We need a more democratic Conservative Party to support Boris Johnson in delivering Brexit

The next three months are the most critical our country has faced for many decades. Since we voted to leave the EU on 23rd June 2016 with a clear mandate from the British people, we have made little progress towards the exit, other than triggering Article 50, which set us on a two-year negotiating deadline. […]

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Is Boris Johnson’s Brexit posturing just a power play?

Boris Johnson said the chances of no deal were ‘a million to one’. His government is also actively preparing for it. Phil Syrpis (University of Bristol) argues that the new PM’s true intention is likely to be to hold a general election as soon as possible. The new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has promised that the UK will leave the […]

Prime Minister Johnson has appointed a no-deal Cabinet

After Parliament successfully ended May’s hopes of securing her version of Brexit, Britain now has a new Prime Minister and a new government, all with less than 95 days to go until the UK is due to leave the European Union. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Cabinet reshuffle has been characterised as brutal, but what does the new Cabinet mean for […]

The Removal of Humanity

Occasionally I post about my personal experience of butting up against the consequences of the removal of both common humanity and common sense from the administration of the systems which govern us. It is not that my experiences of this are worse, or more consequential, than those of anyone else. It is simply that I […]

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Brexit behaviourally: which do you think is the bigger figure – £350m a week or £4,300 per household per year?

The Leave campaign’s ‘£350m a week’ figure cut through to voters in the 2016 referendum, while the Treasury’s ‘£4,300 per household per year’ didn’t. Was the relationship between the two figures intuitively self-evident? One is six times bigger than the other. Tessa Buchanan (University College London) looks at some of the behavioural lessons that can be learned from the campaign. Psychologist Daniel […]

Brexit Britain’s Trumpian moment?

Boris Johnson’s adoption of a No-Deal exit as a viable policy option can only be described as Brexit Britain’s Trumpian moment, writes John Ryan (LSE). US President Donald Trump told a crowd in Washington: ‘Boris is good. They call him Britain Trump.‘ German English-language service Deutsche Welle published an article with the title ‘Boris Johnson’s clowning glory‘. Seen as Donald Trump’s boastful […]

Why a US-UK trade deal ought to mean us finally getting some sense from Brussels

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already made it clear he will urgently look for a trade deal with President Trump. From a purely political viewpoint, this clearly makes sense in a world where the EU is mortally afraid of what President Trump might do next to it. However, there is also an economic logic to […]

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How to make the British economy grow post-Brexit

It is still, of course, far from clear what the outcome of the Brexit negotiations will be. Whatever happens, however, the UK is going to be faced with some very crucial economic problems, regardless of the form that Brexit finally takes. For a start, the proportion of our national income which we invest in our […]

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Brexit Britain should learn from what Sir John Cowperthwaite did to transform Hong Kong

The recent history of Hong Kong, from post-war to the British handover in 1997, and in contrast with the unsettled period of today, gives us in Britain important economic and political lessons. Beginning in an island, a port kept apart from the mainland by nature’s moat, such separation contains and incubates, leaving natural boundaries to […]

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Tanker Seizures and the Threat to the Global Economy from Resurgent Imperialism

The British seizure of the Iranian tanker off Gibraltar was illegal. There is no doubt of that whatsoever. The Iranian response to the seizure of its tanker in the Strait of Gibraltar, by the seizure of a British Tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, was also illegal, though more understandable as a reaction. The implications […]

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Boris Johnson’s appointment should prompt Leo Varadkar to reset the Irish Government’s Brexit stance

Last weekend Northern Ireland played host to the British Open for the first time since 1948. Irishman Shane Lowry won emphatically and as the week rolled on, the congratulations continued to roll in for the Offaly man. Naturally our media-savvy Taoiseach was quick with the praise and, as so often is the case, what was […]

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Some more friendly advice from me for Boris Johnson

The next few weeks will see an outpouring of advice for Boris Johnson. All the commentators who’ve spent the last few weeks denouncing him as a walking disaster, womaniser and serial liar will rush to tell him to redeem himself by doing what they want. Which makes me, as someone impartially opposed to his politics, […]

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Episode 49: Brexit and family ties between Britain and the EU

In this conversation with Sean Rowlands, who was born and brought up abroad, moving to London to attend university, Michaela discusses the family ties between Britain and the EU. Thinking about global migration regimes, they question what work Brexit may and may not do to disrupt the privileges of being British within hierarchies of mobility.

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Pressures to recall Parliament over the summer seem likely – what if they occur?

With less than 14 weeks remaining before the current Article 50 deadline, the Commons is not due to meet again for almost six weeks. This creates some very obvious scrutiny gaps. Meg Russell and Daniel Gover (UCL Constitution Unit) suggest that pressures for a Commons ‘recall’ during the summer recess seem likely, but that this will revive difficult questions about who can, and should […]

Post-2016 Britain faces a generation of constraining dissensus

Modern British politics is usually dated to either 1945 or 1979, both years symbolising generational resets that created new consensuses in British politics. As Tim Oliver (University of Loughborough) explains, 2016 is the new year by which British politics is dated. But instead of a new consensus, post-2016 Britain faces a generation of constraining dissensus. The Conservative party leadership race, and Boris […]

Labour MPs should be careful to avoid a Brexit general election at which the party would be trounced

“As democrats, Labour accepted the result of the 2016 referendum.” So wrote Jeremy Corbyn in a letter to Labour Party members following the recent meeting of the Shadow Cabinet which spent a considerable time discussing Labour’s developing policy on Brexit. Accepting the outcome of the referendum, is, of course, not the same as agreeing with […]

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Boris Johnson must empower Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay as a negotiator

After winning the Conservative leadership race and becoming our new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has been about the business of State. One of his most crucial Cabinet positions is his Brexit Secretary. However, during the last three years the role has been verging on ceremonial. Theresa May tied the hands of her Brexit Secretaries in […]

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Johnson’s Westminster Cabinet is Far to the Right of Thatcher

I can only imagine that the media people who are saying this is the most right wing cabinet since the 1980’s were not sentient in the 80’s. Thatcher never had a Home Secretary remotely as illiberal as Pritti Patel, never had a Foreign Secretary remotely as xenophobic as Dominic Raab, never even had a Chancellor […]

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Boris Johnson’s first statement on priorities for the Government as Prime Minister

Boris Johnson delivered the following statement to the House of Commons on the morning of his first full day as Prime Minister which you can also watch here or at the bottom of this post   Mr Speaker, I with permission, shall make a statement on the mission of this new Conservative Government.But before I begin, […]

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