Sean Swan

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    Sinn Fein and the prospect of a hard Brexit: time to drop Abstentionism

Sinn Fein and the prospect of a hard Brexit: time to drop Abstentionism

Sinn Fein’s presence in the Commons would help focus the government’s mind on the consequences of a hard Brexit for Northern Ireland, writes Sean Swan. The very real prospect of a hard border means the time has come for Sinn Fein to decide whether it is playing the game of politics or not.

The achievement of peace in Northern Ireland […]

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    The real SNP ‘peak’ is yet to come – if Conference deals successfully with two key issues

The real SNP ‘peak’ is yet to come – if Conference deals successfully with two key issues

The cleavages created by Labour’s 2017 electoral performance and by Brexit have made the political landscape more challenging for the SNP. But if the party are able to tack successfully into the new political winds, these challenges can be met, writes Sean Swan, making the forthcoming conference decisive for the party’s future.

The SNP annual conference will be held on […]

Scotland and the myth of the ‘Corbyn bounce’

What explains the SNP’s performance in the 2017 general election? Although recent focus has been on the ‘Corbyn factor’ theory, Sean Swan writes that many factors were at play. Too much focus on Corbyn is not going to be productive for the SNP.

The SNP, or at least sections of it, have been dissecting the general election in Scotland in […]

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    Joint sovereignty? The implications of a snap election for Northern Ireland

Joint sovereignty? The implications of a snap election for Northern Ireland

The key implication of the current political direction for Northern Ireland, especially in light of a snap UK election, is Direct Rule. But what form will it take? Sean Swan writes that there is one form of Direct Rule that would be compatible with the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement: joint sovereignty.

Theresa May has announced a snap election. […]

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    It is the negation of Scotland’s democratic will, not the EU question as such, that justifies an IndyRef2

It is the negation of Scotland’s democratic will, not the EU question as such, that justifies an IndyRef2

It is often assumed that calls for a second Scottish referendum are due to the fact that Scotland voted to remain in the EU but the UK is nonetheless pursuing a Brexit. Sean Swan argues that EU membership itself is not the issue. It is instead the UK government’s reaction to Scottish opposition and its treatment of Scottish democratic […]

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    A democratic outrage: Scotland’s constitutional position and Brexit

A democratic outrage: Scotland’s constitutional position and Brexit

Although reaction to the recent Supreme Court ruling on the triggering of Article 50 has focused on arguments about the sovereignty of parliament, for Scotland it has highlighted once again not that parliament is sovereign, but that the Westminster Parliament is – and that this rule applies even if Westminster intends to legislate contrary to Scottish wishes. Sean Swan […]

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    Three reasons why Brexit has failed to boost support for Scottish independence

Three reasons why Brexit has failed to boost support for Scottish independence

In the immediate aftermath of the UK’s decision to leave the EU, several opinion polls showed a majority of people in Scotland would vote for independence in a hypothetical second referendum. However, as Sean Swan writes, the polling in recent months has shown a consistent majority of respondents opposing independence. He isolates three key reasons why Brexit has not […]

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    Scottish independence and the polls: why Brexit is not a game changer

Scottish independence and the polls: why Brexit is not a game changer

It is easy to assume that Brexit will increase support for an independent Scotland. However looking at recent polls, Sean Swan writes that Scottish support for remaining in the EU does not translate directly into supporting independence as a means of achieving that goal. At the same time, Brexit also appears not to have had a dramatic effect on […]