The proposed immigration system will inflict untold damage

27 Feb

“The UK’s Points-Based Immigration System” Policy Statement, published last week, presents a drastic change to immigration in the UK. Monique Hawkins, on behalf of the3million, representing EU citizens and their family members who have already made their home in the UK, offers their point of view. The government’s proposal is ambitious. It’s difficult to ignore that some … Continued

Long read | From Anglo-Irish to British-Irish relations: What’s next?

26 Feb

Brexit has unleashed complex and often interconnected consequences that impact on Ireland and the UK. Consequently, the context of British-Irish cooperation is now fundamentally altered. The dramatic changes that have occurred since 2016 have led to two burning core questions: how to define it now and what is the future path British-Irish relations, writes Etain Tannam (Trinity … Continued

Power for power’s sake: Johnson’s profoundly alarming premiership

25 Feb

Some commentators hoped that Boris Johnson, having secured a five-year mandate in a General Election, would embrace a softer Brexit than his rhetoric implied. They were mistaken. Johnson seeks power for power’s sake, writes Phil Syrpis (University of Bristol), and rejects scrutiny and constraint. Last July, I argued that Boris Johnson’s aim was not to … Continued

Care work is undervalued and underfunded. But this has nothing to do with immigration

24 Feb

Because care work requires no formal qualifications, the immigration proposals will make it virtually impossible to recruit care workers from abroad. The sector is underfunded and undervalued, says Heather Rolfe (Demos), and struggles to attract British staff. After more than three years of speculation, the immigration proposals are finally out. The government calls it ‘a … Continued

Migration: how Scotland hoped to do things differently

21 Feb

Scotland set out its own proposals for a post-Brexit migration regime in January, but they have been rejected. Sarah Kyambi (Migration Policy Scotland) explains how Holyrood hoped to attract migrants to areas suffering from depopulation, and why the Home Office’s proposed salary threshold will make it particularly hard to encourage people to migrate to Scotland. … Continued

Emotion, not economics: the ‘Australian-style’ points system

20 Feb

The new ‘Australian-style’ points system for migration is a policy founded on emotion rather than economic reality, write Paul James Cardwell and Sylvie Da Lomba (University of Strathclyde). It will not simplify the immigration regime and will leave businesses struggling to fill shortages. Was Brexit about immigration? For a short time after the referendum, Brexiters … Continued

Britain in one room: reflection on a focus group of undecided voters during GE2019

19 Feb

During the 2019 election campaign, the University of Manchester hosted a series of focus groups of then undecided voters, organised with The Times and Public First. Timothy J Oliver and Andy Westwood (University of Manchester) reflect on the experience of helping to run this event. Understanding how voters are behaving is an ongoing struggle for many in our field – … Continued

Living up to the Women, Peace and Security agenda? Gender must be a core element of Brexit negotiations

19 Feb

Of course, most policies have some kind of gender dimension; well apart from Brexit or security or defence”. This is the sentiment that accompanies many of the public discussions of Brexit as a political process or as a juncture for European and British politics. Moreover, where the gender is discussed in relation to Brexit it … Continued

Fraught Anglo-Irish relations are about to get tenser

18 Feb

Leo Varadkar was attacked by some Brexiters for ‘anti-British’ rhetoric. Patrick Holden (University of Plymouth) finds that Varadkar’s language was no more emotional than that of his predecessor, Enda Kenny, though he was more outspoken about the contradictions of the British position. If Sinn Féin now enter the Irish government, Anglo-Irish tensions may continue to rise. … Continued

The EU’s post-Brexit policy on euro clearing explained

17 Feb

The UK’s withdrawal from the EU has reignited concern about the long-standing ‘tug of war’ over the clearing of euro-denominated instruments – first and foremost, derivatives. Scott James (KCL) and Lucia Quaglia (University of Bologna) explain the EU’s post-Brexit policy on euro clearing. Clearing is the process by which a ‘clearing house’, also called a ‘central counter … Continued

Having cake and eating it: how a hyperbolic metaphor framed Brexit

13 Feb

Since Boris Johnson first invoked the idea that Britain could ‘have its cake and eat it’ by staying in the Single Market while ending freedom of movement, the phrase has become shorthand for Brexiters’ optimism. Andreas Musolff (University of East Anglia) explains how a metaphorical proverb shot through with hyperbolic assertion proved so powerful. “[…] this … Continued

Employment and social policy will be a sticking point in negotiations between London and Brussels

13 Feb

Compared to the legal framework of the Single European Market, the EU’s competence in employment and social policy is relatively weak. Paul Copeland (QMUL) writes that this is likely to be a sticking point in negotiations between London and Brussels on the UK’s future relationship with the EU. The vast majority of EU legislation in … Continued

There is no ‘anti-English’ sentiment in Ireland in the wake of Brexit

12 Feb

There is no ‘anti-English’ sentiment in Ireland in the wake of Brexit. The success of Sinn Fein in the recent Irish general election was built on a deep-seated public dissatisfaction with the quality of social provision in health, housing, childcare and other ‘quality of life’ issues at a time of a booming economy. The party’s traditional … Continued

Both Leavers and Remainers can be nostalgic, but for different things

11 Feb

Nostalgia is one of the reasons often cited for the Leave vote. But what kind? Lindsay Richards (University of Oxford) identifies two underlying dimensions of nostalgia – ‘traditional’ and ‘egalitarian’. People with high levels of egalitarian nostalgia were just as likely to vote Remain as those who weren’t nostalgic at all.  Two parallel narratives have … Continued

Britain needs friends in the post-Brexit era. Alienating EU allies would be counter-productive

10 Feb

Amid the posturing about trade, the fact that Britain no longer has a voice in the EU has gone largely unremarked. N Piers Ludlow (LSE) warns that alienating European allies by talking tough risks harming the UK’s soft power and long-term interests. At the heart of Edward Heath’s speech winding up the so-called ‘Great Debate’ … Continued

Long read | It’s the autonomy, stupid – can the EU and UK agree the rules of a future relationship?

10 Feb

With the Article 50 withdrawal process complete, the European Union and the United Kingdom now have to start the more difficult task of defining their future relationship. Can the parties reach an agreement before the transition period ends in December 2020, asks Kenneth Armstrong (University of Cambridge)? Both the UK government and the European Commission will want to … Continued

That Chronic Chip on Your Shoulder is Wrecking Your Health: Here’s How to Get Rid of It

8 Feb

Does that massive chip on your shoulder weigh you down? Do you wake up angry, frustrated, or bent out of shape? If so, you may need to increase your tolerance for the small hiccups in life that are dragging you down. The good news is, getting ahold of …

How the departure of British MEPs has changed the European Parliament

6 Feb

British MEPs have left the European Parliament. Doru Frantescu and Davide Ferrari (VoteWatch EU) look at how their departure will affect the balance of power there. The departure of British MEPs brings further changes to the balance of power in the European Parliament, only a few months after the EP landscape was redrawn by the … Continued