United kingdom

To save the Union, ignore Gordon Brown

As he blasts his way through the remaining support beams of the UK constitution, Gordon Brown is doing more to deliver Scottish independence than the SNP. The former Prime Minister is reportedly poised to recommend that Labour adopt ‘devo max’ as a policy, which would see the SNP-run Scottish parliament handed yet another tranche of powers. Only defence and foreign policy would remain in the hands of Westminster: everything else would be at the whim of Nicola Sturgeon. The theory is that by increasing the powers of Holyrood, the Scots’ appetite for independence will be sated. But is no evidence for this, and 23 years of evidence against it. From

Brexit Britain should help vaccinate Ireland

I’m worried about Ireland. My family’s homeland is being ravaged by Covid-19. It now has the highest infection rate in the world, according to the expert Covid-watchers at Johns Hopkins University in the US. Ireland’s seven-day rolling average is an eye-watering 1,394 Covid cases per million people. That is way ahead of the UK (810 per million), the US (653 per million) and Germany (248 per million). It has been a sudden and startling decline. Back at the start of December, following a six-week lockdown, Ireland had the lowest infection rate in the European Union. Now it has the highest in the world. Many of the newest infections — around

The continued existence of the United Kingdom is now at stake

When they come to write the history of the Union’s demise, there will be three guilty men. Tony Blair was a transformative prime minister, but he nodded through devolution after allowing himself to be convinced that it was an administrative change, rather than an unravelling of the United Kingdom. Many believe Iraq to be the blot on his legacy but contracting out the rewriting of the constitution to the Scottish Labour Party would cut against anyone’s greatness. David Cameron has no claim to greatness, but he deserves to be the toast of Scottish nationalists. The Conservatives had opposed devolution as a one-way ratchet towards separation, but once in government failed