Monthly Archives: September 2014

Why Is It So Hard to Answer the West Lothian Question?

After it was clear that Scotland would stay in the Union, David Cameron made a bold statement: It is absolutely right that a new and fair settlement for Scotland should be accompanied by a new and fair settlement that applies to all parts … Continue reading

Posted in Devolution | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

What is the Barnett Formula?

The Barnett Formula has been getting a lot of airtime today as politicians and pundits discuss the future of the British constitution. So what is it, and why is it controversial? The Barnett Formula is the method used to distribute public … Continue reading

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Scotland Stays

It’s now official: Scotland will stay in the United Kingdom. They’re still counting votes, but the Noes clearly have it (the tally stands at 1,877,252 to 1,512,688 right now). I’m not really surprised by this result. Despite the recent polls, I always believed that, when … Continue reading

Posted in British Constitution | Tagged , | 2 Comments

The Road Not Taken: the Government of Scotland Bill

The years leading up to World War I were a time of great constitutional upheaval in the United Kingdom. The protracted struggle over Irish home rule is well known.[1] But while Parliament was agonizing over Ireland, backbench Liberal MPs were … Continue reading

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Rewriting the Constitution on the Back of a Cocktail Napkin

Gordon Brown is a man on a mission: he wants to save the Union. In order to achieve that goal, he has outlined a twelve-point plan that would see additional powers devolved to Edinburgh. But it would also entrench the … Continue reading

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Scottish Independence: No, the Queen Shouldn’t Speak Out

According to the Daily Telegraph, MPs from both parties want David Cameron to ask the Queen to speak out in favor of the Union. This is a terrible, terrible idea. The British Monarchy endures largely because successive Sovereigns have had … Continue reading

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One Office, Eighteen Occupants

The British statute book contains countless references to “the Secretary of State.” At first glance, this hardly seems surprising. However, those four words mask a surprising level of complexity. Should you visit the Downing Street website in order to identify … Continue reading

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The Curious Case of the Anglican Cardinals

When most people hear the word ‘cardinal,’ they think of the bird, the baseball team, or the guys with the funky red hats who elect the Pope. But there’s another type of cardinal—Anglican cardinals. So why does the Church of … Continue reading

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