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My essay two weeks ago on the challenge of preserving the UK produced a bigger postbag than any of my articles for at least the last five years. And strikingly, they were almost all on the theme not so much of “What will it take to keep the Union together?”, as I had positioned my essay a fortnight ago, as “What is the reason for trying to preserve the Union at all?” It is a question that needs to be answered.
Having just returned from a week’s holiday in Scotland, and seen the degree to which the country is increasingly diverging from England, I am more convinced than ever that the Union of the United Kingdom is at risk, and that Unionists in London have little idea of the seriousness of the threat or how to counter it. A debate on the governance of the UK, and how the four nations relate to each other and to the Union, is urgently needed.