1/ Big publication coming next week👀

The Working Group on Unification Referendums on the Island of Ireland launches its interim report on 26 Nov.

This will contain a wealth of considered analysis.

But first, here’s what you need to know about the report and the Group 👇
What’s the report about?

It explores how any future referendum on Northern Ireland’s constitutional status would best be designed and conducted. The Group is neutral on whether a unification referendum should be held & on what the outcome should be

What is the Working Group?

The Group comprises researchers at universities in Belfast, Dublin, London, & USA, chaired by Unit Deputy Director @alanjrenwick. It is independent of both governments and all political parties.

The launch of the report kicks off a consultation period, which will inform the Working Group’s final report in spring 2021.

Here's more details on the project: bit.ly/3nI5RJs
And sign up to the Unit’s webinar for the launch of the report now: bit.ly/2UKsOiM

📅3 Dec @ 1pm

Chair of the group, @alanjrenwick will be joined on the panel by Clare Salters, Alan Whysall & @martinkettle. The session will be chaired by Unit Director Meg Russell.

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More from @ConUnit_UCL

19 Nov
🚨 Government defeats in the House of Lords 🚨

Our website has been updated with two government defeats yesterday in the House of Lords on the UK Internal Market Bill.

To check out summaries of their effect and voting breakdowns see our website ⬇️⬇️ ucl.ac.uk/constitution-u…
These are in addition to the three record-breaking defeats on the Bill the government at second reading and committee stage ⬇️⬇️

Two more days of report stage for the UK Internal Market Bill are to come next week. The government was also defeated on two amendments to the Fire Safety Bill earlier this week, and are currently debating Commons amendments to the Private International Law Bill.
Read 4 tweets
18 Nov
🚨Starting now!🚨

Meg Russell joins the final #OxfordPutneyDebates🗣️

Meg will be discussing all things parliamentary sovereignty. Get involved: bit.ly/OxPD2020

The debates have been fascinating so far🧠
Meg Russell @UKandEU Senior Fellow opens by saying parliamentary sovereignty is confusing🤔 and Brexit made it even more so...

Meg explains that this stems from fundamental disagreements about what parliamentary sovereignty is. Image
Meg explains five different variants of parliamentary sovereignty. Meg states that what distinguishes them is ‘sovereignty over whom’.

Are we talking about sovereignty over the judiciary, the executive, devolved bodies, the people, or international affairs?
Read 6 tweets
20 Oct
HUGE defeat in the House of Lords on the #InternalMarketBill - we believe the biggest since Lords reform in 1999

395 peers opposed the government, just 169 supported, a margin of 226. Biggest prior defeat was by 191 on the Counter-Terrorism Bill in 2008

Total 39 Conservative rebels, incl. recently-resigned Lord Keen and Theresa May's former Chief of Staff Gavin Barwell.

Also Michael Howard and various other former Cabinet ministers.

103 independent Crossbenchers against the govt; just one in favour. All 7 Bishops against.
The vote was on the 'regret' motion proposed by former Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge.

To regret "that Part 5 of the bill contains provisions which, if enacted, would undermine the rule of law and damage the reputation of the United Kingdom.”
Read 6 tweets
23 Sep
NEW BLOG🧵(1/14)

@CommonsProcCom Chair Karen Bradley argues that the system of proxy votes + in-person voting for MPs during the pandemic is flawed & puts parliament at risk

Ahead of a debate today, she proposes a temporary return to remote divisions

2/14: The Commons Procedure Committee last week published its report on proxy voting in the House; today MPs will vote on whether to continue to permit its use for baby leave, and will consider proxies as a means of managing COVID-related absences.
3/14: Although the pilot scheme for baby leave did not satisfy everyone, the Procedure Committee concluded that it had worked well, and the motion to be debated today proposes to make that system permanent.
Read 14 tweets
10 Sep
We're joining @involveUK this morning for the launch of the #ClimateAssemblyUK report 📖

Over 100 citizens from across the UK met for four weekends of learning, deliberating and voting

Watch the live stream from the @NetZeroUK home page
2/ The assembly was established by six select committees to inform their work on how the UK can meet its target of net zero by 2050.

It is designed to strengthen and support decision making in parliament by providing a valuable body of evidence about the views of the public.
3/ The 108 assembly members who committed nearly 60 hours to the process, came from “all walks of life and across the UK”. The youngest was 16 and the oldest 79, including people who work for the NHS, business owners, full time carers and many others.
Read 8 tweets
1 Sep
NEW BLOG: With the Commons returning today, Meg Russell reviews 13 episodes in Boris Johnson's relationship with parliament during his 13 months as Prime Minister.

This relationship has often been remarkably rocky. But is that sustainable?

1. Becoming PM on 24 July 2019, Johnson held office for just 1 day before MPs broke up for summer recess.

There was no immediate chance to quiz the detail of his Brexit plans, and no chance to recall parliament (as that is controlled by the government).

2. The defining controversy was then Johnson's attempt to prorogue parliament for five weeks as the Brexit deadline approached.

In a case where one challenger was former Prime Minister John Major, this was overturned in the Supreme Court.

Read 15 tweets

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