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Thursday 17 September 2014

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Peter Kellow, DRP Leader, comments...

In this article in Moneyweek today, Merryn Somerset Webb reaffirms what is becoming increasingly clear - whatever the result of the referendum the Union will suffer a severe blow.

She explains as a Scot how things will not just become messy south of the border they are already very messy north of it as the rifts in Scottish society and politics are laid bare. With the close 50/50 result predicted you are going to have only half the people on your side - whichever side that is.

All this has been for a long time understood by the DRP as we have emphasised the need for a proper federal constitution for the Union for the stresses and strains within it to be resolved permanently. Such a federation would require a completely new written republican constitution. And this could only work as a federal republic.

This is described on the website here

What we are now going to witness is a desparate scrambling around for some kind of quick fix devolved solution by politicians who have not the least idea of how federal structures work. And let's us be clear - whatever you call it, it is some quite of federal arrangement that we are talking about

I have made a special study of federations over a number of years and judging by the rarity of the published information I am one of the few.

Essential to any federal system is what theorists of federalism call "symmetry" - that is all the constituent parts have to have roughly equal weight and all must bear the same constitutional relationship to the centre and to each other. So you cannot have England as a constituent as has been proposed by many as it will outweigh the rest.

A symmetrical British Federal Republic would look something like this -


When I was in Morocco two years ago my driver explained that the position of one of the provinces next to the Algerian border had had to be changed for reasons particular to it and consequently the constitutional arrangements for all the other provinces had to be changed in a similar way even though for them the reason for the change did not exist.

Moroccans like my driver understand instinctively the need for federal symmetry. In this British politicians have a lot of catching up to do - except as we know they will never make it.


Alex Salmond set out to split the UK. But he’s done something else along the way: he has split Scotland.

Merryn Somerset Webb

The debate up here in Scotland isn’t particularly civilised. Sure, there isn’t much violence about, but we are unquestionably now a nation entirely split.

There’s anger in the air, and I’m hearing more and more stories of friends and families no longer talking to each other. Even I look around at friends who intend to vote the other way from me, and wonder if I will still want to have them over for a drink if their side wins and mine suffers as a result.

Alex Salmond set out to split the UK. But he’s done something else along the way: he has split Scotland.

The consequences of that divide will last long after the referendum is over, regardless of which way it goes.

Unfortunately, that’s not just a problem for Scotland. It’s one for the wider UK as well.

You see, it doesn’t matter whether the vote is yes or no. The result is still uncertainty, volatility and a change in the UK’s global reputation as a good place to be. That is bad news for anyone with investments in sterling or anything else tied to the UK’s position as a safe haven.

Read full story ......