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Britain’s insistence on impact assessments helped wrap Brussels in red tape

The much-anticipated Brexit impact assessments are rather less detailed than many expected them to be. Chris Kendall contrasts the Brexit secretary’s admission that he is ‘not a fan’ of them with the stringent approach the European Commission now takes to financial accountability. Indeed, it was the UK’s insistence on thorough impact assessments that helped to create a culture of propriety […]

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    Understanding the Brexit vote: the interplay between economic internationalisation and cultural openness

Understanding the Brexit vote: the interplay between economic internationalisation and cultural openness

The Leave vote prevailed in regions where local workers do not interact much with foreign cultures – yet some of these places rely on jobs created by foreign firms. If internationalisation in the workplace does not match internationalisation ‘at home’, pressure on local workers to opt out from further economic integration increases, write Riccardo Crescenzi (LSE), Alessandra Faggian (Gran Sasso), and Marco […]

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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    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 […]

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    Despite fearing what Brexit may bring, UK Poles are here to stay

Despite fearing what Brexit may bring, UK Poles are here to stay

Despite fears related to the increase in hate crime numbers following the EU referendum, and the uncertainty around their future residency status, immigrants from Poland will not abandon their established lives in the UK as willingly as Brexit supporters might like. Aga Kulesa (Warsaw School of Economics) discusses narratives of belonging among Polish immigrants in the UK.

According to the […]