Ciaran Martin with Tom Devine: Where Next for the United Kingdom?
Currently a professor at Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government, Ciaran Martin played a key role as a senior civil servant for David Cameron’s government in negotiating the terms of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. Seven years on, following the re-election of a Scottish government intent on holding another referendum, a constitutional crisis looms: Boris Johnson insists there will be no legal route to a vote, while the Scottish Government claims a democratic mandate to proceed. In a new paper, Resist, Reform or Rerun?, Ciaran Martin looks at what might happen next. Instead of looking at the rights and wrongs of independence or union, he explores how the British state should deal with the possible clash between votes and laws.
For the first time since 1707, he argues the Union may be based not on consent, but on the force of law. If so, what are the options available for a solution? This unmissable event, introduced by leading Scottish historian Tom Devine, takes an expert view of the likely next steps in the constitutional future of our islands.