Britain after Brexit: Toxic referendums and territorial constitutions, by Professor Jim Gallagher


Referendums are held up as the gold standard of democracy. After a state regulated and funded campaign, the people make a decision, which government then honours. But referendums can go toxic: two different pathologies can produce anti-democratic outcomes. The Brexit referendum suffered from both, but paradoxically it opens up opportunities for quite radical changes to the UK's territorial constitution. So Scotland has the chance to avoid compounding the UK's errors with another potentially toxic vote, and instead it and the UK can settle on a constitution that most Scots can assent to. This paper suggests what such a deal might look like if political leaders had the courage to make one.


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