Brexit

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The first stage deal reached between the UK and the EU27 is an important staging post, says Kirsty Huges, but any suggestions that this opens the path to an easy future relationship are wide of the mark. 
 
The UK-EU27 deal on EU citizens’ rights, the divorce bill and Northern Ireland’s border will unlock the second stage of Brexit talks at next week’s European Council summit in Brussels.  The summit is expected to issue guidelines on a transition period while the crucial trade guidelines will come later perhaps in February or March.
 
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The current compromise on the border issue between Northern Ireland and the Republic relies on a subsequent technocratic fix, which, says Michael Keating,  provides ample material for arguments in the course of the next round of negotiations. 
 
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Richard Parry reflects on the first-stage agreement between the UK and EU that defuses political of tension but has little comfort for the proponents of Brexit and leaves all to play for in the territorial politics of Britain and Ireland. 
 
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The fundamental issue with Clause 11 of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, which allows the UK parliament and government to retain competence in areas of devolved responsibility, is one of trust, says Nicola McEwen. 
 
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The interplay between Brexit and devolution is a complex one and, as yet, says Michael Keating, there is little to suggest that the questions it raises have been answered. 
 
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The House of Commons is currently considering the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, and the Scottish Affairs Committee has just published a Report looking at the implications of this Bill for Scotland’s devolution settlement. Committee Chair Pete Wishart outlines the Committee’s work on this subject and sets out the Report’s main conclusions and recommendations.
 

The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill

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Much of the Brexit-related talk has focused on the size of the money pie but, says Michael Keating, determining how it will be cut is just as important. 

After Brexit, money currently spent on EU agriculture and structural funds will revert to the UK. These are the largest items in the EU budget so that the sums are important.  The question has arisen as to how they will be distributed across the UK. Currently, the devolved governments do rather well in these fields. 

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  • 17th January 2019

    Richard Parry assesses a memorable day in UK parliamentary history as the Commons splits 432-202 on 15 January 2019 against the Government's recommended Brexit route. It was the most dramatic night at Westminster since the Labour government’s defeat on a confidence motion in 1979.

  • 17th January 2019

    What is the Irish government’s Brexit wish-list? The suggestion that Irish unity, as opposed to safeguarding political and economic stability, is the foremost concern of the Irish government is to misunderstand and misrepresent the motivations of this key Brexit stakeholder, writes Mary C. Murphy (University College Cork).

  • 17th January 2019

    Brexit is in trouble but not because of the Irish backstop, argues the CCC's Michael Keating.

  • 16th January 2019

    Fellows of the Centre on Constitutional Change respond to the rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement by the House of Commons and the impending no-confidence vote in the government.

  • 11th January 2019

    Richard Parry assesses the unfolding drama at Westminster around no-deal scenarios. The deal ‘would be an uncomfortable outcome for the EU: providing quota-fee, tariff-free access to the EU market without any accompanying financial obligations; without any access to UK fishing waters in the absence of further agreement; and without any commitments to align with the majority of so-called level playing field arrangements’. For Tory leavers, what’s not to like in this negotiating triumph for Theresa May?

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