Brexit

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Theresa May called the snap election hoping for a strong majority, to give her a free hand to deal with the EU. While promising a ‘UK approach’ to Brexit, the Conservatives rejected different arrangements for the UK’s component nations or anything more than a consultative role for the devolved governments. Following the General Election, this may have to change.

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Recall the reaction of Brenda from Bristol on 18th April when the British General Election was announced: ‘You’re joking! Not another one! Oh, for God’s sake. Honestly, I can’t stand this…’. Brenda had experienced: the 2015 General Election, 2016 Brexit referendum, the 2017 English council elections, and was about to undergo the 2017 General Election.

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At one time, Scottish politics, like those elsewhere in Great Britain, divided rather clearly on the left-right axis, with elections disputed between Labour and the Conservatives. In the mid-twentieth century, they divided the vote fairly evenly between them. Since the 1970s, another axis has become significant, the unionist-nationalist divide. Now there is an additional one, on Europe, between Remain and Leave supporters. The old party system has broken down, creating instability and marked shifts in support from one election to the next.
 
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The challenges presented by an international border on the island of Ireland has been highlighted as a key challenge in Brexit negotiations but, says Prof Janice Morphett, a solution may already exist in the shape of European Groupings for Territorial Cooperation (EGTCs).
 
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That the EU has placed Gibraltar on the agenda for Brexit negotiations should come as no surprise, says Michael Keating, as the issue, which had already been indicated, remains a sensitive one in Spain. 
 
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The repatriation of powers from the EU to the UK and devolved governments is neither straightforward nor, as yet, resolved. Prof Michael Keating examines some of the issues that will play out in terms of determining whether powers from Brussels will default to London on one hand, or Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast on the other.
 
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  • 10th August 2018

    Brexit is re-making the UK’s constitution under our noses. The territorial constitution is particularly fragile. Pursuing Brexit, Theresa May’s government has stumbled into deep questions about devolution.

  • 8th August 2018

    The UK in a Changing Europe has formed a new Brexit Policy Panel (BPP). The BPP is a cross-disciplinary group of over 100 leading social scientists created to provide ongoing analysis of where we have got to in the Brexit process, and to forecast where we are headed. Members of the UK in a Changing Europe Brexit Policy Panel complete a monthly survey addressing three key areas of uncertainty around Brexit: if —and when—the UK will leave the EU; how Brexit will affect British politics; and what our relationship with the EU is likely to look like in the future. The CCC participates on the Panel.

  • 2nd August 2018

    The House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee issued its report ‘Devolution and Exiting the EU: reconciling differences and building strong relationships’. Discussing its contents, Professor Nicola McEwen suggests that the report includes some practical recommendations, some of which were informed by CCC research. It also shines a light on some of the more difficult challenges ahead.

  • 31st July 2018

    The politicisation of Brexit, combined with deteriorating relations between London and Dublin, has created a toxic atmosphere in Northern Ireland, says Mary Murphy, which will require imagination and possibly new institutions to resolve.

  • 25th July 2018

    Given that there are many policy differences between Northern Ireland and other parts of the UK, asks Jonathan Evershed, why has customs policy been singled out as a red line by Unionists?

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