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

LSE Thinks: What kind of Brexit can we expect in 2020?

2 Jan

LSE Brexit asked some of our academics to predict what kind of Brexit we can expect in 2020. Simon Glendinning On being asked to “make a brief prediction about the course of Brexit in 2020”, I was reminded of a remark by the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein: “If we think of the world’s future, we always … Continued

No deal is still on the table: Simon Hix on Brexit in 2020

31 Dec

LSE Brexit asked some of our academics to predict what kind of Brexit we can expect in 2020. Simon Hix says that while a no-deal Brexit is still entirely possible, Boris Johnson may want to protect vulnerable parts of Britain from the damage it will inflict. The election result was a decisive mandate for Boris … Continued

How do you teach a controversial topic like Brexit?

19 Dec

How do you teach a current, controversial topic such as Brexit? Claire Gordon speaks to Tony Travers and Swati Dhingra, two well-known academics, about how they discuss Brexit in their classrooms. How do lecturers incorporate Brexit into their curricula when teaching? How do they teach such a polarising topic and what has the response from students been? Tony teaches a course … Continued

Hollowing out the state: the return of corporatism to European politics

19 Dec

One of the results of the recent illiberal turn in European politics has been growing state capture that leads to the breakdown of the supervisory institutions of democracy. In this blog, Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz (LSE) argues that some of Europe’s authoritarian populists have succeeded, or are planning to, take control of both public and private media, … Continued

The failure of the left to grasp Brexit

16 Dec

The Labour party was eventually persuaded to back a second referendum. This was a historic mistake which led to defeat in the General Election, says Michael Wilkinson (LSE). Labour should have respected the vote to Leave and offered a platform for change based on a future outside of the European Union. Thursday’s General Election was … Continued

Hard, soft or none at all: what the election result will mean for Brexit

9 Dec

The General Election will set Britain on the path to a hard or softer Brexit – or perhaps no Brexit at all. Ros Taylor (LSE) explains what each possible outcome means for the next stage of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Conservative majority Supposedly, a vote for the Conservatives is a vote to ‘get … Continued

What are the economic forces polarising the UK?

9 Dec

Economic performance varies widely between different places in the UK, writes Henry G. Overman (LSE). There is a broad North-South pattern, but also substantial variation within those areas. In some measures, the performance gap has widened since the financial crisis. Austerity too reduced redistribution and so it is partly responsible for the recent widening of spatial … Continued

Immigration is no longer the most pressing concern among the electorate

3 Dec

Immigration is no longer the most pressing concern among the electorate going into this election that it was prior to the Brexit referendum, writes Jonathan Wadsworth (LSE). More than three years on, concerns about Europe have eclipsed anything else, including the NHS, defence, the environment and unemployment as well as immigration. However, immigration remains a highly … Continued

Three years on: the UK is paying a high economic price for its decision to leave the EU

2 Dec

How has the Leave vote affected the UK economy, ask Swati Dhingra and Thomas Sampson (LSE) in this second of two blogs based on the CEP Election Analysis briefing on Brexit. It summarizes CEP research on how the referendum outcome has affected the UK economy since 2016. The first blog, which reviews work on the potential long-run … Continued

John Van Reenen: ‘A lot of promises are just smoke and mirrors’

29 Nov

As director of LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) up to 2016, British economist John Van Reenen led a team of academic researchers who produced detailed analysis of the consequences a divorce from the European Union would have on the UK economy. They predicted a fall in GDP, employment, direct investment, wages and productivity. Of … Continued

Economic consequences of Brexit are overwhelmingly negative

26 Nov

The economic consequences of Brexit are overwhelmingly negative, estimate Swati Dhingra and Thomas Sampson (LSE). The more the UK distances itself from the EU’s economic institutions and policies, the greater will be the increase in trade barriers and the higher will be the costs of Brexit, they claim. This is the first of two blogs based … Continued

Brexit may free Britain from the spectre of Empire

25 Nov

Britain’s relationship with Europe has a complex history, of which Brexit is merely the latest development. Simon Glendinning explains that the country’s post-War understanding of both itself and of Europe has often been caught up in a (selective) history and memory of British and European discovery, colonialism and Empire. The hope that the UK might … Continued

Condemned eternally to be the continent’s reactionary: the UK’s long drift away from the EU

22 Nov

Britain was never a wholeheartedly enthusiastic member of the European Union, and its drift away from the project began decades before Brexit. In this adapted extract from the concluding chapter of his new book, Slipping Loose: The UK’s Long Drift Away From the European Union, Martin Westlake (LSE) finds Britain consistently reluctant to share the ‘visions’ … Continued

Money can’t buy love for Europe but success certainly can

12 Nov

What can the EU do in practice to build its own electoral support? To what extent can Euroscepticism be influenced by EU policies? Analysis of votes in the Brexit referendum suggests that money does not influence voters’ support for Europe, write Riccardo Crescenzi (LSE), Marco Di Cataldo (LSE/Ca’ Foscari University of Venice), and Mara Giua (Roma Tre University). It is the […]

Long read | The future of European democracy: Empowering citizens

5 Nov

Most European countries today face a gap between procedural and substantive democracy, writes Mary Kaldor (LSE). She argues that substantive democracy can only be restored through a combination of political engagement at European levels and the introduction of policies that would make possible meaningful devolution to regional and local levels.  Political theorists often make a distinction between procedural and substantive democracy. […]

The future of European democracy: Fixing a troubled continent

1 Nov

In recent decades, as disillusionment with the post-Cold War settlement has grown, so has the dissatisfaction with the state for European governance. Today, for many, the EU has become a symbol of the democratic malaise. As a result, three decades after the end of communism, the progress of European democracy is faltering. In this blog, Luke Cooper (LSE) introduces a […]

Hope and hopelessness: Is a reconciliatory Brexit possible?

31 Oct

The government wants to bring the country together around its version of Brexit. It believes that it has the potential to return hope to the majority of citizens who express various forms of pessimism about the effect that Brexit will have on their country, their families, and their lives. But are citizens believing that reconciliatory scenario, asks Sarah Harrison (Electoral Psychology […]

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. […]

The prospect of a hard Brexit is now in Corbyn’s hands

21 Oct

Faced with the prospect of a hard Brexit on Boris Johnson’s terms, Jeremy Corbyn could have threatened Labour MPs who intend to vote for it with deselection. Dimitri Zenghelis (LSE) says this may be the last – and most damaging – strategic decision the Labour leader makes. Let’s be clear about one thing. Boris Johnson is not worried about the Letwin amendment. He […]

Long read: Debunking myths on links between austerity and Brexit

17 Oct

Thiemo Fetzer (University of Warwick) addresses the misunderstandings and the criticisms of his widely-read 2018 paper “Did Austerity Cause Brexit?”. In August 2018 the Guardian Politics liveblog featured the headline: “Brexit is direct result of austerity and cuts like bedroom tax, research suggests.” The blog contained a set of graphs and paragraphs from his paper, which has since been accepted for publication in the […]

‘The most important video you’ll ever watch’: the 1997 roots of British Euroscepticism

14 Oct

Twenty-two years ago, long before the word Brexit was coined, a proto-Euroscepticism was taking root in British politics. Ukip’s first incarnation and the relative success of the Referendum Party both played a part in the 1997 general election. Ros Taylor (LSE) looks at some of the campaign literature from that year. The 1997 general election is chiefly remembered for Tony […]

Despite ‘Global Britain’, Britain will follow the European trade model for the next few years

1 Oct

The government would like to implement its vision for a ‘Global Britain’ after Brexit. But, says Stephen Woolcock (LSE), for the next few years at least companies are likely to favour the continuity of European trading practices. He looks at the factors shaping that preference. There are competing visions for British trade policy: ‘Global Britain’, which sees a sovereign Britain […]

Will of the people vs democracy: Brexiteers are turning into their own worst enemy

30 Sep

The ‘will of the people’ appears to have become a legitimating idea for the Johnson government to supersede representative democracy and the rule of law. Yet in giving the ‘will of the people’ such prominence, the Brexiteers have begun to behave just like their worst enemy, writes Pravar Petkar (LSE). The Brexit negotiation has seen an array of constitutionally significant moments […]