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This article picked by a teacher with suggested questions is part of the Financial Times free schools access programme. Details/registration here.


  • AQA Component 1, Section Devolution: impact of devolution on government of the UK

  • Edexcel Component 2, Section 1.3: The role and powers of devolved bodies in the UK, and the impact of this devolution on the UK

Background: what you need to know

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Scottish government is not entitled to hold a second referendum on independence without the approval of the UK government. This is a power that is reserved to Westminster under the terms of the devolution settlement.

The SNP-led government consequently finds its options limited as it continues its push for independence. It is likely to treat the next general election as an alternative means of demonstrating public support for its agenda — a course of action which, as the article points out, is not without risk.

Click to read the article below and then answer the questions:

Scotland needs go-ahead from London for independence vote, UK court rules

Question in the style of AQA Politics Paper 1

  • ‘Devolution has failed to meet the needs of the UK’s various nations and regions.’ Analyse and evaluate this statement. In your answer you should draw on material from across the whole range of your course of study in Politics. [25 marks]

Question in the style of Edexcel Politics Paper 2

  • Evaluate the argument that the devolution settlement does not meet the needs of the UK’s nations and regions. In your answer you should draw on relevant knowledge and understanding of the study of Component 1: UK politics and core political ideas. You must consider this view and the alternative to this view in a balanced way. [30 marks]

    TIP: The difference between elections and referendums is an area relevant to both questions. Would a good performance by the SNP in a general election be as good an indicator of support for Scottish independence as a ‘yes’ vote in a referendum

Graham Goodlad, Portsmouth High School

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