Brexit

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For Ireland, the Brexit discussion has focused heavily on the Irish issue. This has meant an unrelenting emphasis on securing a Brexit deal which ensures no border on the island of Ireland, and achieving a backstop provision which guarantees this scenario. The expectation is that this will be achieved in the context of the Withdrawal Agreement, and before the transition phase begins. 
 
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In May 2018, the Leave Means Leave organisation issued a report called ‘Max Fac works: The Technological Solution to the Irish Border Customs Issue’.  The report says that existing technology and best practice is “more than capable of permitting a friction-free border”.   The report was welcomed by pro-Brexit MPs including Sammy Wilson of the DUP who commented that “As this report makes clear – Max Fac is the only option the Government should be pursuing… A

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The issue with trade negotiations is that they are reciprocal negotiations. In order to gain something in a negotiation your country has to be willing to make a concession to the other country. To gain something you have to be willing to give something. On tariffs you have to agree to lower your tariffs in certain sectors in order to make gains in the other country’s market. Therefore, it is important that any time you are seeking to make an advantage you have to be willing to cede something in your own market.

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With little more than six months to go before the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019, the position of Scotland vis-à-vis the EU is not much clearer than it was in the immediate aftermath of the EU referendum more than two years ago. The Scottish Government has put the question of a second independence referendum on the back-burner and discussions around a differentiated Brexit deal for Scotland have died down.
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This week, the ESRC-supported project “UK in a Changing Europe” issued a new report on the economic and political effects for the UK of a No Deal. This project uses a collection of experts in law, politics and economics drawn from across the UK. Its members were selected on merit, not on their support or otherwise for Brexit. They had written extensively about trade, migration, agriculture, EU politics etc. well before David Cameron called the referendum.
 
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Canada is a federal state with a division of power between the federal Government and the provinces, with some matters of jurisdiction at the authority of the federal Government, some at the provinces and some split between the two. The federal Government has authority for negotiating and signing trade agreements, but they involve the provinces very heavily in that process. Their approach for incorporating the provinces has been ad hoc rather than formalised in nature and it has also been evolving over a period of several decades.

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A week after the state of intergovernmental relations (IGR) in the UK was highlighted by the UK government’s law officers standing in opposition to their devolved counterparts in the UK Supreme Court, the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee published a report on improving IGR after Brexit. Jack Sheldon discusses the methods by which England could gain distinct representation — something it currently lacks — in a new IGR system.

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  • 19th February 2019

    Over the course of the UK’s preparations for withdrawing from the EU, the issue of the UK’s own internal market has emerged as an issue of concern, and one that has the potentially significant consequences for devolution. Dr Jo Hunt of Cardiff University examines the implications.

  • 12th February 2019

    CCC Fellow Professor Daniel Wincott of Cardiff University examines how Brexit processes have already reshaped territorial politics in the UK and changed its territorial constitution.

  • 7th February 2019

    The future of agriculture policy across the United Kingdom after Brexit is uncertain and risky, according to a new paper by Professor Michael Keating of the Centre on Constitutional Change. Reforms of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy over recent years have shifted the emphasis from farming to the broader concept of rural policy. As member states have gained more discretion in applying policy, the nations of the UK have also diverged, according to local conditions and preferences.

  • 4th February 2019

    In our latest report for the "Repatriation of Competences: Implications for Devolution" project, Professor Nicola McEwen and Dr Alexandra Remond examine how, in the longer term, Brexit poses significant risks for the climate and energy ambitions of the devolved nations. These include the loss of European Structural and Investment Funds targeted at climate and low carbon energy policies, from which the devolved territories have benefited disproportionately. European Investment Bank loan funding, which has financed high risk renewables projects, especially in Scotland, may also no longer be as accessible, while future access to research and innovation funding remains uncertain. The removal of the EU policy framework, which has incentivised the low carbon ambitions of the devolved nations may also result in lost opportunities.

  • 1st February 2019

    The outcome of the various Commons votes this week left certain only that the Government would either secure an amended deal and put it to a meaningful vote on Wednesday 13 February, or in the overwhelmingly likely absence of this make a further statement that day and table another amendable motion for the following day, the Groundhog Day that may lead to a ‘St Valentine’s Day Massacre’ for one side or the other. Richard Parry assesses the further two-week pause in parliamentary action on Brexit

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