Scotland & Ireland: A Constitutional Moment for Change?

Our Speaker

Dr Paul Gillespie, Univ College Dublin

Last month, our Greater Glasgow group asked Dr Paul Gillespie to join them. He talked about Scotland and Ireland, comparing and contrasting our two nations : constitutionally, economically, politically and historically. That’s a pretty extensive remit for an hour or so’s meeting but they made a good start!

Paul Gillespie is a former foreign affairs editor for the Irish Times. Now he focuses on research as a political analyst working in the field of Irish, Scottish and UK issues. For example:

  • sovereignty, sharing it, and the effects of Brexit
  • Constitutional Futures after Brexit. This is joint research by Univ College Dublin, Univ College London, Queens Univ Belfast
  • Future referendums in Ireland and Scotland. What shape might they take? This is ongoing joint research with the Centre for Constitutional Change at Edinburgh University.

Dr Gillespie have a highly interesting overview of possible futures that may emerge in Ireland and Scotland. Of course, Brexit impacts strongly on those futures. And the way the current London government is implementing Brexit provides an additional dimension to that impact.

Our Questions

My favourite question from the audience after the talk is the one about how to deal with Perfidious Albion 😁. Other questions were:

  • what happened to pensions when Ireland split? At the time there were War Pensions, RUC Pensions and pubic pensions and are were paid into British funds.
  • how do you see the Irish Sea Border complications with EU playing out with in any Scottish negotiations? 
  • can you give us any tips on how to deal with Perfidious Albion? you’ve plenty of experience with them.
  • if UK started acting towards Scotland in the way that Spanish Government did towards Catalonia, would Ireland / EU give us support?
  • how are state pensions funded in Eire?
  • can you think of benefits for each other that would emerge from a reunified ireland and an independent Scotland?

You can listen to the meeting here: