British & Scottish Politics; EU; Brexit

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Played-out Brexit takes shape
CCC Fellow Richard Parry reviews Theresa May's abortive plan to get her Brexit "deal" through the Commons as her premiership terminates abruptly.
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Theresa May is on the retreat -  from any attempt to promise and carry through no deal, from seeking changes to the Withdrawal Agreement, from not organizing European Parliament elections, even from the attempted reinstatement of the 22 May date that was the outcome of the marathon Cabinet of 2 April.   Her letter to Donald Tusk of 5 April repeated the request for 30 June that was turned down last time. May’s letter also conceded that the withdrawal agreement could not be changed and that European Parliament elections would be organised.
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The Brexit deadlock has not only aired crucial differences in the way the British regard the European project. It has also exposed serious deficiencies in the United Kingdom’s uncodified constitution. The failure to resolve the distinct constitutional requirements of Northern Ireland and Northern Ireland are one aspect, much discussed on this site, but there is also a failure of institutions at the centre.
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CCC Director Michael Keating examines whether joining  the EFTA and thereby the EEA could work for the UK in the way that it does for Norway.   
When the Brexit debate started back in 2016, one of the options briefly mooted was that the UK could join the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and thereby the European Economic Area (EEA). It was quickly rejected by supporters of both Leave and Remain as the worst of both worlds. 
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Westminster’s seemingly endless Brexit drama has taken yet another twist with Commons Speaker John Bercow’s ruling that the government cannot bring forward a third ‘meaningful vote’ on its Brexit deal without a substantive change to the proposition. Much of the press and political reaction has presented this as a decisive intervention scuppering the government’s plans and making a long Article 50 extension or even no Brexit at all more likely.
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