Chapter

<i>New Unions for Old?</i>

Neil MacCormick

in Questioning Sovereignty

Published in print October 1999 | ISBN: 9780198268765
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191713118 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198268765.003.0012

Series: Law, State, and Practical Reason

New Unions for Old?

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Throughout the European Union, there is a growing tendency to a kind of two-tier confederalism. Looking at insular developments in the light of the European mainland, the new pattern of devolution in the United Kingdom (UK) may be interpreted as yet a further instance of quasi-federalism inside a state which itself is confederated with the other member states of the Union. If the UK is becoming a kind of federation, is England to be within it one federal state, or a patchwork of federal regions? Any full-dress federation that would constitute England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales as the states of a federated United Kingdom is not seriously imaginable. This chapter looks at the issues surrounding federalism in the UK, potential solutions to the problem, the creation of the Council of the Isles, and internal and external questions concerning independence.

Keywords: European Union; United Kingdom; devolution; federalism; quasi-federalism; confederalism; independence; England; federation; Council of the Isles

Chapter.  6338 words. 

Subjects: EU Law

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