EU referendum

Audit 2017: How democratic is the overall set-up of devolved government within the UK?

Audit 2017: How democratic is the overall set-up of devolved government within the UK?

Devolution in the UK encompasses a range of quite different solutions in three countries (Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland), plus lesser delegations of powers to London and some English cities. Designed to meet specific demands for national or regional control and to bring government closer to citizens, there are important issues around the stability and […]

Book review | Why the UK Voted for Brexit: David Cameron’s Great Miscalculation

Book review | Why the UK Voted for Brexit: David Cameron’s Great Miscalculation

In Why the UK Voted for Brexit: David Cameron’s Great Miscalculation, Andrew Glencross offers an analysis of Brexit. While the pace of developments since the book’s publication inevitably makes some of its observations prematurely obsolete, this remains an important and historically sensitive account of this momentous event in the domestic and international political landscape, writes Chris Moreh.  […]

If you believe Brexit is a mistake, you have a democratic duty to oppose it

If you believe Brexit is a mistake, you have a democratic duty to oppose it

Is there a duty to implement the EU referendum result? Not if you believe it to be a profound mistake, argues Albert Weale. We cannot sensibly and intelligibly use the language of ‘the will of the people’ in respect of the referendum result. It is not simply a device for the registering of the preferences of […]

Politicians haven’t been honest with the public about immigration. They still aren’t

Politicians haven’t been honest with the public about immigration. They still aren’t

The populist surge that helped propel Brexit isn’t going to help the UK take control of its borders, writes Tim Bale. Neither Labour nor the Conservatives have been honest with voters about immigration policy, and that shows little signs of changing after a hard Brexit. The gap between rhetoric and reality has given politicians the opportunity to […]

Submarine May can’t slip back under the waves. Keeping Brexit negotiations secret is impossible

Submarine May can’t slip back under the waves. Keeping Brexit negotiations secret is impossible

The story of Brexit has been that of a would-be secretive government forced to become more open about its intentions, writes Ben Worthy. Pressure from select committees, the media and freedom of information requests – compounded by a stream of leaks – means we now know what kind of Brexit we will have. But he […]

What would voters be asked in a second EU referendum – and would they get it?

What would voters be asked in a second EU referendum – and would they get it?

If – and it’s a big if – the government were to call a second EU referendum, what question would it ask? And would it be able to deliver the answer? In this extract from a new UCL European Institute working paper, Alan Renwick examines the likelihood, terms and outcome of any ‘second round’ vote. […]

We’re taking back control – but who’s going to wield it?

We’re taking back control – but who’s going to wield it?

Britain voted to ‘take back control’ from the EU, and Theresa May’s Lancaster House speech made the repatriation of power to Westminster a priority. But it is far from clear what kind of Brexit Britons want, nor how many of these powers will go to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland rather than the UK Parliament. Katie Ghose […]

Britons are applying for Irish citizenship to get an EU passport. Is this a problem?

Britons are applying for Irish citizenship to get an EU passport. Is this a problem?

Since the Brexit vote, many British citizens have sought citizenship in other EU member states – notably Ireland – on the basis of ancestry or other provisions, often without any intention of living there.  Should we welcome this development? Or is it problematic that people can claim citizenship on the basis of ancestry, especially if large […]

How ‘the story’ subsumed ‘The Vote’: we have no meaningful direction about the terms of Brexit

How ‘the story’ subsumed ‘The Vote’: we have no meaningful direction about the terms of Brexit

What did the 52% who voted to leave the EU want? In the first part of a lecture delivered at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, David Kershaw argues that pro-Brexit politicians and media have presumed to interpret the vote as a mandate to ensure Brexit results in the controls on free movement which are likely to […]

Referendums, informed voting and the trouble with a ‘truth commission’

Referendums, informed voting and the trouble with a ‘truth commission’

Following the EU referendum, there have been demands for a ‘truth commission’ to be set up to oversee future referendum campaigns. Paul Kildea argues that there are significant practical difficulties to the establishment of such a body. These include the possibility of a ‘chilling effect’ on speech, the fact that the accuracy of many controversial […]

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