EU

Press Release: May’s ‘Precious Union’ has Little Support in Brexit Britain

Theresa May’s ‘precious Union’ has little in the way of meaningful support from her own supporters or self-professed Unionists in other parties. Moreover, according to new research from the Universities of Edinburgh and Cardiff, attitudes to the Union are marked principally by rivalry and mutual-indifference.

For Ireland, the Brexit discussion has focused heavily on the Irish issue. This has meant an unrelenting emphasis on securing a Brexit deal which ensures no border on the island of Ireland, and achieving a backstop provision which guarantees this scenario. The expectation is that this will be achieved in the context of the Withdrawal Agreement, and before the transition phase begins. 
 
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In May 2018, the Leave Means Leave organisation issued a report called ‘Max Fac works: The Technological Solution to the Irish Border Customs Issue’.  The report says that existing technology and best practice is “more than capable of permitting a friction-free border”.   The report was welcomed by pro-Brexit MPs including Sammy Wilson of the DUP who commented that “As this report makes clear – Max Fac is the only option the Government should be pursuing… A

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With little more than six months to go before the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019, the position of Scotland vis-à-vis the EU is not much clearer than it was in the immediate aftermath of the EU referendum more than two years ago. The Scottish Government has put the question of a second independence referendum on the back-burner and discussions around a differentiated Brexit deal for Scotland have died down.
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This week, the ESRC-supported project “UK in a Changing Europe” issued a new report on the economic and political effects for the UK of a No Deal. This project uses a collection of experts in law, politics and economics drawn from across the UK. Its members were selected on merit, not on their support or otherwise for Brexit. They had written extensively about trade, migration, agriculture, EU politics etc. well before David Cameron called the referendum.
 
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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. The territorial politics of Brexit is a bewildering mix of ignorance, apparent disdain, confrontation, cooperation and collaboration. Rarely have the so-called devolution ‘settlements’ appeared more unsettled.
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From UK in a Changing Europe
 
Our first monthly survey shows significant uncertainty about Brexit. However, some key themes emerge:
 
Our panel put the prospect of no deal at around 50%.
 
The UK is highly likely to leave on 29 March 2019
 
A second referendum is seen as highly unlikely.
 
The October EU Council deadline is unlikely to be met.
 
The transition period will need to be extended beyond December 2020.
 
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