In relation to Scotland the Supreme Court has called the devolution legislation a fundamental constitutional settlement (H v Lord Advocate  3 WLR 151, ). However, typical of constitutional change in the UK, the devolution provisions for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were made without regard to any general system of constitutional reform and left fundamental issues unresolved. These include the position of England and its regions, financial issues that underlie democratic accountability, and the pathway of future changes. This has shown itself particularly in the chaotic arguments surrounding the referendum in Scotland of September 2014 in which a proposal for Scottish independence was defeated by a majority of 55 to 45 per cent. At a late stage in the campaign, the UK government was panicked into undertaking to give Scotland increased taxation powers, apparently without considering the impact of such an undertaking on the wider issues, and potentially unravelling the structure of government throughout the UK (Section 16.6). The devolution arrangements in Northern Ireland are unstable due to the absence of a clear settlement between the two power sharing political groupings. The restricted – although expanding – form of devolution given to Wales has also created some instability. The UK is a union of what were the separate states of England and Wales, part of Ireland, and Scotland. It is far from being a unified territory, having been cobbled together over the centuries by conquest and treaties. The history of the three territories is very different and reflected in different devolution arrangements.
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