Skip to site navigation

Press Release: No surprises in UK government legal advice on Scottish independence, says Constitution Unit

11 February 2013

Commenting on the legal advice published today by the UK government, the Director of UCL’s Constitution Unit Prof Robert Hazell said:

“This legal advice comes as no surprise. We have been saying for the last 10 years that an independent Scotland would have to apply to re-join the EU and other international bodies. That should not cause Scotland too much difficulty, because Scotland easily meets the admission criteria. But in the eyes of the world the rest of the UK will be the ‘continuing state’. That is what the international law precedents suggest; and the rest of the world will want to recognise the rUK as the continuing state, for reasons of predictability and stability”.

“We reached this conclusion on the basis of 18 months’ research” Prof Hazell continued. “And because of its importance, we published that chapter of our book in draft and tested it at an expert seminar in Edinburgh. So we are very pleased that two such distinguished experts as Prof James Crawford and Prof Alan Boyle have come to the same conclusion. It is also the view of the experts who have given evidence to the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee on this point”.

Notes for Editors

Prof Hazell is available for interview on Monday afternoon, tel 020 7679 4977 or email ben.webb@ucl.ac.uk

The Constitution Unit conducted an 18 month research project into the legal and constitutional path which Scotland would need to follow to achieve independence. The conclusions were published in J Murkens and P Jones: Scottish Independence – A Practical Guide (Edinburgh University Press, 2002).

As part of that project the Unit held a seminar in Edinburgh with a group of experts in European and international law. The experts supported the Unit’s conclusion that an independent Scotland would have to apply to re-join the EU and other international bodies.

Prof Hazell and Dr Jo Murkens recently gave evidence on this point to the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee’s inquiry into the Foreign Policy Implications of a separate Scotland. Their evidence was given on 16 October, and can be seen at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmfaff/uc643-i/uc64301.htm

Join the Debate

Blog

‘English Votes for English Laws’ —a viable answer to the English Question?

Tue, 07 Jul 2015 09:00:15 +0000

Daniel Gover and Michael Kenny outline the government’s detailed proposals for introducing EVEL that were published last Thursday. They argue that, while incremental and modest in some respects, the proposals do raise wider points of constitutional principle which suggest English Votes could be the start rather than the end of a much longer process of […]

Read more...

Was the 2015 election the most disproportional ever? It depends how you measure it

Mon, 29 Jun 2015 10:00:54 +0000

The 2015 election has been described as both one of the most disproportional elections ever and one of the least. Alan Renwick discusses the notion of electoral disproportionality and weighs up the relative merits of the different indexes that have been developed to measure it. In a report published earlier this month, the Electoral Reform […]

Read more...

The age of the new Parliament

Thu, 25 Jun 2015 09:05:31 +0000

The 2015 general election saw the election of the youngest MP since 1832. Chrysa Lamprinakou draws on Parliamentary Candidates UK data to highlight the slow but steady downward shift in the age at which MPs start their careers and the variation across parties. In our previous blog, we discussed the new Parliament’s composition in terms of gender […]

Read more...
Mailing List

Connect with us

RSSFlickr

Footer menu