The UK, Brexit, the missing federalisation, the rise of Scottish independence

In an article I published for “The New Federalist” in May 2015, I argued that the EU Membership was a stabilising factor for the UK and that, given the political preferences of Scotland and other regions, removing the EU Membership would increase the rift between the four nations of the United Kingdom. In that article, I did not mention the problem of the Good Friday Agreement and Northern Ireland, and maybe I gave too much space to English regionalist parties, but here we are.

Unfortunately, it turns out I was right. Four years later, the United Kingdom has never been so divided. Under the Withdrawal Agreement, Northern Ireland will be kept inside the Custom Union aligned with the Republic of Ireland, but likely no longer aligned with the rest of the UK, while custom checks will be performed in the Irish Sea. According to polls, in Northern Ireland the divide between the catholic/nationalist and protestant/unionist community has started deepening again ( Whereas in Scotland support for independence has never been so high and has never been so persistent. (Naturally, Johnson’s mismanagement of Covid-19 is making everything worse. The contrast between Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and PM Boris Johnson has never been so evident.)

At the same time, the perspective and the proposals for a full and true federalisation of the UK has never been so remote. The Conservatives, by definition a “one-nation” party, have always opposed plans for applying federalism in the UK (it used to oppose devolution as well). By contrast, Dominic Cummings, the real power behind Johnson’s throne, seems to prefer plans for centralising more and more powers in the hand of the Executive, by attacking the Civil Service and “removing-and-blocking” all the critical voices and potential opponents. Johnson-Cummings vision for Britain is that of a centralised, minimal state, functional to the Brexit-supporting power/business groups. In their plan, all forms of federalism and local government are just an obstacle to remove.

In five years, a federal United Kingdom has become the most unlikely scenario, while the argument and the support for Scottish independence have never been so strong. In order to “take back control” and to bring the UK back to a neo-imperial golden age, made of dreams like “global Britain” and “Commonwealth 2.0”, Brexiteers are fulfilling the prophecy of a UK break-up, while turning Britain in the most isolated and least internationalised country in Europe.
This is what Brexit means.

You can retrive the original article here

Nice to meet you, Francesco Violi

Welcome to my place

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

Hello fellow readers. My name is Francesco Violi. I am a PhD candidate with work experience in the European institutions (namely the Commission), and I use to blog about federalism, European politics, economics and every other topic I love (and have a clue about).

I was born in Parma some years ago. My youth has been dedicated to the interest of Europe and federalism. I have always found the idea of uniting people and bridging disagreements with arrangements and bargains rather than military conflicts and wars so fascinating and intriguing, that it kept coming back over and over again among my passions. This is why I dedicated myself for years to JEF in my home town and home region Emilia-Romagna, before I ventured into my PhD experience.

As PhD I aim at studying federalist theories of European integration. Currently, I am studying EU integration as federal-state building, and I am aiming at proving the pros and cons of this approach.

Don’t expect me to talk just about the EU. You will find also a lots of stuff on my other passions. History, food, travels, art

I really hope you’ll enjoy my blogs and that you’ll find food for thought here.

This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed in this blog are personal and do not represent or reflect the opinions or views of people, institutions or organisations that the owner may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity, unless explicitly stated.