Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A declaration of referendum

According to some Scottish politicians, devolution was just the first step. Now that the Scottish National Party has a majority in the Scottish Parliament, it's making plans for a referendum on independence. Cameron's government is negotiating. There's good information here about the extent of devolution now.

Thanks to Rebecca Small who teaches at Oakton High School in Virginia for pointing out the Washington Post article.

Will Britain break up? UK government to offer Scotland powers for binding independence vote
Breaking up is supposed to be hard to do — but Britain’s government confirmed Tuesday it would happily offer Scotland the powers it needs to sever centuries-old ties to England.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s government said it would sweep away legal hurdles to allow the Scots a vote on whether their country should become independent for the first time since the 18th Century Act of Union, which united Scotland with England to create Great Britain.

But in return, Cameron — who opposes any breakup of the United Kingdom… is urging Scotland to make its intentions clear “sooner rather than later.”…

Since Scotland voted in favor of a domestic legislative body in 1997, its parliament has had autonomy over education, health and justice and can make minor alterations to income tax. For now, London retains primacy on all matters relating to Britain as a whole — including defense, energy and foreign relations…

Recent opinion polls indicate rising support for independence, after surveys showed backing for the separation hovering at about 30 percent for several decades…

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