The new need-to-know term of the Coronavirus era is: “circuit-breaker”. Scottish and UK Government ministers are openly talking about the possibility of a circuit-breaker lockdown to stem the spread of covid-19. The October holidays is rumoured to be the week when the Scottish Government will introduce the measure, though it would probably extend to the […]

Circuit-breaks and faulty currents



The title of what Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced yesterday, ‘Job Support Scheme’, flatters to deceive. The key thing to be aware of is that employers are being asked to pay one-third of the topping up of a worker’s wage who has been moved from full-time to part-time hours, which many of them are not going […]

Sunak’s ‘Job Support Scheme’ is a deception


Are you a ‘Kurzarbeit’ or a ‘chômage partiel’ person? UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak will make an important statement to the House of Commons this afternoon about what will replace the furlough scheme at the end of October, with debate rife about whether German or French models will be preferred, or something completely different altogether.  The Kurzarbeit […]

Beyond furlough



“We’re taking one step forward, five steps back,” Devi Sridhar, professor of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh and on the Scottish Government’s covid-19 advisory group, wrote yesterday, in summing up her exasperation about the covid-19 situation in the UK. She’s not wrong.  Lockdown was a big social sacrifice, one where the vulnerable suffered […]

‘One step forward, five steps back’




There is a constitutional curiosity in the UK Government’s Internal Market Bill which professor Michael Keatings, Centre for Constitutional Change director, has identified, and is worth reflecting on. Until now the UK Government operated a system of powers which was fundamentally different from that of the EU. Some powers are reserved and some are devolved, but […]

Britain’s new unitary state


Brexit’s back. Of course, it never went away. But for three years it dominated UK political debate, before the decisive December 2019 General Election finally set Britain on a definitive course for leaving. The pandemic then knocked it out of the headlines. We are three-quarters of the way through a transition year until the UK […]

The stakes are raised in Brexit poker