UK politics

Populism fed pro-Leave sentiment, but what kind of populism?

Euroscepticism is an established force in British politics. Did it explain the Leave vote, or was the advent of right-wing populism also responsible? Brian Rathbun (University of Southern California) looks at the correlation between nativist and anti-elite sentiments and support for Brexit. He concludes that a particular kind of populism – one grafted onto a distrust of multiculturalism – was associated with […]

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    Mutually assured destruction? Understanding the UK and Ireland’s standoff over the Northern Irish border

Mutually assured destruction? Understanding the UK and Ireland’s standoff over the Northern Irish border

Time is rapidly running out in the Brexit negotiations and there is still no agreement in sight on the issue of the Irish border. Gavin Barrett explains that despite the ultimatums emanating from each side, a no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for both the UK and Ireland.

Tony Blair once famously compared then British Prime Minister David Cameron’s (badly miscalculated) […]

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    Irish border backstop: many unanswered questions and considerable economic challenges

Irish border backstop: many unanswered questions and considerable economic challenges

What happens to Northern Ireland once the UK leaves the European Union has become one of the most complex issues in the Brexit negotiations. The problem stems from the fact that the Good Friday Agreement has been interpreted as precluding a return to a hard border – that is, any physical infrastructure – between the North and South of […]

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    How the government can use quotas to build a sustainable future for UK fishing

How the government can use quotas to build a sustainable future for UK fishing

As the government attempts to determine a vision for national, ‘world leading’ fisheries after Brexit, the big challenge is about the use of quota, writes Erin Priddle. She outlines three basic principles that can be used to frame a fishing future with well-balanced goals for jobs, seafood supply, and the marine environment.

As the media, environmentalists, and industry examine UK […]

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    Devolutionist unionist? Brexit won’t ease the complexities of Welsh politics

Devolutionist unionist? Brexit won’t ease the complexities of Welsh politics

Much media and academic attention on Brexit has understandably focussed on the external dimension: the complex negotiations between the UK and the EU over withdrawal and a future relationship. Roger Awan-Scully (Cardiff University) sheds light on the intra-UK dimension of Brexit with respect to Wales.

A great deal has also concentrated on the difficult internal politics at Westminster – with Theresa May’s government, […]

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    The Europeanization of the Northern Ireland peace process and how Brexit threatens it all

The Europeanization of the Northern Ireland peace process and how Brexit threatens it all

Giada Lagana offers on overview of the EU’s role in Northern Ireland’s peace-making process over the past three decades, and assesses its impact on Anglo-Irish relations. She concludes that protecting the Good Friday Agreement and the dynamics between its key actors is vital to Northern Ireland’s future, and there is hardly an alternative on offer.

April 1998 was a time […]

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    How majoritarianism endures in the structures of the UK’s devolved institutions

How majoritarianism endures in the structures of the UK’s devolved institutions

Scotland and Wales’ devolved political institutions, elected under proportional Additional Member electoral systems, were intended to produce a more consensual political culture. However, writes Felicity Matthews, although their electoral rules have increased the proportionality of representation, the structures of the Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales have meant that a more consensual approach to policy-making has been more limited than might have been expected.

This year, the […]

What are the legal aspects of ‘packing’ the Lords with Brexit-friendly peers?

The recent string of government defeats in the House of Lords over amendments to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill has reignited the debate over the role of the Lords in a modern democracy. The Daily Mail published a characteristically trenchant headline suggesting that we should “pull the plug” on the “traitors in ermine”. With 12 new peers just announced […]

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    The UK-Scottish dispute may pave the way for a second independence referendum

The UK-Scottish dispute may pave the way for a second independence referendum

The Scottish Parliament has denied consent to the EU Withdrawal Bill. In this blog, Akash Paun (Institute for Government) argues that the Prime Minister now faces an unpalatable choice: concede defeat or help the SNP make the case for indyref2.

And lo it came to pass. After nearly two years of wrangling over the impact of Brexit on devolution, the […]

Kicking the bucket down the road to Norway: EEA is back

Many months after it was ruled out by the government, membership of the European Economic Area (the ‘Norway option’) is being mooted once again. Given Theresa May’s procrastination and the obstacle of the Northern Ireland border, writes Jim Gallagher (Centre on Constitutional Change), it may be that – over time – what is effectively continued economic but not political union is broadly acceptable […]