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Selling the Withdrawal Agreement

PoliticsatSurrey |

In one of those “politics as cock-up not conspiracy” moments, this week saw the (aggressive) leaking of a document purporting to be the government’s plans for selling the Withdrawal Agreement. I say aggressive, since the leaker pushed it out to several media outlets at once, so really wanted it out there, spelling mistakes and all. The government […]

Getting ahead of ourselves

PoliticsatSurrey |

It’s a mark of the quality of the public Brexit debate that the title of this post could refer to pretty much any aspect of the negotiations to date: the mixture of ignorance, indifference and confusion has produced more than its fair share of mistimings and incorrect sequencings. But today I’d like indulge in my […]

The pros and cons of a longer transition

PoliticsatSurrey |

So, no breakthrough, but also no collapse. Not the most ringing endorsement for yesterday’s European Council discussion on Article 50, but given the possible alternatives, certainly not the worst it could have been. Still the focus remains on the backstop for Ireland. Usefully, we might remember that this backstop has become an issue for two, […]

Cui malum?

PoliticsatSurrey |

It’s crunch time in Art.50. Or, at least, a crunch time. Rather than try to follow the individual twists and turns, many of which aren’t in the public gaze just yet, I’d like to step back and consider an environmental factor to these negotiations, namely who carries the cost. As I’ve discussed before, Brexit is […]

Brussels, not Birmingham

PoliticsatSurrey |

I’ll be frank with you: I’ve never done a full party conference. Some fringe activities, yes, but not the whole shebang. Indeed, the nearest I’ve got is the pile of DVDs of an early 2000s UKIP conference, back when I worked more on euroscepticism (and when UKIP sold DVDs of their conference). This is all […]

The framing of a second referendum

PoliticsatSurrey |

Away from Salzburg and its repeat performance of ‘how we don’t really understand each other‘, the question that I’m getting asked a lot is whether there can be a second referendum. This is an interesting one, because it’s often asked of me by people who’d like to see the end of Brexit and a return […]

The challenge of transition

PoliticsatSurrey |

Today, I’m speaking at a “UK in a changing Europe” event on transition. You’ll find a nice report there, but here’s a taster of some of my comments: Transition serves a number of functions. Firstly, it provides a legal underpinning to EU-UK relationship until a new legal document can be brought in to operationalise the new, long-term […]

So, just how f*cked are we?

PoliticsatSurrey |

It’s turning into a bit of a tradition. I go to a UACES conference, talk with a range of European Studies colleagues, then write a long post, usually with a sweary title. This year it’s Bath, and whereas London in 2016 I was angry (twice) and in Krakow in 2017 I was despairing, this time I’m going to be […]

Giving up on Article 50?

PoliticsatSurrey |

So today sees the publication of the first tranche of ‘no-deal’ preparedness notices from the British government. I’m writing ahead of this, so maybe this’ll be out of date within a few hours, but let’s see what we can piece together so far. The basic issue for the government is that it’s now caught on the horns […]

Getting to an end-state

PoliticsatSurrey |

Let’s suppose my university likes talking about the future. They might do fancy powerpoint presentations, with artists’ impressions of shiny buildings and other infrastructure, together with charts showing How It’s All Going To Be Great. Looks wonderful, I might think. But how do we get there, I might also think. And then it might turn […]

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