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Sir James Thornhill’s “Ceiling of the Painted Hall” at Greenwich (1707-14) celebrating the Protestant succession of English monarchs

© Photononstop/SuperStock

The Scottish government will soon issue a draft independence bill, and it will include an interim written constitution. If Scotland becomes independent, this constitution will be modified, amplified and ultimately ratified by a formal convention in 2016. In a sense, the exact provisions of this document—if it materialises—will be of less immediate significance than the fact of its existence. It would signal Scotland’s difference from the rest of the…

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