Brexit

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Last Thursday’s referendum may have answered one question, but it has spawned many more. How does the UK leave the EU? When do we leave? What does leave mean? And what does it all mean for Scotland?

In theory, the ‘how’, at least, is clear. The process is set out in Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union – the EU’s constitution. The UK Government must give formal notice of its intention to leave to the European Council (the other members). This kick-starts negotiations on the terms of exit.

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Kirstein Rummery explains that the key to the outcome (as indeed to the independence referendum in 2014) seems to be people’s attitude to risk.

So, the decision to take a fight that was never really finished in the Eton tuck shop about the leadership of the Conservative party out onto the streets of the UK appears to have backfired. Over 17m people in the UK voted to leave the EU in a result that took everyone, particularly the leaders of both sides, by surprise.

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My gut says that there will be a second referendum on Scottish independence and that Yes will win comfortably. Yet, predicting political events and outcomes right now is like predicting the weather. The result is not inevitable, largely because the key factors prompting people to vote No have not gone away – and, in some ways, the No case is now stronger. I’ll explain this by (a) comparing the likely Yes and No stories during the next campaign, and (b) speculating wildly about the extent to which key parties will campaign as hard for No in the second referendum.

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The impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland was dismissed by many Leave campaigners elsewhere in the UK as improbable. However, explains Prof Christine Bell, the speed with which Sinn Féin moved to trigger a poll suggests that the party with the most to gain may also have the least to lose by the gamble. 
 
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Following the victory for Leave in the EU referendum, Prof Stephen Tierney sets out the next steps in the constitutional process. 
 
Initially nothing: the referendum by itself does not change anything in legal terms. The UK remains a member of the European Union until it concludes negotiations on withdrawal, a process that will take at least two years. 
 
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  • 19th February 2019

    Over the course of the UK’s preparations for withdrawing from the EU, the issue of the UK’s own internal market has emerged as an issue of concern, and one that has the potentially significant consequences for devolution. Dr Jo Hunt of Cardiff University examines the implications.

  • 12th February 2019

    CCC Fellow Professor Daniel Wincott of Cardiff University examines how Brexit processes have already reshaped territorial politics in the UK and changed its territorial constitution.

  • 7th February 2019

    The future of agriculture policy across the United Kingdom after Brexit is uncertain and risky, according to a new paper by Professor Michael Keating of the Centre on Constitutional Change. Reforms of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy over recent years have shifted the emphasis from farming to the broader concept of rural policy. As member states have gained more discretion in applying policy, the nations of the UK have also diverged, according to local conditions and preferences.

  • 4th February 2019

    In our latest report for the "Repatriation of Competences: Implications for Devolution" project, Professor Nicola McEwen and Dr Alexandra Remond examine how, in the longer term, Brexit poses significant risks for the climate and energy ambitions of the devolved nations. These include the loss of European Structural and Investment Funds targeted at climate and low carbon energy policies, from which the devolved territories have benefited disproportionately. European Investment Bank loan funding, which has financed high risk renewables projects, especially in Scotland, may also no longer be as accessible, while future access to research and innovation funding remains uncertain. The removal of the EU policy framework, which has incentivised the low carbon ambitions of the devolved nations may also result in lost opportunities.

  • 1st February 2019

    The outcome of the various Commons votes this week left certain only that the Government would either secure an amended deal and put it to a meaningful vote on Wednesday 13 February, or in the overwhelmingly likely absence of this make a further statement that day and table another amendable motion for the following day, the Groundhog Day that may lead to a ‘St Valentine’s Day Massacre’ for one side or the other. Richard Parry assesses the further two-week pause in parliamentary action on Brexit

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