Chilly, with a touch of Frost: 22 May Brexit update

22 May

The relationship between Michel Barnier and David Frost is growing terser than ever, write Ros Taylor and Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz (LSE). Meanwhile, with unemployment rising rapidly, Britons are being encouraged to pick fruit and veg in exchange for the minimum wage and schooling for their children. How are the talks going? Badly. Briefly: no deal looks … Continued

Reforming the WTO, part 5: how should the burden be shared?

18 May

In the last of our series on the challenges facing the World Trade Organisation, Ceylan Inan and Ira Poensgren (LSE) look at the tensions that have emerged between developed and developing countries as they try to agree how to treat each other. The definitions of ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ are contested, not least by the US, … Continued

Mid-May update: Yes, there will be Northern Ireland trade barriers

15 May

This week Northern Ireland is back on the agenda, and the latest government decision signals a major u-turn – albeit one that experts have long predicted: there will be forms, checks, and barriers when trading between Northern Ireland and Britain. Ros Taylor and Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz (LSE) round up the week’s Brexit news. The government has confirmed there … Continued

Reforming the WTO, part 4: Transparency is a precondition for trust

11 May

The UK may end up with a no-deal, ‘WTO Brexit’. But the organisation is in urgent need of reform. Dariga Mukhamedina (LSE) explains how greater transparency would foster trust between WTO members. A long time has passed since the GATT transformed into the biggest trade organisation in the world, and current events show that there … Continued

Reforming the WTO, part 3: How can its rules be made more flexible?

4 May

The UK may end up with a no-deal, ‘WTO Brexit’. WTO members want more flexibility in rule-making. But this has hitherto been impossible to achieve across the board, so members have pursued smaller-scale agreements that ultimately undermine the WTO’s cohesion. Jacqueline Maldonado Ortega and Ira Poensgen (LSE) propose a different approach. The signing of the … Continued

Europe’s colonial embrace and the Brexit nostalgia for empire are two sides of the same coin

29 Apr

The narrative on European integration is that it heralded in a new dawn of peace, democracy and human rights. The reality is that the EU’s foundations lie in the colonial histories of its founding Member States, an origin story with which it has never grappled. Brexit was also an emanation of nostalgia for empire, writes Nadine El-Enany … Continued

Reforming the WTO, part 2: How the US grew increasingly frustrated

27 Apr

The WTO’s mechanism for settling disputes is in crisis. But neither Trump nor the United States in general are entirely to blame. Dan Power and Mikael Hemlin (LSE) explain the roots of the current impasse. For nearly two decades, the Doha Development Round has been deadlocked – incapacitating the World Trade Organisation’s legislative pillar. Nevertheless, … Continued

24 April Brexit update: Sorry, it’s not political

24 Apr

As the UK and EU return to the negotiations via videoconference, calls are growing for another Brexit extension. Ros Taylor and Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz (LSE) round up this week’s developments. For those curious about what Brexit negotiations in the time of coronavirus look like, Michel Barnier has posted a photo: 🇪🇺🇬🇧 Good to speak with @DavidGHFrost … Continued

Brexit to China? If forced, London will choose Washington over Beijing

22 Apr

What is the prospect of a UK-China trade deal after a no-deal Brexit, ask John Ryan (LSE)? Johnson will have to choose sides when the US-China trade confrontation resumes – an accord with one may mean discord with the other. In the end, however, the US-UK relationship is destined to be more “special” than the UK-China one. … Continued

Reforming the WTO, part 1: Why world trade rules are looking shaky

20 Apr

‘Going WTO’ in a no-deal Brexit means that Britain would rely on the rules-based World Trade Organisation system. But the WTO is in poor shape, partly due to tensions between the US and China. In the first of a series of posts, Steve Woolcock (LSE) looks at why the organisation has become weakened. Even before … Continued

Brexit has complicated and isolated Germany’s role in the EU

7 Apr

There is only one priority for Germany and the UK right now and that is dealing with COVID-19. The available estimates of the costs of shutdown in the form of lost value-added show that the coronavirus epidemic will cause costs that will probably exceed everything known from economic crises or natural disasters in both countries … Continued

3 April update: what happened in Brexit this week?

3 Apr

The Covid-19 pandemic is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, but although Brexit negotiations have been suspended there is no official signal that Britain plans to ask for an extension. Ros Taylor (LSE) looks at the week’s developments. Perhaps the most salient Brexit-related story of the week was the contradictory accounts of Britain’s liaison with … Continued

How LSE Brexit 2020 will change during the Covid-19 pandemic

27 Mar

Brexit has not gone away, but the world’s attention is on the Covid-19 pandemic. Kevin Featherstone, Tony Travers, Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz and Ros Taylor (LSE) explain how our coverage will change. The LSE’s Brexit 2020 blog, in common with other aspects of life, will have to adapt to both the short and long-term impact of the … Continued

Long read | Who are you calling unskilled?

6 Mar

Why do we tend to label migrants who do manual, caring and service labour as unskilled? Because, Patrick McGovern (LSE) argues, labelling them in this way makes it easier to justify exclusion, especially since the term ‘unskilled worker’ implies that such a person cannot learn. The government’s new immigration policy seeks to completely close off ‘unskilled migration’ to … Continued

Defending liberalism is not enough

2 Mar

‘Democracy crisis’, ‘illiberalism’, ‘authoritarian regression’, ‘executive takeover’. The dark political mood in Europe has generated its own language in recent years. In the corridors of power, there is often a strong agreement on what needs to be defended: liberalism, the rule of law, judicial independence, free media, and individual rights. In other words, across the … 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

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

How should financial governance disputes be resolved after Brexit?

5 Feb

Financial governance is complex and dynamic, and disputes between the UK and EU will inevitably emerge. How should they be resolved? Elizabeth Howell (LSE) sets out three possible models. In the field of financial governance – the mechanisms that support the regulation and supervision of the financial markets – a number of UK/EU legal disputes … Continued

After Brexit comes the battle for the soul of British democracy

4 Feb

Opponents of Brexit cannot afford to lick their wounds for long. The UK now enters a contest for the soul of its democracy. It must now be reconstituted. Such a renewal might one day presage the UK’s return to Europe, writes Michael Cottakis (89 Initiative). Earlier this month, European Parliament Brexit Coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, visited the … Continued

Will British universities end up as Johnson’s bargaining chips?

31 Jan

With the legal formalities for Britain’s exit from the EU now complete, the university world of the UK and the EU is looking to Phase 2. After three and a half years of regret and frustration, they have a plan in hand. However, this could well be derailed, since at the same time the Johnson Government will be negotiating the future trading … Continued

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

Is electoral reconciliation in sight?

15 Jan

Labour and Tory voters are “disgusted” by one another, according to latest ‘Hostility Barometer’, writes Sarah Harrison (LSE). The latest survey from the Electoral Psychology Observatory at the LSE and Opinium shows 47 per cent of those intending to vote Conservative feel some “disgust” towards Labour voters, while over two-thirds (68 per cent) of those intending to vote … Continued

“Global Britain” in a cold climate: Michael Cox and Tim Oliver on Brexit in 2020

13 Jan

LSE Brexit asked some of our academics to predict what kind of Brexit we can expect in 2020. Michael Cox and Tim Oliver compare the UK to a ship being tossed around on a stormy and cold ocean looking for a harbour that probably does not exist and a destination it might never arrive at. 2020 … Continued

OK, Generation Z – this is how Brexit will affect you

9 Jan

Just before Christmas, Nicholas Barr (LSE) was asked by a 16-year old what he thought about Brexit and how it would affect members of Generation Z personally. In this letter, he explains why he believes Brexit will lead to four sorts of potential loss, as well as making it much harder to tackle the climate … Continued

‘Experience has taught Johnson that the penalty for breaking promises is vanishingly low’: Dimitri Zenghelis on Brexit in 2020

6 Jan

LSE Brexit asked some of our academics to predict what kind of Brexit we can expect in 2020. Dimitri Zenghelis (LSE) says we should expect plenty of brinkmanship and subsequent climbdowns from a PM who knows he can get away with them. Britain will leave the European Union at the end of January 2020 and the next … Continued

More fragmentation and division? What 2020 will be like for Higher Education

6 Jan

What will the year 2020 be like for Higher Education in the UK? Anne Corbett and Claire Gordon (LSE) predict more fragmentation and division. The higher education sector had been expecting 2020 to be a sad, if not bad, year. When the transition period ends, the UK’s 136 universities will lose their automatic access to … Continued