by Paul Gillespie
Director of the ‘Constitutional Futures after Brexit project’ in the School of Politics and International Relations at UCD; columnist with The Irish Times and member of the IIEA’s UK Expert Group
This paper aims to examine the state of the UK government in 2023, how it has progressed to this point regarding conservative statecraft, and possibilities for the future in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. The paper reflects on journalists and experts’ views regarding governing competence in the UK, and seeks to establish how and why UK unionists may have to adapt to constitutional reform if it comes to Scottish Independence and/or Irish Unity. The author acknowledges the “deeply uncertain state of British politics and weakening character of its political union”, drawing conclusions on the likelihood of a new Labour government in the next election, and how they might cope with the outcomes of the Conservatives’ most recent statecraft.