UK politics

Taking (back) control? The EU Withdrawal Act 2019 and the balance of power

The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2019 is a Pyrrhic victory, writes Alison Young (University of Cambridge). It did little to modify the relative powers of the House of Commons and the Government and, if anything, its long-term consequence may transfer power from the Commons to the government. 

In an insightful post, David Howarth set out a conflict between two visions of democracy: […]

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    Brexit and collective cabinet responsibility: why the Convention is still working

Brexit and collective cabinet responsibility: why the Convention is still working

In this blog, Robert Brett Taylor (University of Aberdeen) discusses constitutional conventions under the post-Brexit constitution. He asks whether there is a continued constitutional purpose for the Convention of Collective Cabinet Responsibility in the modern era? He maintains that, despite current turmoil, it would be premature to say that the Convention is broken as a result of Brexit. 

Theresa May’s attempts to deliver […]

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    Campaigning leaflets from the first European Parliament election in 1979

Campaigning leaflets from the first European Parliament election in 1979

LSE Library curator Daniel Payne shares some of his favourite images from the first European Parliament elections in 1979.

The first ever European Parliament elections were held 40 years ago, with an average voter turnout across the member states of 62% (the UK had just 32%). Since then, LSE Library has been documenting the UK’s relationship with Europe through an […]

How to use referendums correctly in British democracy

The Brexit referendum represents a constitutional turning point for many reasons and it has shown how referendums can be dangerous for the British constitution. According to Claudio Martinelli (University of Milan-Bicocca) British institutions should accept a fundamental distinction between two types of referendums: those that allow the electoral body to choose between two clear and defined results, and those […]

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    Long read | How the perennial problem of Northern Ireland took centre stage in Brexit

Long read | How the perennial problem of Northern Ireland took centre stage in Brexit

Northern Ireland has played a starring role in the unfolding of Brexit, writes Lisa Claire Whitten (Queen’s University Belfast). The “particular circumstances” presented by the “unique…challenges” of Northern Ireland did not feature prominently in the early stages of Brexit but these have since defined the process.

The question of how to ‘solve’ the problem of the Irish border was the most […]

When a tactical vote may not work: the complex choice facing Remainers in the EP elections

Remainers seeking to maximise the impact of their vote in the European Parliament election face a difficult choice. Heinz Brandenburg (University of Strathclyde) explains why district magnitude is such a key factor in the d’Hondt system, and why it means that different regions call for different voting strategies.

The European Parliament (EP) Elections in the UK on 23 May will […]

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    It is the interplay between economic factors and individual attitudes that explains Brexit

It is the interplay between economic factors and individual attitudes that explains Brexit

Economic and cultural factors are often presented as alternative explanations of Brexit. Miguel Carreras, Yasemin Irepoglu Carreras, and Shaun Bowler (University of California, Riverside) explain why both actually matter and how they are related to each other.

Recent political developments in advanced democracies have generated a scholarly debate on what led to these results. While some scholars argue that economic grievances among […]

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    The UK will remain deeply intertwined with the EU after Brexit – just how much, the courts will decide

The UK will remain deeply intertwined with the EU after Brexit – just how much, the courts will decide

Much has been written on the relationship between Parliament and the government in the wake of Brexit. Very little attention has been given to the role of our courts after Brexit, which should not be overlooked. There are two important reasons why we should focus on this, writes Martin Brenncke (Aston Law School). First, judges will be key players in […]

The Electoral Commission has effectively disenfranchised EU citizens. Now it must make amends

Thousands of EU citizens will be effectively disenfranchised at the European Parliament elections on 23 May, thanks to a little-known rule requiring them to fill out an extra form in order to vote. the3million co-founder Maike Bohn says the Electoral Commission must now extend the deadline for those who have already registered to vote – and answer serious questions about […]

Calling Brexit a national ‘humiliation’ fuels division

After the drama of the first months of 2019, it’s perhaps a good moment to step back a little and consider the division in society that has been exposed and deepened by Brexit, writes Barry Richards (Bournemouth University). Which aspects of the whole saga have been most toxic, emotionally, and are most likely to get in the way of […]