Re: constitutional arrangements
>I still don't know the difference between a country and a state.
A state is a largely legal construction based on international law and recognition of one state by another. A country or even more so, a nation, may or may not also be a state and of course there are all sorts of disputed situations. The Kurds see themselves as a people, a "stateless" nation if you will. Tibet is a country, but China considers it a Chinese territory (in the legal sense of territory) whereas its government in exile consider it an occupied sovereign state. There are many, many examples of peoples who consider they are a country or a nation but which have no state which expresses that at the level of sovereignty under international law.
If we look at the case of the United Kingdom, both England and Scotland ceased to exist as separate sovereign states as of the date at which both were incorporated into said United Kingdom. It would be hard to argue that either ceased to exist as countries or nations, however. Separate legal, educational and religious systems were maintained, and there is a [purely symbolic] border between the two. It would also be hard to argue that being either English or Scottish is not a primary part of the identity of most of the inhabitants of those two countries, even if they have shared a unitary state for 300-odd years, and leaving aside the thorny question of how much that specific identity is or is not in conflict with the shared identity of Britishness for any particular individual.