Understanding Brexit provides a concise introduction to the past, present and future of one of the most important and controversial topics in modern British politics. Written for both those familiar with the topic and those new to it, the book sets out in a clear and accessible way many of the fundamentals for understanding why Britain voted to leave the European Union and what happens next.
1 ONE Studying Brexit Introduction Brexit is the most important and controversial topic in modern British politics. It confronts the UK with a series of questions and debates about its identity, society, political economy, trade, security, international position, constitution, legal system, sovereignty, unity, party politics and the attitudes and values that define it. While questions and debates about these topics took place before the vote to leave the EU, the referendum’s debate and result have brought them together in a way that could make Brexit a
7 ONE Brexit nation Anthony Key’s work entitled Trespassing conveys the reality and fragility of borders in a visceral way. It evokes barbed-wire fences that cannot be crossed without being branded a trespasser, and thus a criminal. Figure 1.1: Anthony Key, Trespassing (2000) 8 REIMAGINING THE NATION Barbed wire in any form is visceral because it evokes danger and pain, reminding us that feelings are central to building borders between ‘us’ and ‘them’. The analogy with state borders and illegal immigrants is clear to see. Yet, by making the barbed wire out
How has the Brexit vote affected EU migrants to the UK?
This book presents a female Polish perspective, using findings from research carried out with migrants interviewed before and after the Brexit vote – voices of real people who made their home in the UK. It looks at how migrants view Brexit and what it means for them, how their experiences compare pre- and post-Brexit vote, and their future plans, as well as considering the wider implications of the migrant experience in relation to precarity and the British paid labour market.
A vocal Corbynista MP declared, “New Labour, in my opinion, are responsible for the country voting Brexit, because we lacked an industrial strategy, meaning the communities that were decimated and abandoned by Thatcher and Major’s policy continued to be abandoned”. This MP pulled no punches, firmly laying the majority leave vote at New Labour’s door. The left believed that New Labour’s failure to economically regenerate these areas post-Thatcher combined with its warm embrace of globalization, immigration and its role in the 2008 financial crisis (precipitating
133 SIX Europe and Brexit Introduction This chapter looks at the second set of negotiations and processes outlined at the end of Chapter Four, which are taking place at the European level. They are summarised below in Table 6.1. They can be divided into two groups: those between the UK and the EU, and those within the remaining EU. UK–EU negotiators need to reach agreement over three deals: an exit deal, a deal over a transition arrangement, and a new post-Brexit EU–UK relationship. This chapter examines what options exist for each and sets out what the
The need to think conjuncturally is nowhere better demonstrated than in the moment of Brexit. Accounting for Brexit has tended to take simplifying forms, ranging from a focus on manoeuvring within the Conservative Party to the grand global explanations centred on neoliberal capitalism. In this chapter I explore three ways of locating and explaining Brexit as exemplifications of the problems of focusing on one dynamic. I address explanations that treat Brexit as one example of a wider global rise of populist politics, explanations that centre on the disruptive
Diego: They [English colleagues] talked a lot about [Brexit], most of them supported it precisely because they didn’t want foreigners, I mean [pause] not with me though, I don’t know, is not like they told me “well, Italians”, it was more towards [pause] I don’t know, because some [pause] probably some [migrants] take advantage of it, bring their children here, all their family, so they take benefits without having worked and paid taxes, but I don’t think they were talking about me, because I’m not here stealing anything, but yes, that’s how they saw it
Drawing on a range of disciplinary, conceptual and theoretical approaches, this book analyses the complex interconnections between social policy formation and implementation in the European Union before and during the UK’s membership. It explores the issues, debates and policy challenges facing the EU at different stages in its development, and shows how the UK promoted and hampered social integration. With the UK’s decision to leave the EU as one of the greatest challenges in the EU’s history, this book seeks to understand the role played by social policy in the referendum campaign and withdrawal negotiations, and considers what Brexit means for social policy development both in the UK and across the EU.
Introduction Britain in a time of Brexit is a ‘hotbed’ of populist politics. Traditional party-political cleavages and the familiar spectrum of public debate have given way to a cross-party focus on the narrow issues of immigration, border control and sovereignty. Political opinion in England and Wales now shows increasing scepticism towards globalization and multiculturalism and a rise in nationalist and even xenophobic sentiment. Where Eurosceptics long sat on the political side lines, there is now a conscious sharing of Eurosceptic ideas by the main