus groups.
Why Labour might be prepared to take such a gamble over income tax devolution is puzzling. It is widely accepted that there is a case for enhancing the revenue raising powers of the Scottish Parliament. In policy terms, income tax is the most sensible tax to devolve; people are more mobile than land, but less mobile than other things you might tax. It is also a highly visible tax, and accounts for a significant amount of tax revenue, so if any tax is to be devolved, it is the one to go for. If devolved, the Scottish Parliament would become responsible for raising about 40 per cent of its spending.
But the claims that income tax devolution would undermine the capacity of the UK state to redistribute across the nations of the UK or that it would lead to “independence by default” are highly disingenuous. Devolution of income tax is emphatically not “full fiscal autonomy”: it only accounts for 23 per cent of total UK tax revenues. VAT, corporation tax, vehicle, fuel, alcohol and tobacco duties, and National Insurance contributions (NICs), as well as a host of smaller taxes like capital gains tax, would still flow to the UK Exchequer. And the UK government would continue practising fiscal redistribution across the whole UK through the benefit system and through the grant that goes to Scotland (and no-one is planning any changes to that in the foreseeable future).
And don’t forget that the UK government will continue to set a tax paid by every Scottish wage or salary-earner – National Insurance – which is about 10 per cent of total tax revenues from Scotland. NICs pay for key UK welfare benefits like Jobseeker’s Allowance and the old age pension, which will remain in UK hands. Perhaps NICs are not wholly suitable to be a UK-wide income tax, but that is an argument for a long-overdue review of how NICs work, not for keeping both income taxes in UK hands.
Holyrood is already responsible for roughly 70 per cent of public spending in Scotland, and such key public services as schools and the NHS. Isn’t it right that the Scottish Parliament should also set some visible taxes to help pay for such vital everyday services? That is undoubtedly the view of the English. Addressing concerns emanating from south of the border will only help strengthen the Union.
Income tax devolution is central to any form of further devolution for Scotland, as it is to Labour’s reputation for fiscal responsibility: it should support a Scottish Parliament that is able to take tax and spending decisions – not just the latter. Rejecting it means Labour would be opting out of any meaningful extension of devolution, though that is clearly what Scottish voters want and what both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats are considering. Is Labour really determined to nail its colours to the mast of “devolution less” rather than “devolution more”?
There has been remarkably little public discussion of what would happen if there were a Yes vote in the Scottish independence referendum. The widespread assumption seems to be that negotiations would be swift and straightforward, and Scotland would readily become an independent state. The Scottish Government’s position (previously set out in the February 2013 paper Scotland’s Future: from the Referendum to Independence and a Written Constitution, but repeated in the independence white paper) remains that May 2016 would be when Scotland would become independent. That is a very simplistic approach; negotiations would be complex, possibly protracted, and gravely complicated by the May 2015 UK general election. Considerations about timing, and the impact of the referendum vote would affect the strength of the various negotiating positions, as well.
Nick Barber of Oxford University has now written an exceptionally good post about the implications of Yes vote. I don’t wholly agree with it, but it should be read by anyone thinking seriously about these issues. It can be found on the UK Constitutional Law Association’s blog, here.
In a separate but related development, the Lords Constitution Committee at Westminster has announced an inquiry into the implications of a Yes vote. There’s news coverage from the BBC here, and details of the inquiry and its call for evidence here. The closing date for submissions is 28 February 2014.
UPDATE, 27 January: There’s also a Lords debate on Thursday about ‘The implications for the UK of the forthcoming Scottish independence referendum’. Details are here.