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Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

Tick follows tock follows tick: Waiting for May in March

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We find ourselves at the end of the phoney war. Probably. With only a few weeks left until Theresa May’s self-imposed deadline for Article 50 notification, the most striking thing as one looks around is the almost-complete absence of interest in the issue. In the UK, this might partly be understood by the wait on […]

A bridge to nowhere?

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About a decade ago in the US, there was a minor scandal about a ‘bridge to nowhere’: substantial federal funds had been appropriated to build a bridge to replace a little-used ferry to an Alaskan island, mainly – it appeared – to serve the pork-barrel politics of Washington. Theresa May might find herself reflecting on […]

How to read the Brexit White Paper

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Today’s White Paper on “The United Kingdom’s exit from and new partnership with the European Union” fulfils a government commitment to provide Parliament with its considered opinion about how to manage the process of Brexit. Quite aside from the timing issue – coming as it does a day after the second reading of the EU(NOW) Bill - the White […]

We’re on our (Brexit) way!

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Eppur si muove. A scant 7 months after the referendum, last night Parliament passed the second reading of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill* by a clear 498 votes to 114. Job done, Parliament no obstacle, what could go wrong? As usual – in accordance with Usherwood’s law - plenty can go wrong, no matter who one is. To […]

Brexit is still happening, just not the way May hoped

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The British Supreme Court ruling of January 24 was a mixed result for the Prime Minister Theresa May’s government (PDF). On the one hand, they saw their earlier defeat in the High Court defeat confirmed, committing them to passing legislation through parliament before they can start the formal process of leaving the European Union under Article 50. On the […]

Theresa and the awfully big adventure

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Tuesday’s speech by Theresa May was a hastily-arranged set-piece. While there had been talk of further details on the vacuous “Brexit means Brexit” stance of the autumn “early in the new year”, no one had particular expectations. That there wasn’t even a time fixed until the afternoon before suggests that this was an improvisation, rather than part […]

The Article 50 Project

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As I mentioned last week, I’m resolved this year to making a more positive contribution to the Brexit debate than telling you all the ways it’s a mess (or, indeed, a clusterf**k). Obviously, this actually means trying to find a way to get input from more people than just myself, since the abiding impression of the past […]

The substance of Brexit

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A new year, but the same old problems. Not only do we not know what Brexit will look like, we’re not even sure of the dimensions of what it could look like. This is a real issue – both academically and politically – because any post-membership relationship will have to find positions for those involved […]

Brexit 6 months on: the state of UK politics

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Today, UK in a Changing Europe publishes its report on the state of play on Brexit, 6 months from the EU referendum vote. You can read the full report here, including my contribution, reproduced below: What has happened? The six months since the EU referendum on 23 June have been some of the most tumultuous in British political history: within […]

Article 50: The Motion Picture

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So last night was the Politics Department Christmas meal. Suffice to say that I’m the only one in so far, possibly because I had my first Article 50-themed dream – Lord Pannick was doing donuts a la Boris, while David Davis was giving evidence to a Parliamentary Committee – and felt that sleep was no longer […]

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