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Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

Um. Hello? [waves]

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I know my IR colleagues like nothing better than a strategic review document, since it gives them hours of enjoyment coding for stuff and generally feeling like there’s some interest in their field. And the arrival of the UK’s much-delayed Integrated Review this week has given me some sense of that, even as it almost […]

The perils of riding two horses

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As we move into the new phase of Brexit – ‘long Brexit’ as I find I’m thinking about it – it’s useful to cast an eye back on one of the more obvious difficulties that the UK government faced during 2020: trying to do two things at once. While this shouldn’t be in the same […]

Onwards, certainly. Upwards?

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Among the more minor consequences of Brexit has been the opportunity for me to give evidence to Parliament. In the case of talking with the Commons Committee on the Future Relationship with the EU (formerly the Exiting the EU Committee), that has always been a very constructive and engaging experience. Which makes it all the […]

The TCA as an entanglement

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The central narrative of the Leave case in the Brexit period as that of ‘taking back control’. By withdrawing from the European Union, the UK would liberate itself from the confines and strictures of What Other People Want, and instead become a free agent on the global stage. While this has been an effective rhetorical […]

Another day, another deadline

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Today’s a special day, for several reasons. Most importantly, it’s the launch of our new Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in the Centre for Britain and Europe, with many excellent speakers (and me). You can follow the discussion on Twitter on #SurreyBritainEurope and by following our account. But it’s also important as the deadline for […]

How likely is a Future Relationship deal?

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This is the big question of late 2020 in Brexit-land. All summer and into the autumn, we’ve have multiple briefings, this way and that; some setting us on the road to a rapid settlement, others pointing towards whatever euphemism-of-the-day we might have for a no-deal outcome. So which is it? Rather than try to list […]

Bus-crashing as a negotiation technique

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As I’ve sat down to write this, I’ve just reminded myself that I said only a short time ago that a leading indicator of heading to an agreement on the Future Relationship would be a de-escalation of the rhetoric. Make of that what you will, both in regard to Brexit and to me. This past […]

Why the UK carries much more of the adjustment costs of Brexit than the EU

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Last week, almost as an aside to another conversation on Twitter, I noted that the UK was always going to have a much more difficult time of it all with Brexit than the EU because it (the UK) has to build and rebuild a huge pile of government functionality, while the EU just keeps what […]

Tick. Tock. (pt. 746)

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So, only the 6 months until Brexit is done. Or possibly not. The passing of the deadline for an extension of the transition period at midnight on Tuesday means that on a chilly Thursday night on 31 December, the UK will pass out of that period into, well, something. What that something might be isn’t […]

Negotiation theory and extending transition

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This post originally appeared on the UK in a Changing Europe website. The return of Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings to Number 10 has seen a significant ramping-up of the British rhetoric on the negotiations around the future partnership with the EU. That’s not merely meant stronger words about refusing an extension of the talks, […]

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