An update on the boundary review. Back in September I published notional figures for the proposed boundaries in England & Wales. I’ve now updated those to include Scotland as well (this is partly because the Scottish boundary Commission published later, but it also took much longer to do – the Scottish Commission are much happier to split wards between constituencies, which probably leads to constituencies that better follow communities… but it makes it trickier to work out notional figures.)

Notional figures for new boundaries for England, Wales and Scotland

The partisan effects in Scotland are no great surprise. The SNP won 56 of Scotland’s 59 seats in 2015, so it was inevitable that most of the losses will be SNP. That aside, on the new boundaries they will be even more dominant. Orkney & Shetland is a protected seat so the sole Liberal Democrat constituency is retained, but Labour and the Conservatives will both see their single Scottish constituency disappear on the new boundaries.

Edinburgh South, the lone Labour seat in Scotland, is split between the new Edinburgh East and Edinburgh South West & Central seats. Both will notionally have an SNP majority of over 4000 – Edinburgh East will be a SNP-Lab marginal, with a SNP majority of 7.9%, Edinburgh SW&C will be a three-way marginal with the SNP in first place, the Conservatives in second place and Labour close behind them.

Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale, the lone Tory seat in Scotland, mostly goes into Clydesdale & Eskdale, with the rest of the seat split into several much smaller parts. The new Clydesdale & Eskdale seat will have a notional SNP majority of about 5000. On paper the best seat for the Tories will be the new Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk seat, with a notional SNP majority of only 1.3% (though that’s an increase from 2015).

Now we have notional figures for the whole of Great Britain we can work out national totals and what sort of swings would be needed for parties to win a general election on these boundaries.

The 2015 general election had results of CON 330, LAB 232, LDEM 8, SNP 56, Others 24.
On the proposed boundaries the 2015 general election would have been CON 319, LAB 203, LD 4, SNP 52, Others 22. The Conservatives lose 11 seats, Labour lose 29, the Lib Dems 4 and the SNP 4.
Note that on the boundaries proposed for the abandoned review in the last Parliament the results would have been Con 322, Lab 204, LD 4 and SNP 50 – so this new boundary review is actually marginally worse for the Tories than the one that was blocked before the election.

I should add my normal caveat that these notionals are an accounting exercise – projecting how people voted in each ward, moving them into their new seats and totting up the votes. It does not take into account that some people might have voted differently in 2015 if they’d lived in different seats, for that reason I suspect it may slightly underestimate the Liberal Democrats (and it’s possible that the Greens might actually have saved their seat).

We can also look at what difference the boundaries would make to the leads each party needs to win an election.

  • Currently the Conservatives need to have a lead of 5.7% to get an overall majority (hence the 6.5% lead they actually got translating into only a tiny majority). On the proposed boundaries the Tories would get an overall majority with a lead of only 1.9%.
  • In contrast Labour currently need a towering lead of 12.6% to win an overall majority, and the boundary changes would move that target even further away, requiring a lead of 13.5%. To even be the largest party Labour would need a lead over the Conservatives of 4.7% (up from 3.9% on the current boundaries).

(One might reasonably wonder why, if the review makes nearly all the seats the same size, it still leaves the Conservatives in a better position than Labour. This is because different seat sizes is only one part of how votes translate unevenly into seats. The crucial part in explaining the present Conservative advantage is the distribution of the vote and the impact of third parties. The collapse of the Liberal Democrats and the growth of the SNP and UKIP means the system now favours the Conservatives. The Lib Dems are primarily strong in areas that would otherwise be Tory… but now win very few seats, UKIP have largely taken votes from the Tories, but this has not translated into many seats. In contrast the SNP are now utterly dominant in an area that previously returned a large number of Labour MPs. What this means if that if there is a Lib Dem revival or a Labour revival in Scotland the skew towards the Conservatives will unwind.)

These are only provisional recommendations – the boundary commissions will revise them based on the consultation period, so much of the detail will be tweaked before the final recommendations. It’s also far from a certainty that they will actually be implemented when they are complete. Earlier this month Pat Glass MP had a Private Members Bill which if passed would tweak some of the rules of the review, requiring the Commissions to start the process again from scratch and therefore probably delaying it beyond the election. I doubt the Bill will go far – it is nigh on impossible to pass a Private Members Bill in the face of government opposition. However, second reading did highlight some opposition to the boundary changes. Firstly, the DUP spoke against the boundary changes – there had been some speculation around conference season that there had been some sort of deal and the DUP were onside. They are apparently not. Secondly two Conservative MPs (Peter Bone and Steve Double) voted in favour of the Bill. It doesn’t take many rebels to stop the boundary changes progressing…


295 Responses to “Boundary review update”

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  1. Steve 5.33 yesterday

    referring to Scotland – ‘Normal politics will resume eventually’.

    Indeed – but it is still unclear what ‘normal’ now means in the Scottish context.

    Even if the SNP were to suffer the normal reduction in support for a party which has been in power for a long time – and it will soon be ‘too long for its own good’ – it is quite unclear as to who might replace it, even temporarily, as a dominant party, either at Westminster or at Holyrood.. Labour is still a shambles. The Tories, even if they are now the main oppostition party in Holyrood, are a long way from being a candidtae for government in Scotland. Can anyone see Labour, LDs, and the Tories combining to oust the SNP? The SNP needs to go into opposition soon, for its own sake as much as for the sake of the democratic process. But no-one seems any the wiser as to who it is might replace them in government.

    Thread:
    As for AW’s analysis of the Tory and Labour Westminster seats in Scotland being either abolished or changed, if I were a betting man I might hazard a fiver (one of these new plasticky things) on the Tories gaining a seat in the north east – possibly Gordon and Deeside – as well as the Borders seat and Edinbiurgh SW&C already mentioned by AW – and Labour regaining the Inverclyde seat. Livingston might also be worth a shout for Labour, though Curry and Balerno (the Edinburgh wards lumped in to make up the numbers) are hardly hotbeds of socialism! Falkirk possibly? There are several others, I am sure, which may well vote differently next time round.

    The question is, of course, whether the unionists of SLAB and the Tories will hold their noses and vote for the candidate most likely to beat the SNP. My guess is that many of the SNP seats were won last year because Tories preferred a strong left wing SNP presence as the third party in Westminster rather than a left wing (relatively!!!) government with Labour MPs in a majority. I doubt that Labour will be in a position to challenge the Tories at Westminster next time round, and this may well lead to fewer Tories voting SNP. On the other hand if would hardly energise SLAB voters either.

    So, returning to Steve’s original comment: what exactly does ‘normal’ now mean in the Scottish context?

    The real interest will probably be in finding out which two SNP MPs will have to give up their Westminster careers as the number of available jobs drops from the 56 (or 54, is it, at present, with two suspended?) to 52 (LDs still a shoe in in O&S? Or is the Carmichael ticket not worth the paper it’s written on any more??).

  2. Old Nat 1.08 a.m.

    You covered most things, I suspect, but until Labour and the Scots Tories are on board with ‘real’ Devo-Max what options are available to us?

    I still find the Tory position utterly incredible: they complain about the Barnet formula, and yet know that without it Scotland has no real reason to remain in the UK, so they keep it, thus ‘subsidising’ the Scots and complaining about it at the same time;
    they say that Holyrood now has powers of taxation, and shouuld use them, whilst still dictating the overall economic policy within which Holyrood has to function. So it is still ‘here is your pocket money, but we decide what you are allowed to spend it on and what all the prices are’.

    In my view, real ‘Devo-Max’ would include a change to the House of Lords, such that English regional and national (Welsh, NI and Scottish) voices would be heard on a proportional basis (i.e. not FPTP) and the new Upper House would have an equal say with the Commons (now callled something else, of course) on financial policy.

    I would vote for that, I think.

    :-)

  3. Commons are the new Lords?

  4. I just wonder how long it will take for the government to realise there can be no secret negotiations with the EU and that they will have to agree to some transparent process, which is disclosed to all interested parties. This will include UK Parliament and EU Parliament.

    From what i am reading, many legal experts believe that the Supreme Court purely looking at the law will decide that Royal Prerogative cannot be used as a way of negotiating away UK rights which are detailed in many acts of Parliament passed over 40 years.

    The problem will relate to Article 50 and what happens after the 2 years is up. If they believe there is any confusion about the Article 50 process, it will be referred to the ECJ. As this is the first time this process has been used, they might decide that the ECJ is the right court to decide on this. It will add months before any court decisions and then i expect a full bill of Parliament before Article 50 process can be started. Therefore no negotiations on Brexit until 2018 and any Brexit likely to be close to 2020 election.

  5. @ Old Nat

    “What fascinating results in California!”

    Yes indeed. People weren’t lying when they said that they were not voting for Trump.

    Also, can I just point something out for a factual reality check? Mr. Trump says that he would have won the popular vote if he campaigned nationwide (and also if not for all the voter fraud). But I’d like to point out that he did come here and campaign! He brought out UGE crowds and massive responses of local law enforcement. In fact, one such rally was in Anaheim. In 2012, President Obama won Anaheim by just over 7000 votes. Their mayor is a conservative Republican. Hillary’s current lead in Anaheim is over 23,000 votes. I haven’t seen this big a fall since the Lib Dems in Brent Central!

    “However, they remind me more of Scotland in 1997, when many Scots Tories voted for New Labour (equals Clintonism?) or SNP – or 2007 & 2011, when Labour collapsed at Holyrood, before hitting even lower depths in 2015 and 2016.”

    But this is different. Blair won as a charismatic opposition leader after 18 years in the political wilderness. If anything, voters should have broken towards the GOP, not against it.

    “It needs several electoral cycles to see serious change confirmed. That Republican donor base could easily switch back, if that party can distance itself somewhat from the far-right that currently seems to dominate it.”

    I think it depends upon race. The Asian-American voters are not coming back to them. The whites eventually will. Though I suspect with the corruption already started, there will be more defections. The acceptance and acquiescence to Trump by Republicans will be their death knell.

    “I guess the real challenge for California is whether they are actually willing to exert the maximum amount of their sovereignty to protect the state and its citizens from the excesses about to be projected from the Washington sewer!”

    Sigh, yes.

  6. @ Socal

    Do you think there is any chance of recounts in some states changing the position ?

    I don’t fully understand the situation in regard to signing off election results in different states and the audit process. What if they found out that hacking had taken place or the electronic vote counters had errors ?

  7. Fascinating, if disturbing story on the power of the internet – https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/dec/01/gamergate-alt-right-hate-trump

    It certainly looks like there is a good deal of management and manipulation going on, and this really does threaten the progressive gains made in recent decades.

    One of the critical advances society has managed to make was to draw out bigoted views and opinions and make them unacceptable in the public domain. While a good thing, this isn’t the same as eradicating them. The internet has provided the secret environment for such views to flourish, enabling the anonymizing of hatred, and after a while, the far right has hit upon the idea of farming this fertile territory for recruits.

    It is becoming quite frightening to see how they are so effective in crossing over from the online and into the real worlds. I’m hoping the progressives are watching and learning, and starting to organize. We need a fight back, and fast.

  8. R HUCKLE
    As this is the first time this process has been used, they might decide that the ECJ is the right court to decide on this. It will add months before any court decisions and then i expect a full bill of Parliament before Article 50 process can be started. Therefore no negotiations on Brexit until 2018 and any Brexit likely to be close to 2020 election.

    I think we’re pretty much on the same page here. I don’t think it would necessarily be in “open” court, as the Supreme Court could ask the ECJ for a decision on A50, which could be decided upon by all the ECJ judges behind closed doors.

    The EU 27 would be as annoyed as the Brexiteers, though, since the 2019 MEP elections would have to take place in the UK, with the probability of UKIP doing even better than in 2014 and disrupting everything they can unless the anti-EU press have a dramatic change of mind.

  9. http://news.sky.com/story/eu-immigration-to-uk-hits-record-level-at-284000-10678703

    Brexit vote accelerates EU migration. Said this would happen. And they will apply to become UK citizens in due course.

    If you look like you are about to close any border, you will see more people coming. And then once here it will be difficult for them to go back to their country of origin. If we are in the EU, then you have a two way movement, where they might come for seasonal work and go back again. Leave the EU and it might be one way traffic for awhile.

  10. @tancred

    “It’s constitutionally dubious enough for there to be Scottish MPs at Westminster now,”

    So UK citizens in Scotland should have no representation on foreign policy, defence policy, security, immigration, macro economic policy, the majority of taxation, and so on. Really?

  11. JOHN B

    On HoL reform I think the simplest thing to do would be to just get rid of it altogether and just have the Commons. There are I believe quite a few parliaments around the World where this has happened including New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, Finland,Greece and Luxembourg.

  12. Manufacturing PMI for November 53.4%, down on expectations but still solid.
    Rob Dobson, Senior Economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey: “The latest PMI indicates that the UK manufacturing sector remained in good health during November. Although the recent growth spurt showed further signs of slowing, the pace of expansion is still solid and above its long-term trend. This should be sufficient to ensure manufacturing is a positive contributor to fourth quarter GDP.

    The £ is performing well again this morning against the $, Euro and Yen.

  13. @HIRETON

    “@tancred
    “It’s constitutionally dubious enough for there to be Scottish MPs at Westminster now,”
    So UK citizens in Scotland should have no representation on foreign policy, defence policy, security, immigration, macro economic policy, the majority of taxation, and so on. Really?”

    I did not say that – I mean to say that the West Lothian question raises issues about how you can combine devolution with representation in the national parliament (i.e. Westminster).

  14. @R HUCKLE

    “http://news.sky.com/story/eu-immigration-to-uk-hits-record-level-at-284000-10678703
    Brexit vote accelerates EU migration. Said this would happen. And they will apply to become UK citizens in due course”

    No surprise. The same happened with Asians coming into the UK in the 1960s before the Commonwealth Immigrants Acts of 1962 and 1968.

  15. THE OTHER HOWARD @ JOHN B
    On HoL reform I think the simplest thing to do would be to just get rid of it altogether and just have the Commons.

    That would be simple enough, but it would only increase the problem, which already exists, of poor drafting resulting in laws which need to go through the courts in order to establish what they really mean. Some kind of revising process is needed – albeit not necessarily by elected officials.

    But the real problem is the asynchronous nature of the HoC. Turning that chamber into an English parliament would solve the size problem which already exists, and the HoL could be replaced with a proportionally elected senate for the whole UK.

    That in turn would cause a problem in that the PM in the senate would probably have less power than the English FM in the HoC. OTOH, other countries manage well enough with a president with few powers so it’s hardly an insurmountable one.

  16. There was an attempt to correlate the Brexit vote to poor schooling this morning but i prefer to see it as tribal:

    As Tacitus the Roman Historian wrote after the Claudian re-invasion of Britain In AD43 when he spoke of The British in comparison with the Gauls:

    ” there is the same boldness in challenging danger,and when it is near,the same timidity in shying from it,The Britons,however, exhibit more spirit as being a people whom a long peace has not
    yet enervated.Indeed,even the Gauls were once renowned in war; but after a while sloth following ease crept over them and they lost their courage along with their freedom.THIS TOO HAS HAPPENED TO THE CONQUERED TRIBES OF BRITAIN.THE REST ARE STILL WHAT THE GAULS ONCE WERE.”

    The conquered tribes were in london and the south east while the other tribes lived in the remainder. No doubt the conquered tribes would have voted to remain in the Empire while the rest would have voted out. You dont want to know what he had to say about the Caledonians!

  17. @OLDNAT

    “So, on the basis of your logic should we describe the English and Welsh as careless and incautious? It would seem a tad foolish to do so – despite many seemingly having that characteristic. :-)”

    More than the Scots, for sure.

    “But, with E&W deciding to go off in a huff, and dragging us with them causes a real problem in Scotland.”

    It does indeed – but it also causes a problem for many English people such as myself! I am being forced to accept a situation that I find intolerable simply because 51.9% of voters wanted it. And unlike a general election there is no regular vote every few years that can change the situation.

    “Scots (like everybody else) want the best of all possible worlds! – though we know that is impossible. So we have to wait and see what Brexit throws up – then we can decide the best strategy.”

    And if it throws up a mess – then what?

    “Sadly, Devo Max is never likely to be on offer from Westminster, so unless it can be achieved via continues Single Market membership (or similar) then we are left with the binary choice that Cameron forced on Scotland in 2014 – stay in the UK, or leave it.”

    Devo-Max will not be offered because it would make the West Lothian paradox a full reality: Scottish MPs being able to vote on a wide range of issues not affecting Scotland.

  18. @S THOMAS

    The world of 2000 years ago was a very different place. The Romans themselves bore little resemblance to modern Italians, for a start.

  19. I think if the HoL is abolished, a kind of constitutional court would have to be set up that looks at every law, both primary and secondary (maybe getting rid of the latter, banning executive orders that are not included in the primary legislation), and one that any citizen could petition on any law.

  20. Tancred

    Italy did not exist of course. However, 2 of the legions who came over in that Invasion contained members of the voting tribe from around the lakes area of what is now northern italy and caractacus was almost certain to have been beaten by Thracian auxiliaries containting a high number the germanic tribes.

  21. How can my last comment be awaiting moderation. Is there a rule that you cannot mention thracians!

  22. Today’s immigration numbers mean that a total divorce from the EU is now inevitable.
    No Single Market, no EEA, no Customs Union.
    The Leave voters will demand nothing less than full control of our own affairs in the kingdom.

  23. @ S Thomas

    Sure you can mention thracians, whatever that is.

    Moderation is a mystery. I think that there is a setting, that every so many posts by a contributor will go into mod, so they can be reviewed.

  24. @ Jasper22

    What do you think is driving them to the UK more quickly ? Might it be that the Brexit vote has prompted them to take the chance while they can. The good thing about freedom of movement is that they won’t think it was necessary to apply for UK citizenship and will just come for seasonal work.

    All that would happen after a hard Brexit is a system where immigration opportunity into the UK is available worldwide, with EU citizens being part of visa system. It would be more controlled, but not to tens of thousands. And do you have any confidence in UK border staff removing people who have overstayed their visas ?

  25. R. Huckle

    Actually thracians are from modern day Bulgaria which is an interesting slant on modern immigration. About 500 bulgarian fighting soldiers stationed in shropshire Ad-43-49. They come over here….

  26. @S THOMAS

    Strictly speaking Thrace is a region which covers Bulgarian, Greek and Turkish territory, so they could have come from any of these modern countries.

  27. TANCRED @ OLDNAT
    Devo-Max will not be offered because it would make the West Lothian paradox a full reality: Scottish MPs being able to vote on a wide range of issues not affecting Scotland.

    It was the Blair government’s refusal to consider real federalisation that created the problem because at heart he was a control freak.

    But it could be solved by turning the HoC into an English Parliament. A senate would then be needed, but only for defence & foreign affairs, probably with no more than 100 senators.

    Initially at least, Wales & NI would need regional funding to replace Barnett. There would also need to be some equalisation funding re defence.

  28. S THOMAS
    How can my last comment be awaiting moderation.

    You at least get the chance to see what you posted and review what you wrote. One of the things I have noticed is that taboo words like l!es don’t only get modded when they are posted alone – for example in bel!es.

    Try looking again at your post and see if any of the longer words you used have a smaller taboo word inside them and rephrase accordingly.

  29. @BARBAZENZERO

    As a matter of fact how does the German federal system work?
    Do the individual states have Devo-Max or a looser system?

    How does that affect representation in the Bundestag?

  30. tancred

    you are correct but this was not a history lecture.

    what google will not tell you and see my original post is that the particular auxilary unit had been stationed in Germany for a considerable period of time and as was the practice probably recruited a %of Germans.

  31. I see from the latest immigration figures that 189,000 EU citizens arrived in the period measured, whereas 629,000 NI numbers were issued to EU citizens.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/internationalmigration/bulletins/migrationstatisticsquarterlyreport/dec2016

    The official explanation for this is that the difference is accounted for because of short-term migration – i.e. people coming over for seasonal work, getting an NI number and then returning. However I wonder what mechanism, if any, exists to ensure that Child Benefit for instance (and other benefits) stops being paid when they return home?

  32. TANCRED
    As a matter of fact how does the German federal system work?
    Do the individual states have Devo-Max or a looser system?

    I don’t know much about the German system other than it being somewhat less devolved than Switzerland, where the individual cantons have the power to choose to leave the confederation [Geneva is actually a Republic, for example]. Wiki’s Federalism in Germany seems much as I would expect, with:
    The exclusive legislative jurisdiction of the federal government extends to defense, foreign affairs, immigration, transportation, communications, and currency standards.

    Overall it seems pretty close to what Scotland would regard as devo-max except re transportation.

  33. Tancred

    You may well think it is nonsense, but the vast majority of the 17million plus who voted to leave want control of the border.
    They demand nothing less , and will ensure HMG delivers.

  34. BZ @ Tancred

    “the German system other than it being somewhat less devolved than Switzerland”

    I think you know very well that neither of these countries has a “devolved” system, but I think the constant use of misleading terms has confused the likes of Tancred (to whom more later).

    They are Federal States, and like every other Federal state, the “sub-state units” (to use the jargon) are sovereign entities like the Federal authority – each within their respective areas of jurisdiction.

    Their powers are not “devolved” (and able to be taken back at any time) from the centre but theirs in their own right.

    Tancred

    This IS a history lesson! :-)

    The 1707 Union political structure was a reasonable one for a very early voluntary union between two independent states. In those days, Parliaments didn’t deal with much else other than defence and foreign affairs, so there was thought to be little prospect of either unit interfering with the domestic affairs of the other.

    That is not how matters turned out, of course, and interference by Westminster in Scottish religious affairs contributed to the civil wars of 1715 and 1745.

    As the UK Parliament in the 19th century increasingly legislated on internal matters, the system creaked badly, which was what led to demands for and granting of the post of Secretary of State to deal with administrative devolution of powers to Scotland.

    During the 20th century, the failure by Westminster to make time for much legislation on Scottish affairs (except as “tag-ons” to English Bills, became a severe problem.

    The restored Scottish Parliament in 1999 was mainly just given legislative power over what was previously administratively devolved.

    It spent much of its early years dealing with the backlog of legislation that had bedevilled progress in areas like housing.

    The only thing that means that Scottish, Welsh and NI MPs vote on English only matters is the insistence by Westminster that the UK Parliament doubles up as the English Parliament.

    Take that problem away by creating an English Parliament, and there is no difficulty in having a Federal system within the UK.

    Of course, that would involve England having to deal with something new and different to make a leap into the unknown (which on this year’s experience they may enjoy).

  35. OLDNAT

    Mea culpa. In my defence, I did try to make it short.

  36. BZ

    Have you seen the UK Government’s response to the case made by the devolved administrations?

    https://t.co/3ovEM63wYZ

    In essence it appears to be

    1. The Sewel Convention is not justiciable, and Westminster can do anything it likes at any time – and there is no legal protection against Westminster

    2. Even if it were, it’s nothing to do with the case, and the devolved legislatures can butt out.

    While we’ll need to see what the SC says about this argument, politically it makes a complete nonsense of everything that the Unionist parties said at the time of the indyref.

  37. @John B ” the new Upper House would have an equal say with the Commons (now called something else, of course) on financial policy. ”
    And what do you do if one says Yes and the other No?

    @BZ et al on Lord’s reform etc
    I don’t think any sort of conversion exercise is likely to result in a system fit for purpose. Replacing a system which has grown up over centuries calls for careful thought and planning. Root and branch reform stating with a clean sheet of paper is called for. Whether the result would gain agreement is another matter.

    @OldNat In the history books I read at school ‘the civil wars of 1715 and 1745’ were referred to as ‘Jacobite rebellions’ intending to return the Stuarts to the throne (and Wikipedia continues the tradition.)
    Perhaps it’s because history is written by the winners.

  38. Dave

    “Perhaps it’s because history is written by the winners.”

    Very true. Though I’ve always thought that the US and UK names for the 1775-83 conflict are telling.

    Americans tent to talk about the American Revolutionary War” while Brits about the “American War of Independence”.

    One might have expected the terminology to be the other way around – though the current usage may be thought to bolster the national pride of the US, and mitigate the failure of the British.

  39. OLDNAT
    Have you seen the UK Government’s response to the case made by the devolved administrations?

    I hadn’t, so thanks for that, not that it might as well just said: “Get back in your box”. So much for “A Scottish Parliament is recognised as a permanent part of the United Kingdom’s constitutional arrangements“. On the bright side, I can’t see Lords Reed & Hodge being overly pleased.

    I can’t find any link to the McCord rebuttal yet, but perhaps that will turn up later today or tomorrow.

  40. OLDNAT

    The rebuttal to McCord’s case is on p11 of the PDF in 20b:
    The establishment and functioning of the devolved institutions under the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and the Belfast Agreement assume, but are not conditional upon, ongoing membership of the EU.

    The nub of the Belfast Agreement rebuttal is on p42 in 105:
    The Appellant relies upon a particular (non-textual) interpretation of section 1 of the 1998 Act which provides that the status of Northern Ireland – as part of the United Kingdom – will remain unless majority voting in a poll defined in Schedule 1 give their consent to change. The Appellant contends that this provision must be read purposively to include the status of Northern Ireland as a constituent country of the European Union.

  41. BZ

    “The Appellant contends that this provision must be read purposively ”

    I thought that all documents had to be read with regard to their purpose, but maybe “purposively” is a legal obscenity I hadn’t come across before!

    New Caledonian thread btw *where AW continues to post wrong data on the SNP constituency vote – hopefully just a temporary situation, till he gets the kid to bed.

  42. @JASPER22

    “Tancred
    You may well think it is nonsense, but the vast majority of the 17million plus who voted to leave want control of the border.
    They demand nothing less , and will ensure HMG delivers.”

    Yes, and 16.1 million (and many others who didn’t bother to vote) don’t see it that way. 37% of the electorate have no right to make demands on the rest of the country and their demands can be rebutted by the government.

  43. OLDNAT
    “The Appellant contends that this provision must be read purposively”

    Different strokes for different folks. It’s the must I’d have thought most likely to alienate the bench.

    Off to the new thread…..

  44. TANCRED

    It might surprise you to learn – and it certainly surprised me, that those who voted to leave the EU did so because the schools in the North of England are pretty poor !

    Well that’s according to Sir Michael WIlshaw

    The Brexit vote was fuelled by ‘resentment’ in poorer communities over a north-south divide in education, the Ofsted chief has said.
    Sir Michael Wilshaw said many people in the more economically deprived areas of northern England felt ‘alienated’.

    This was a final speech before a retirement, but it’s a clear political signal which will do nothing for his reputation.

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