Exit negotiations

Enough magical thinking. The silly season must stop here

Britain has only a couple of months left to decide on its future relationship with the EU. Phil Syrpis (University of Bristol) says it is time for both the government and the opposition to level with the public about the choices involved. The coarse sloganeering of the past two years will lead to a destructive Brexit unless politicians get […]

The backstop is dividing Northern Ireland. We urgently need new talks

Brexit has become highly politicised in Northern Ireland. A damaging chasm is opening up between the two political blocs, and between the British and Irish governments, on the EU backstop. Mary C Murphy (University College Cork) argues that a compromise formula is possible, but the lack of devolved government means new efforts – and new forums – will be needed to break the stalemate.

In […]

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    Trade will not be frictionless: will a common rulebook help?

Trade will not be frictionless: will a common rulebook help?

The  White Paper for a new UK-EU partnership edges its way around the strict red lines of a hard Brexit in order to address the complaints of business and keep jobs in this country. In a surprise move, it puts forward proposals for services. Monica Horten (LSE), suggests that the ‘common rulebook’  may be a problematic metaphor in an inter-connected 21st-century […]

It’s time for the EU to negotiate seriously

The UK white paper on Brexit should be given serious consideration, writes Guntram Wolff (Bruegel). While it breaks a number of European red lines, it is also an attempt to resolve some issues. The question is whether the EU will be ready to negotiate seriously. Geostrategic considerations suggest that it is time for it to do so.
After the British cabinet […]

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    Two years after the vote, there is little certainty where the UK-EU relationship is heading

Two years after the vote, there is little certainty where the UK-EU relationship is heading

Two years after the vote, there is little certainty regarding the UK’s political and economic future. Brexiters themselves are split between wanting a Singapore-on-Thames or a Belarus-on-Trent. Simon Hix (LSE) assesses where the UK-EU relationship is heading. He argues that despite persisting uncertainty, a No Deal is the least-preferred option of both the UK or the EU27, and hence the least likely. He suggests […]

Brexit’s institutional irony: how the EU has successfully outflanked the UK

The EU has been popularly derided as ineffectual, but it has shown remarkable co-ordination and unity in its Brexit negotiations with the UK. Dermot Hodson (Birkbeck College) and John Peterson (University of Edinburgh) explain how Michel Barnier has outflanked the UK, with both the Commission and the Council presenting a united front.

Before British voters went to the polls in June 2016, the institutions […]

Chequers produces the best and most elaborate fudge available

Does the text the cabinet agreed at Chequers amount to a soft Brexit or a soft-ish Brexit? Neither, says Jim Gallagher (Centre on Constitutional Change): it is yet another fudge that defers a decision on the final shape of the deal into the transitional period, and beyond.

 

“What I tell you three times is true”
Lewis Carroll

After a long day at Chequers, Theresa May’s […]

A soft Brexit is a compromise that would please no one

The outcome of most negotiations is a compromise in which all sides cede some ground. But Iain Begg (LSE) argues that ‘soft’ Brexit cannot offer an enduring compromise between ‘Brexiteers’ and ‘Remainers’ because both will be so uncomfortable with it.

Split the difference. In most negotiations it is the three-word formula most likely to be adduced, obliging both sides to […]

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    Could the Norway model work for Britain? Twelve points to help you decide

Could the Norway model work for Britain? Twelve points to help you decide

While considering the EU Withdrawal Bill, the Lords passed an amendment to require the Commons to vote on remaining in the European Economic Area, bringing the possibility of a ‘Norway model’ for the UK back on the agenda. John Erik Fossum and Hans Petter Graver explain how this works and how it has affected Norway’s relationship with the EU.

While Norway has […]

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    Britain will be scrambling hard to put Galileo at the centre of a new security partnership

Britain will be scrambling hard to put Galileo at the centre of a new security partnership

Galileo, a niche satellite technology programme, has escalated to the top of the Brexit political agenda as  Britain and the EU wrangle over access to it. There is a thrilling tension as the two have become locked in an inter-governmental conflict overhung by industrial threats, against a backdrop of science-fiction-like technologies. Galileo symbolises the power of space communications for economic […]