An institutional mismatch: why ‘taking back control’ proved so appealing

7 May

‘Taking back control’ was a key element of the Leave campaign’s case for Brexit, but why did the principle find such resonance among the British public? Drawing on a new study, Susanne K Schmidt (University of Bremen) says it is important to recognise that some core features of the UK polity contrast with the EU’s political system. … Continued

Is this a return to no deal? Probably not – but there will be losers

28 Feb

The EU’s General Affairs Council has agreed on the negotiating mandate for the next phase of Brexit. Although the key points were already well-known and have barely changed, British negotiators will now have to work out the most problematic sections of the mandate, writes Iain Begg (LSE). Some sectors are bound to lose out. For … Continued

How Brexit will affect disabled people’s lives and rights

13 Jan

Disabled people will be affected by Brexit in a number of ways, writes Charles Whitmore (Cardiff University). First, there will be no obligation for Britain to match EU rights law, nor a right of appeal to the European Court of Justice. They will also lose EU funds and the European Health Insurance Card, which makes … Continued

The path to a Brexit which gives us back control is to give a robust negotiator a solid majority

1 Dec

Article 184 of the Withdrawal Agreement has been the subject of some debate on BrexitCentral between myself and Ben Habib MEP, whose latest thoughts on the subject (following a meeting with myself) appeared a few days ago here. For readers not familiar with it, Article 184 of the Withdrawal Agreement is an important provision and […]

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If Boris Johnson secures a majority, the transition period will not be extended beyond next year

15 Nov

Boris Johnson’s on-the-record announcement last weekend that he will negotiate a SuperCanada-style Free Trade Agreement (FTA) – and that there will be no extension to the transition period after the end of 2020 – should give reassurance to all Brexit supporters that he is on a path to deliver a Brexit which gives us back […]

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The European Court of Justice’s pernicious role in the Withdrawal Agreement

14 Nov

In amongst all the various shocking Articles in the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) lie four Articles which in of themselves require that that agreement is never ratified. They are Articles 86, 87, 89 and 184. Each requires its own attention in order to appreciate their pernicious nature and that of their combined effect. Article 86 authorises […]

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The Johnson deal is not perfect, but we cannot afford to delay the Brexit process any further

6 Nov

I read Ben Habib MEP’s article on BrexitCentral yesterday and thought it important to explain in a bit more detail why I think he is wrong – and why the Brexit Party is risking Brexit itself and doing so based on a false premise. I have great respect for all those who have fought so […]

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Why the Brexit Party maintains that Boris Johnson’s deal is not Brexit

6 Nov

There is an understandable desire amongst many Brexiteers to accept Boris Johnson’s deal. Everyone is battle weary, but it is precisely at this point that Brexiteers must be resolute. This is no time for political expediency. The EU wants the UK remain in its union. It has, for the last three years, waged a guerrilla […]

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If he wins a majority, Boris Johnson would be well-placed to play hardball with the EU in negotiating the future relationship

31 Oct

Does Boris Johnson’s deal Take Back Control of our borders, our laws, our trade and our money? Yes, on balance it does, despite the doubts. After the transition period we leave the Single Market and Customs Union, can cut tariffs, negotiate trade deals and change our own rules, regulations and taxes. We will have our […]

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There is a good reason countries are not lining up to seek an EEA-style deal from the EU

29 Oct

What the European Union is attempting to do in its current dealings with Switzerland is to force the country to accept a political agreement fundamentally similar to the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement which Swiss voters rejected in a referendum back in 1992. Just like the EEA Agreement, the proposed EU-Swiss agreement would mean an […]

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At DExEU I saw the May Government agree to Brexit in name only – now we must free ourselves from the EU’s shackles

3 Oct

I worked for two years as a civil servant at the Department for Exiting the European Union. I cannot fault the staff I worked with, who represent the very best and brightest that the British Civil Service has to offer. DExEU felt more like a start-up business than a lumbering ministry of state: it was […]

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How sad that British courts are becoming as politically predictable as the European Court of Justice

24 Sep

The Supreme Court has ruled that the prorogation of Parliament was illegal. That is now the law so the Government must, and will, obey it – like we obey Acts of Parliament. But just as we can criticise an Act of Parliament, we are entitled to criticise this judge-made law. The issue of prorogation itself […]

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Boris Johnson should beware resuscitating the ‘dead’ May deal – even if the EU agree to scrapping the backstop

18 Sep

Let’s start with some recent history: the reason Boris Johnson is Prime Minister is because Theresa May’s draft Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration failed three times in Parliament. Its failure, combined with May’s inflexibility, led the 1922 Committee to be persuaded, by its former Chairmen among others, that the only way forwards for the Conservative […]

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Even if the EU offer to remove the Backstop, here’s why the draft Withdrawal Agreement must still be rejected

30 Aug

To some, Boris Johnson’s upbeat talks with EU leaders last week cast a glimmer of late summer sunlight on the Brexit impasse. There appears to be a sliver of a chance that the EU may yet return to the negotiating table in the coming weeks, perhaps because it is dawning on them that this Prime […]

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Brexit will allow the UK to develop a more fulfilling and cooperative relationship with our European neighbours

26 Aug

In the 1960s, after I had graduated with a first-class Oxford postgraduate law degree, I joined the British Foreign Office as the top entrant of my year. There, I worked for a couple of years on European affairs and was eventually posted to the Embassy in Brussels. After this exposure to the realities of what […]

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