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 […]

The Supreme Court judges are oiling the democratic machine, not telling it what to produce

25 Sep

The Miller2/Cherry case is not about judges seizing the policy agenda, whatever the critics of the outcome might say, writes Conor Gearty (LSE). In this decision the judges are oiling the democratic machine, not telling it what to produce. This Supreme Court decision is a telling illustration of why all populist authoritarians need to dismantle the independent judiciary. In March 1954, that […]

Rational high ground or compromise? Liberal strategies for coping with Brexit

20 Sep

How do liberal Remainers negotiate their dismay and shock at the Leave vote? Daphne Fietz (LSE) talked to nine people who voted Remain and analysed the comment section of the Guardian. She discusses how they deployed different liberal values in an effort to either distance themselves from the ‘irrationality’ of Leavers, or seek compromise. While Brexit may be imminent, no […]

The Supreme Court should repair the tear in the fabric of the constitution that prorogation has opened up

17 Sep

The Supreme Court is considering whether Boris Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament is lawful. Thomas Poole (LSE) says the claimants face two hurdles: one concerns the involvement of the Queen, the other whether prorogation is a purely political or a justiciable issue. He argues that the court should recognise that the power to prorogue has legal limits. On 28 August, the […]

The impact of Brexit on UK firms: reduced investments and decreased productivity

11 Sep

The UK’s decision to leave the EU in the June 2016 referendum was a largely unexpected event that has generated a large, broad, and long-lasting increase in uncertainty. It has also affected some firms more than others depending on the strength of their links to Continental Europe. This column exploits these features and uses a major new survey of UK […]

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 […]

Labour cannot be a party of Remain if it is serious about radical change

5 Sep

Brexit has energised the centrist political forces that want to remain in the EU, but they have little to show for their efforts. Michael Wilkinson (LSE) argues that Labour should avoid flirting with Remainism if it wants to be the party of radical change and defeat Boris Johnson. The divisions underlying Brexit are deep and complex, and cut across various […]

Proponents of the new Bill to stop No Deal face a significant dilemma over Queen’s Consent

2 Sep

MPs opposed to a no-deal Brexit intend to bring a Bill this week in order to do so. Robert Craig (LSE) explains why the existence of Queen’s Consent means that they face a complex legal Catch-22 in their efforts to stop the Prime Minister. This post will be updated when the MPs’ bill is made public. MPs who wish to […]

What happens after a Vote of No Confidence in the PM? A route map

28 Aug

A successful Vote of No Confidence in the government is a seismic political event. It is also extremely rare. As a result, the rules governing the subsequent constitutional steps are perhaps less well understood than they should be. Robert Craig (LSE) attempts to set out a route map for what must happen after a successful VoNC in the light of […]

Book Review: Citizens of Nowhere: How Europe can be Saved from Itself by Lorenzo Marsili and Niccolo Milanese

23 Aug

In Citizens of Nowhere: How Europe can be Saved from Itself, Lorenzo Marsili and Niccolo Milanese offer an innovative look at citizenship, grounded in the development of a transnational civil society sphere across Europe. This is an ambitious, perceptive and clear-sighted argument for a transnational citizenship and politics, writes Ben Margulies, that also details the political project required to make it a reality.  Citizens of Nowhere: […]

Only a new unity government can effectively avert a no-deal Brexit

8 Aug

If the UK is not to crash out of the European Union with no deal, Jonathan Boston (LSE) argues that the previous one-party political control of the executive will need to be temporarily suspended. There is a clear majority view of the House of Commons that any withdrawal from the EU must be an agreed and orderly one, with clear succession arrangements […]

To deal or not to deal: these are the questions

7 Aug

Why is the new government prepared to countenance no deal, when it would be so damaging to Britain? Iain Begg (LSE) says the question is not whether but how much it would harm the country. To judge by the early pronouncements of the Johnson government, a ‘no-deal’ Brexit is not only worth contemplating, but could well occur. Although both sides […]

Long read: Post-Brexit trade policy must serve British society, not just free trade

5 Aug

Brexit provides an opportunity to agree new Economic Partnership Agreements with the world’s largest economies such as the US, China, and India. These cannot make up for the trade it will lose through leaving the Single Market, according to Swati Dhingra (CEP & LSE) and Josh De Lyon (CEP). Nevertheless, the UK has an opportunity to forge a new generation […]

Don’t be fooled: the last thing Johnson wants is a no-deal Brexit

2 Aug

Boris Johnson’s tack to no deal is aimed at neutralising the threat from the Brexit Party and triggering a general election, argues Dimitri Zenghelis (LSE). Whatever the outcome of that election, he can avoid the terminal damage that a no-deal exit would inflict on his premiership. Last month, I argued that as Prime Minister Boris Johnson would have no interest in a […]

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 […]

Post-2016 Britain faces a generation of constraining dissensus

26 Jul

Modern British politics is usually dated to either 1945 or 1979, both years symbolising generational resets that created new consensuses in British politics. As Tim Oliver (University of Loughborough) explains, 2016 is the new year by which British politics is dated. But instead of a new consensus, post-2016 Britain faces a generation of constraining dissensus. The Conservative party leadership race, and Boris […]