Three Years in Hell: Fintan O’Toole on the disastrous Corbyn Effect

3 Apr

Labour ought to have won the 2019 General Election. Tories had been in power for almost a decade and austerity had been hitting the country hard. Instead, Jeremy Corbyn’s party suffered a crushing defeat. In this edited extract from his new book, Three Years in Hell, Fintan O’Toole predicted Labour’s catastrophic losses and attributed this … Continued

The pandemic is exposing the weaknesses of populism

1 Apr

The Covid-19 pandemic may be exposing the weaknesses of populism. We should not be complacent, however, as authoritarianism is the real problem, warns Daphne Halikiopoulou (University of Reading). Covid-19 has already infected over 700,000 people worldwide (at the time of writing). Its exponential spread has placed national health systems under severe strain, it has closed borders, … 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

‘The Other Side’: exclusive extracts from a new book about Brexit

23 Mar

A new book about Brexit tries to promote understanding of ‘the other side’ and bridge divisions between Remainers and Leavers. Published by GraphicDesign&, The Other Side: An Emotional Map of Brexit Britain looks at the role of graphic communication in the campaigns and gives a voice to both sets of voters. In this exclusive extract, GraphicDesign& co-founders Rebecca … Continued

One down, many to go? European disintegration after Brexit

23 Mar

Since January 2020, the UK has ceased to be a member of the EU. For the first time, an entire country has voluntarily left the bloc. Negotiations have started on the relationship between the UK and the EU after the current transitional period. But what about the current EU member states? Will some of them … Continued

Brexit is a policy fiasco. Were voters deceived during the referendum?

9 Mar

Is Brexit a policy deception? Were voters deceived during the Brexit referendum? Darrin Baines, Sharron Brewer, and Adrian Kay examine how political, process and programme failures combined to create a fiasco that misled many voters into believing that Leave was an actual, and easily deliverable, policy option. This blog summarizes the analysis originally outlined in … Continued

Brexit will affect, but not determine, the EU’s roles in a changing world arena

4 Mar

What effects might Brexit have on the EU’s capacity to play an effective role in the world arena, asks Michael Smith (University of Warwick)? The Withdrawal Agreement suggests that both the UK and the EU will have to reassess their global roles and their discourses of globalism, but whereas for the UK this is an existential … 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

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

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

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

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

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

Brexit: epitaph for a national trajectory now lost

3 Feb

Many developments in national histories also mark watersheds in the personal lives of their citizens, and for the economist John Van Reenen (MIT) the advent of ‘Brexit Day is a case in point. In a personal essay, he reflects both on the emotional colouring of this event, and on the economic costs implied for the UK. As … Continued

What would it take for Scotland to rejoin the EU as an independent state?

3 Feb

If Scotland voted for independence, it would probably apply to rejoin the EU. Despite its unique history, it would have to follow the normal path to EU accession, says Anthony Salamone. Scots are not keen on the euro and fisheries would be a flashpoint. While the Scottish government would be well-advised not to seek stall … 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

January 31 is not Brexit – uncertainty will continue

31 Jan

Britain leaves the EU. That is not in doubt. But the terms of the future relationship remain to be decided. With Labour and Liberal Democrats unable to form any coherent opposition can business emerge as the opposition to a hard, amputational Brexit, asks Denis MacShane? The UK leaves the EU Treaty today. However, January 31 … Continued

Ten acts of gross British misgovernment since 1945

28 Jan

As the UK leaves the European Union, Philip Allott (University of Cambridge) reflects on ten occasions when Britain has badly misjudged and mishandled challenges to its hegemony – both internal and external – and traces the cause to the dominance of the executive branch. An alternative British political history since 1945 could focus on a remarkable … Continued