Devolution and the end of Britian?

James Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Labour politicians have asserted that devolution will strengthen the union, while nationalist politicians assert that devolution is a stepping‐stone to independence. This article argues that Scotland's future constitutional status will depend on a variety of factors. Devolution alters the balance between Dicey's three ‘watchwords’ ‐ unity of government, equality of political rights and diversity of institutions ‐ and that it is the relationship between these allied with the expectations that Scots have of the new constitutional arrangements, including most notably how the centre behaves, that will determine whether devolution is an end or the start of the process of the break‐up of the state.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61 - 82
Number of pages22
JournalContemporary British History
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • devolution
  • constitutional change
  • Scottish independence

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