Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Union


The Union of 1707 and the art of the deal
For Scotland, Britain was built upon a bargain. Renewing that bargain needs England to engage (21 February 2021)

State aid and the union state
Defending the Union is not the same as owning the Nats. Tory disdain for devolution post-Brexit endangers it even further (18 July 2020)

Hard choices
The SNP should debate whether a separate Scotland should join the EU post-Brexit. But all their options are bad (10 February 2020)

1707 and 1973
Scotland, the UK and Brexit (9 January 2017)

A plea for my three countries: Britain, Scotland and England
I have no vote in the referendum on Thursday.  But the second of my countries may be on the verge of divorcing the third and abolishing the first (17 September 2014)

Northern Ireland

Special cases
Northern Ireland is a post-conflict region with a unique border challenge. Don’t use it as a grievance or a rhetorical trick (14 October 2019)

Brexit and a balanced backstop
The backstop is supposed to be a last-ditch solution. We’re seeking tolerable imperfection. This idea might fit the bill (6 September 2018)

Consent and conciliation
Brexit and the Border (4 March 2018)

Northern Ireland at Westminster
Confidence, supply and the principle of consent (20 June 2017)

Brexit deals (extensive discussion of the Northern Ireland backstop)

Not all Brexit Deals are alike
On balance, I supported Theresa May’s Deal. I can’t support Boris Johnson’s (19 October 2019)

The Brexit Deal: avoiding the worst comes first
MPs should choose the dispiriting, but safer, course (10 December 2018)


Cashing in on discontent?
National gripes, public finances and a fractured Union (1 October 2018)