Would the United Kingdom survive an exit from the EU?

All the talk of a Brexit seems to have ignored one salient fact: that a British withdrawal from the EU would spark a constitutional crisis regarding the devolution settlement, and potentially lead to the breakup of the United Kingdom.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

Would the United Kingdom survive an exit from the EU?

All the talk of a Brexit seems to have ignored one salient fact: that a British withdrawal from the EU would spark a constitutional crisis regarding the devolution settlement, and potentially lead to the breakup of the United Kingdom.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

This week's editor

Ray Filar

Ray Filar is co-editor of Transformation and a freelance journalist.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Iraq: the assault on minorities

Islamic State is certainly a threat—but not mainly to the West, as the horrific experiences of members of minorities in Iraq testifiy.

Rifkind: good riddance

Malcolm Rifkind has faced public rage this week. He deserves every decibel of it.

The uncertain future of the Crimean Tatars

Taniec tatarski (Tatar's Dance). Juliusz Kossak painting - Wikipedia.jpg

As reports of kidnapping, intimidation and criminal investigations into Crimean Tatars continue to emerge from the peninsula, the future of this Turkic minority looks uncertain.

 

Home, for Algeria’s Jews, is elsewhere

7589Intolerance towards Algerian Jews has been driven by geopolitics and history, not religion. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate, Religion and Human Rights. العربية

Arrest of a nonviolent leader in the Maldives challenges the international community

‘Terrorism’ charges might give the government leverage against a bid made by Nasheed to participate in any official political action at any point in the future. What happens now?

Forget venture capitalists: how a scrappy composting co-op found another way to get support

How can a just and sustainable society be financed in a capitalist economy? 

The left needs to confront its illusions about the EU

How can we voice opposition to the EU without sounding like Nigel Farage?

The PR campaign behind the Saatchi Bill needs exposing

How Lord Saatchi’s Medical Innovation Bill team undermined the government consultation into their own bill, and how the government let them get away with it.

Why does Germany insist on a failed programme for Greece?

The elephant in the recent Eurogroup meeting room was Greece's 2010 failed structural readjustment programme, admonished by Yanis Varoufakis as 'fiscal waterboarding'. Why does Germany persist in defending it?

Greece and the eurogroup: capitulation or breaching austerity's dam?

George Papandreou cancelling his referendum was a capitulation. Tsipras and Varoufakis achieving new space and flexibility and four months to achieve a genuinely new approach was quite an achievement.

Syriza's limited options

Unless Syriza changes its rhetoric now and unless it explains the facts about the EU and the economy, it will be incapable of justifying any of these decisions to its voters several months down the line.

Poland: trust no one but the law

Last week the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg rejected a Polish appeal on CIA-prison cases involving the violation of numerous human rights' guarantees on behalf of two Guantanamo detainees. This was an important lesson. 

Mexico: active civil society key to ending culture of impunity

A renewal of democracy should be the means to cleanse Latin America of its history of corruption and abuses of power. But as the Mexican case shows, unless democracy is extended by enhancing civil society, its promise will not be realised.

Defending human rights in a digital age

Public Debate: Defending human rights in a digital age is being livestreamed from Goldsmiths media and communications department, University of London at 5.30.pm GMT this evening. Read more.

Tough to swallow: TTIP’s threat to our food and farming

For the sake of our food and its impact on our environment, TTIP needs to be stopped.

Public service broadcasting at a crossroads

The timing of today's report on the 'Future of the BBC' is vital to understanding its argument. The Corporation is likely to be a major issue in the coming elections. 

From electricity suppliers to doctors, why do many reject the modern imperative to 'shop around'?

A new report by the Competition and Markets Authority highlights how poorer people are failed by energy markets. Jonathan Tomlinson finds the same for health - and for understandable reasons. 

The international community and the crisis in Yemen

If Hadi is to build on the popularity he gained in recent days, he needs to prove that he is the rightful heir to the 2011 revolution. That is the kind of support Hadi needs from the international community, not just kind words and drones.

Lose the licence fee, abolish the Trust

A new House of Commons report sets out the issues for the forthcoming review of the BBC Charter. It calls for the abolition of the BBC Trust and a long-term replacement for the licence fee. 

Iraq, a new war's peril

The post-9/11 wars In Afghanistan and Iraq never really ended. But in the campaign against Islamic State, their maps are having to be redrawn.

Despite claims of progress, labor and environmental violations continue to plague Apple

Though Apple claims that 2014 was "a year of progress," reports from labor rights groups and researchers reveal troubling labor and environmental violations continue unabated.

Four options for configuring the UK

Unitary state, devolution, federalism or confederation? Andrew Blick discusses four options for configuring the UK.

A theatre of narrative

The performance of stories in various fringe venues has gathered enough momentum to present the possibility of a Theatre of Narrative where the art of storytelling is as vital as other performing arts.

The Saatchi Bill is not about 'innovation' but 'improvisation'

We already have a sound structure for innovation. What this Bill will deliver is medical improvisation with virtually non-existent patient safeguards.

Referendum on the academic boycott of Israel at SOAS

London's School of Oriental and African Studies is holding a referendum on whether to cut ties with universities in Israel—an experience which will be transformative in more ways than one.

Resetting Palestine's political system

Repairing the Palestinian political system cannot wait any longer. In Arabic.

Britain and Austria: clashing on EU state aid

Britain's application for £17.6bn in EU subsidies for the construction of the brand new Hinkley Point nuclear power station has drawn the ire of Austria's government, who say that such a subsidy is illegitimate and unethical.

Obama's human-rights lacuna in struggle against ‘extremism’

The US president went on the front foot against fundamentalist violence in the Middle East at a summit in Washington. But he was hobbled by his failure to place human rights in the region front and centre.

Where has all the wildlife gone in Siberia?

Widderkopf_B CC Hajotthu Crop.jpg

Poaching is drastically reducing numbers of many wildlife species in Siberia, and government at national and regional level doesn’t seem to care.

Would the United Kingdom survive an exit from the EU?

All the talk of a Brexit seems to have ignored one salient fact: that a British withdrawal from the EU would spark a constitutional crisis regarding the devolution settlement, and potentially lead to the breakup of the United Kingdom.