Exit negotiations

Now is the moment of truth: Britain must set out a realistic Brexit negotiating position

Britain’s current negotiating position with the EU is contradictory and unrealistic. It must set out a feasible plan in the early weeks of 2018 if it wants to avoid inflicting further economic damage on itself, writes Joaquín Almunia (LSE European Institute). There is no more time to waste.

Now the European Council has given permission for the second phase of Brexit negotiations to proceed, the […]

A deal – any deal – is clearly better than no deal

Now we know: a deal – any deal – is clearly better than no deal. After a frantic overnight scramble to agree the wording and the Prime Minister’s dramatic early hours’ flight to Brussels, the EU’s leaders are now willing to draw a line under phase one of the Brexit negotiations. Below, Iain Begg (LSE) explains the deal that has been […]

The DUP scuppered a Brexit deal for all the wrong reasons

Why did the DUP veto the proposed border arrangements for Northern Ireland? It was not because of pragmatic considerations, writes Anthony Costello (University College Cork), but through the simple desire to reassert unionism – even at the cost of a hard and damaging Brexit. Only if Northern Ireland can negotiate a new power-sharing deal will it be possible to […]

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    Why the Republic and Northern Ireland need shared regulatory frameworks

Why the Republic and Northern Ireland need shared regulatory frameworks

On 4 December, the UK and the EU failed to reach an agreement to move on to the next stage of the Brexit talks, with reports suggesting the Democratic Unionist Party had refused to accept proposed concessions on the Irish border. Anand Menon explains why there are strong reasons for shared regulatory frameworks on both sides of the Irish […]

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    May’s Irish dilemma is a precursor of even more intractable dilemmas of Brexit to come

May’s Irish dilemma is a precursor of even more intractable dilemmas of Brexit to come

Those who wished the UK to leave the EU fell into two quite different camps, those who wanted Brexit to mark a decisive break in the economic and social life of the United Kingdom; and those who wanted Brexit to take place with minimal social and economic disruption. Brendan Donnelly (Federal Trust) argues that this division is at the heart […]

Ultimately, public opinion is unlikely to tolerate a hard Brexit

Given the high costs associated with a hard Brexit, argues Dennis Shen (Scope Ratings), it is unlikely to happen. The EU27 see no advantage in significant concessions and the challenge of maintaining public support for a hard Brexit is considerable. A transition period concluding in a soft Brexit – or even ‘Breversal’ – are the most likely outcomes.

The UK government’s objective remains a […]

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    A high-risk game of ‘Chicken’ is being played over the Irish border

A high-risk game of ‘Chicken’ is being played over the Irish border

Unsurprisingly, academic and media accounts of Northern Ireland and the British-Irish relationship have been necessarily reactive and empirical since June 2016, given the on-going and unknown outcome of the Brexit negotiations. In assessing the British-Irish relationship, the Irish government has been either praised for holding firm and playing tough about a vital interest or criticized for not using more […]

How the European Council can break the impasse and give EU citizens certainty

The way that EU27 citizens in the UK have been used as bargaining chips in the Brexit negotiations is woeful. Unfortunately, write Ruvi Ziegler (University of Reading) (left) and Brad Blitz (Middlesex University and LSE), the EU has not helped matters by conceding that the rights of UK citizens living in the rest of the EU were negotiable, too. […]

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    We need to get the data issue right in the Brexit negotiations

We need to get the data issue right in the Brexit negotiations

As businesses in all industries become increasingly digital, describing the technology sector as a separate category makes a little less sense. Banking, retail, the media and all kinds of services are going online. This digitalisation of economic activity poses a challenge to the idea of borders, and makes the Brexit negotiations especially difficult. Julian David (techUK) says that a large number of industries […]

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    Without specific arrangements for Northern Ireland, talk about ‘avoiding a hard border’ is either empty rhetoric or dangerous delusion

Without specific arrangements for Northern Ireland, talk about ‘avoiding a hard border’ is either empty rhetoric or dangerous delusion

Why is Northern Ireland/Ireland (NI/IRL) such a huge sticking point in the Brexit negotiations? It boils down to the implications of three things: leaving the Single Market, leaving the Customs Union, and upholding the 1998 Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement, writes Katy Hayward (Queen’s University Belfast).

It is worth noting that NI/IRL is a Phase 1 matter precisely because the EU is taking […]