UK politics

Which voters have changed their minds about Brexit?

So-called swing voters are often portrayed as being dissatisfied and disengaged from politics. Germ Janmaat (University College London) draws from the conclusions of a research paper on changing preferences on Brexit to challenge that view, and shows that voters who changed their mind on Brexit express considerable interest in politics and believe they are better informed than average.

Much research has already been done on the predictors […]

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    Cabinet resignations and the Chequers proposal could destabilise the economy

Cabinet resignations and the Chequers proposal could destabilise the economy

The stability of UK economy is at a critical stage – now that Theresa May’s leadership may be challenged following high-profile Cabinet resignations, and depending on how the EU reacts to the ‘soft’ Brexit approach agreed at Chequers. Michael Ellington and Costas Milas (University of Liverpool) explain how the pound’s exchange rate and volatility go hand in hand with […]

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 […]

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    Why the Good Friday Agreement is on life support – and why hope still remains

Why the Good Friday Agreement is on life support – and why hope still remains

The central support beams of the Good Friday Agreement — power-sharing and Europeanisation — have become so weakened that its sustainability is now under threat, explains John Nagle (University of Aberdeen). But there is still hope for recovery, and it rests with Northern Ireland’s liberal younger generation.

April 10 2018 marked the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Good […]

Do the UK’s backstop proposals signal progress?

The publication of the UK government’s technical note on customs arrangements the other week was welcome. After months of requests from the EU and the Irish government, the UK government have, at last, provided a written draft plan on the Irish border to discuss. In this blog, Etain Tannam (Trinity College Dublin) explains whether the UK’s backstop proposals signal progress?

British-Irish relations […]

The Brexit battle on Facebook: assessing echo chambers and polarisation

Does online campaigning foster ‘echo chambers’ and exacerbate the polarisation of society? On Facebook, Leave and Remain supporters behaved very differently. Pro-Remain users commented mainly on like-minded Facebook pages. By avoiding confrontation with their political opponents, Remainers showed behaviour characteristic of an ‘echo chamber’. In contrast, Leavers spread their messages on pages spanning the ideological spectrum, and they sought to incite […]

Are smaller parties denied a voice in Parliament’s Brexit debates?

The EU Withdrawal Bill’s return to the Commons saw SNP MPs protest about their voices having been excluded from the Brexit debate. Louise Thompson (University of Surrey) explains how parliamentary procedures can indeed restrict debate for smaller opposition parties, and considers whether something ought to be done about it.
Following the first session of the EU Withdrawal Bill’s return to the Commons, […]

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    Brexit at the Border: What Brexit looks like for those living beside the Irish border

Brexit at the Border: What Brexit looks like for those living beside the Irish border

The Irish border has been centre stage of the Brexit negotiations for a while now. For some, it is viewed as an obstacle to realising the goals of ‘Global Britain’, for others it is a line of defence against a hard Brexit. As the debates transcend into increasing hyperbole, it is all too easy to forget why the 500km […]

Powerless to resist: Canute, Brexit and the tides of political pressure

Canute tried to hold back the waves; David Cameron tried to hold back the discontent within and outside his party. Neither succeeded. Will Jennings (University of Southampton) and Martin Lodge (LSE) analyse why the referendum was called and the often contradictory impulses it unleashed.

King Canute’s attempts to hold back the waves are a frequent allusion in debates as to whether individual […]