UK politics

Brexit: how both sides of the political divide have co-opted the ‘left behind’ North

There has been a tendency in British public discourse since the 2016 referendum on EU membership to identify the residents of Northern England as the principal “culprits” of the Brexit vote, writes Craig Berry (Manchester Metropolitan University). In truth, the North has been deliberately subjugated to the dominant economy of the south-east.

Given that, in a direct, immediate sense, it […]

Trying to stop Johnson proroguing Parliament would take time – which we don’t have

Proroguing Parliament to force a no-deal Brexit would not in itself bring about a constitutional crisis, writes Joelle Grogan (Middlesex University). But if Johnson ignores the will of Parliament, or if parliamentarians fight back with an alternative Parliament, it would. John Major and Gina Miller have said they will seek a judicial review if Boris Johnson tries to prorogue, […]

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    What history tells us about the challenges of post-Brexit immigration policy

What history tells us about the challenges of post-Brexit immigration policy

Jonathan Thomas outlines four key lessons from recent history to illuminate the potential consequences of the government’s proposed immigration system. He concludes that the ending of freedom of movement represents the start of a significant new challenge for the UK in managing not only immigration, but also the public’s concerns over it.

With the ending of freedom of movement to […]

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    Long read | Labour’s Brexit capitulation is the end of Corbynism

Long read | Labour’s Brexit capitulation is the end of Corbynism

The Labour party’s recent Brexit capitulation is a betrayal of Labour supporters who voted Leave and were promised in the 2017 election that the party would respect the majority’s decision. It has also proven that the Labour Party cannot be used for genuinely transformative ends and it heralds the end of Corbynism as a political project, argues Lee Jones (QMUL).

The Labour […]

The Brexit Prime Minister? Assessing Theresa May’s legacy

Theresa May’s premiership exacerbated the political divides behind the ongoing breakdown of the Conservative-Labour duopoly of the party system, write Christopher Byrne (Leeds Beckett), Nick Randall (Newcastle University) and Kevin Theakston (University of Leeds).
The political obituaries that followed Theresa May’s decision to step down as Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative party were not kind. The Times’ assessment was […]

Why UK parties are starting to embrace Brexit-driven electoral pacts

The left-right dimension in UK politics is being replaced by a libertarian-authoritarian dimension which the first past the post system struggles to accommodate. Ian Simpson (Electoral Reform Society) looks at why the parties are scrambling to embrace Brexit-driven electoral pacts. 

During the first half of 2019, party affiliation among the British electorate became more fragmented and volatile than ever before. […]

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    Character versus competence – How would you choose between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt?

Character versus competence – How would you choose between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt?

How would you choose Boris Johnson versus Jeremy Hunt? The July 9th live head-to-head debate on national television revealed the contrasting characters of the two candidates vying to become the leader of the UK’s ruling Conservative party, and hence, our next Prime Minister: optimism versus realism; big picture versus details; obfuscation versus precision; humour versus pointedness. Aside though from […]

What do British newspaper readers think about Brexit?

The various Brexit allegiances of Britain’s newspapers are clear. But what do their readers think? Heinz Brandenburg (University of Strathclyde) analyses data from the British Election Study Internet Panel to find out how intransigent – or open to compromise – their readers are, and how readerships have shifted since Brexit.

Plenty of research has gone into how Brexit has been […]

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    UK ambassador leaks: A timely reminder of the UK’s vulnerability after Brexit

UK ambassador leaks: A timely reminder of the UK’s vulnerability after Brexit

Post-imperial British influence rested on the dual pillars of its leading role in Europe and its unique partnership with the US. Brexit will inevitably weaken the former; the Darroch leaks make plain the volatility of the latter, writes James Dunne (Central European University). 

As the fallout from the leaking of Sir Kim Darroch’s telegrams continues – with the British ambassador […]

Is Labour now a Remain party?

Labour’s recent announcements regarding Brexit appear to signal a shift towards Remain. Yet, the fact that Labour would campaign for Remain against either No Deal or a Tory deal is merely an extension of the party’s existing approach, argues Peter J. Verovšek. At the same time, Labour now appears to back a second, confirmatory referendum before leaving the EU on any terms (no […]