It’s still the money, stupid: Britain continues to pay into the EU budget

20 Jan

Although Britain leaves the EU at the end of January 2020, it will continue paying into the EU budget until the end of the implementation period. Iain Begg (LSE) says that although the issue has faded from view, Boris Johnson will still have to decide whether to continue paying in order to secure access to … Continued

Ursula von der Leyen | Old friends, new beginnings: building another future for the EU-UK partnership

8 Jan

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, gave a speech at LSE on 8 January 2020. It is a great pleasure to be back here at the London School of Economics – a place which brings back so many happy memories for me. The year I spent here taught me so much … Continued

‘Get Brexit done’: Johnson’s election win won’t allow the EU to move on from Brexit

8 Jan

Boris Johnson’s victory in the United Kingdom General Election has been welcomed in the European Union for the ‘clarity’ it is said to bring to the question of Brexit. However, the only certainty at this point is that, from early this year, the UK will no longer be represented in EU institutions. As Ferdi De Ville and Gabriel … Continued

Long read | Brexiteers might have succeeded, but Brexit will fail

15 Nov

After the conclusion of negotiations between the twenty-seven EU Member States and Boris Johnson’s government on the UK’s EU withdrawal agreement, Brexiteers seem to finally be on the verge of achieving their goal, writes Thierry Chopin (ESPOL/Bruges). But will Brexit succeed? Probably not, or else in its current form it will cause many losers, including those who voted to leave the EU […]

Gibraltar and Brexit: the triangulation of Britishness, Empire and Spain

5 Nov

The relationship between the UK and Gibraltar is complex, being both non-colonial yet perversely defined in colonial terms. These complexities become even more pronounced when it comes to Brexit, explains Jennifer Ballantine Perera (University of Gibraltar). Of all of Britain’s former Imperial enclaves, Gibraltar’s interest in the 2016 Brexit referendum was bound to be keener than most – not only because […]

The Withdrawal Agreement Bill is a victory for Ireland. But what of Britain? 

22 Oct

Should the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, as negotiated by the Johnson administration, go through it will represent an astonishing victory for Ireland, writes Conor Gearty (LSE). But what of Britain, he asks?  One of the undesirable aspects of the Brexit affair has been the way it is forcing so many of us back into the national silos from which we thought we had escaped. […]

Johnson has defined Brexit. Now it is for the opposition parties to defeat it

21 Oct

Only if the opposition parties accept that Boris Johnson has now defined Brexit can it unite to defeat his deal, writes Phil Syrpis (University of Bristol). Trying to redefine the terms of the deal will exasperate the public and probably end in failure. The path to remain lies in a second referendum or general election. Super Saturday turned out to […]

Only a ‘reverse Greenland’ for Northern Ireland can resolve Brexit

11 Oct

Given the impasse over the future of the Northern Ireland border, argues Solon Solomon (Brunel University), the only solution is to implement a ‘reverse Greenland’ – where Northern Ireland would remain part of the EU. Boris Johnson recently tweeted a video of a baby making his first steps. He captioned it ‘Let’s get Brexit done’. Yet these baby steps post-Brexit […]

Knowing Me, Not Knowing EU: how misunderstanding the EU means misunderstanding the UK (and makes it harder to leave)

8 Oct

As the EU’s infamous ‘awkward partner’, the UK has a rich history of not quite getting what it means to be European. The latest round of Brexit negotiations are no exception. Zoë Jay (University of Tasmania) explains why misunderstanding the EU means misunderstanding the UK, and that makes it harder to leave. Continuing with his trademark flying-by-the-seat-of-his-pants approach to diplomacy, Prime […]

The Visegrad Group’s approach to Brexit has been a missed opportunity

4 Oct

The Visegrád Group had some success in influencing David Cameron’s renegotiation, but its ambition to influence the first stage of the Article 50 negotiations remained largely unfulfilled, writes Monika Brusenbauch Meislová (Masaryk University). The Visegrád Group (VG; also referred to as the Visegrád Four) is a multilateral platform of four Central and Eastern European states (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) which […]

Boris Johnson’s alternative to the backstop explained

4 Oct

Since Theresa May’s Lancaster House speech, the position of the UK government has been that the UK should be outside the single market and the customs union after Brexit. At the same time, the UK government has committed to protecting the Good Friday Agreement by not accepting any physical infrastructure at the Irish land border. As a result, the Brexit […]

Brexit crunch time: do all paths lead to an early election?

17 Sep

There are plausible reasons to think that an early election is likely, writes Hudson Meadwell (McGill University). In this blog, he outlines the possible paths that lead there. The two most likely paths to an early election, in his view, are new deal-ratification-withdraw-early election or no new deal-withdraw-early election. I expect that prorogation will eventually be ruled lawful (if not constitutional). Jonathan Sumption, a former […]

Does New Zealand provide Brexit lessons for Britain?

10 Sep

What lessons does New Zealand provide for Brexit Britain? Hamish McDougall (LSE) argues that while parallels between New Zealand and Britain in the event of no-deal Brexit are tenuous, New Zealand’s approach to free trade remains a relevant historical case study. Insights into a no-deal Brexit can be found, of all places, in 1970s New Zealand, according to a recent Bloomberg news article. This […]

Long read | The EU Settlement Scheme needs to be a declaratory registration system

9 Sep

In the first part of this blog, Stijn Smismans explained why the government’s EU Settlement Scheme will lead to Windrush type scenarios and how a declaratory registration scheme can overcome that problem. In part two, he first sets out what an effective declaratory registration system will look like. He then identifies what is probably the best legislative vehicle to introduce this […]

Since the referendum, the EU has set the Commons agenda

29 Aug

The continuing stand-off in the House of Commons is a complex mélange of partisan party competition, constitutional and territorial politics and personal ambition, and can be difficult to untangle, argues Hudson Meadwell (McGill University). How should we go about figuring out what is going on, and how can we provide some structure by which to think about the state of play […]

The insecurity of a new no-deal Brexit Prime Minister

14 Aug

The economic consequences of the UK leaving the European Union without a deal have received significant attention, but a no-deal Brexit would also have important security implications. Helena Farrand Carrapico, Jocelyn Mawdsley and Richard G. Whitman explain what leaving the EU without a deal might mean for the UK’s internal and external security, as well as the country’s future security […]

Boris Johnson’s real agenda: The ‘Singapore scenario’

12 Aug

While immediate political attention has focussed on urgent questions of how, when or if Britain’s new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, will succeed in taking the UK out of the EU, the longer-term agenda of a Johnson-led Conservative administration has been pushed into the background. This is unfortunate. Johnson’s dream, should his premiership survive, is of a post-Brexit Britain akin to […]

Long read | It’s the English, stupid! Brexit is an expression of English nationalism

6 Aug

It’s the English, stupid! Hudson Meadwell (McGill University) writes that the national structure of the UK and Britain, and the political organisation and expression of that structure, are keys to understanding Brexit. Brexit is an English-centric phenomenon in which Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales appear as complications or afterthoughts. The sole constitutional voices in the Brexit process are English-dominated, first in the referendum itself, […]

No-deal Cabinet: time for another Bank of England stress test

2 Aug

With the new Cabinet made up of ‘Vote Leave veterans and right-wing free marketers’, Costas Milas discusses how the Bank of England may want to respond. Evan Esar quipped in his Comic Dictionary that statistics is ‘the only science that enables different experts using the same figures to draw different conclusions’. This definitely applies to the notorious Brexit divorce bill […]

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

31 Jul

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

30 Jul

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 […]

Brexit Britain’s Trumpian moment?

29 Jul

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 […]