After the referendum

The last weeks and months have been dominated by the debate on the referendum question “Should Scotland be an independent country?” 55% of those who voted said No and 45% said Yes. So now we move on.

One curious feature of the debate was that there was little focus on the question of what issues are best dealt with at what level. In a sense that was what the debate was all about but it was rarely presented in that way. The point is relevant to this blog because there is, in my view, a strong argument that some big private law issues are best dealt with at EU level and not at either Scottish or UK level.

To put it simply, we do not need 28 or more different systems of private law within one internal market with free movement of goods and people. A dispassionate observer might say that a European civil code would be a good idea.

However, the debate showed that nationalism (even if it is called civic nationalism and even if ethnicity, language and religion were not issues) is still capable of arousing strong passions especially if it gets mixed up with policy questions more suitable for a general election. A European civil code might be a sensible solution if the matter is viewed dispassionately, but politics is not dispassionate.

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