Brexit: Local and Devolved Government

Author (Person)
Series Title
Series Details March 2018
Publication Date 08/03/2018
Content Type ,

Further information

The report – Brexit: local and devolved government – underlined tensions between London and the devolved administrations. The Scottish and Welsh Governments saw the EU Withdrawal Bill – which brought EU competencies back to the UK – as a power grab by Westminster. The Welsh Government hadbeen battling to resist what it saw as a substantial potential erosion of Welsh self-rule.

The report found that for 40 years the autonomy and scope of English local authorities had been reduced. The EU referendum was seen by the English as a means of expressing themselves.

The vast majority of Brexit supporters in England were willing to sacrifice the UK’s union to achieve their key aim: 81% of Leavers and 87% of Conservative Leavers were willing to de-stabilise the Northern Irish peace process to achieve Brexit and 88% and 92% respectively were prepared to countenance Scottish independence for Brexit.

Brexit was proving inherently disruptive to the fragile constitutional settlement between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. The absence of an executive in Stormont made it harder for the province to gain effective representation in the ongoing talks.

The report was launched to coincide with The UK in a Changing Europe’s conference Brexit: local and devolved government, which took place on the 8 March 2018 at Royal Institute of British Architects, London.

Keynote speakers included Lord Heseltine, Lord Kerslake and Bernard Jenkin MP. Other speakers include Sir John Curtice, Lisa Nandy MP, Local Government Association chair Lord Gary Porter and Professor Tony Travers.

Brexit presented significant economic challenges to the UK’s cities and regions, the report found. British cities would see a fall in economic output as a result of leaving the EU because of the loss of trade.

Those in the south of England would be hardest hit due to the increase in tariff and non-tariff barriers, however, just like in the aftermath of the 2008 recession, they were likely to recover quicker than other parts of the country.

Findings showed the impact of Brexit was likely to be much harsher in economically weaker regions, resulting in even greater regional imbalances. Brexit would exacerbate the relative decline experienced in places that voted most heavily for it.

Contributors argued in favour of greater empowerment of cities and regions.

Main chapter headings

+ The revenge of the 'places that don't matter'
+ The case for city devolution post-Brexit
+ The regional policy implications of Brexit
+ The politics of Brexit in Scotland
+ Brexit and Scotland
+ Brexit and English identity
+ Brexit and Wales
+ Brexit and Northern Ireland
+ Where should decisions be made?Academics contributing to the Economic and Social Research Council's 'The UK in a Changing Europe' published a report called Brexit: Local and Devolved Government in March 2018.

The report suggested Brexit raised profound questions about the internal economic and political organisation of the UK.

Source Link
Related Links
ESO: In Focus: Brexit - The United Kingdom and the European Union
UK in a Changing Europe: Blog, 08.03.18: New report shows Brexit creating significant tensions between Westminster and devolved and local government
LSE Brexit, 16.03.18: Sub-national government can only watch and wait as Brexit grows nearer

Subject Categories
Countries / Regions ,