The Process of Brexit: What comes next?

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Series Details January 2017
Publication Date January 2017
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In this report published jointly by the Constitution Unit and the UCL European Institute in February 2017, Alan Renwick examines what the process of Brexit is likely to look like over the coming weeks, months, and years.

The phoney war around Brexit is almost over. For months, two immediate questions have dominated discussions: How can Article 50 be triggered? And what sort of deal will ministers seek? The Supreme Court’s ruling on 24 January 2017 answered the first question. We know much more now about the second through Theresa May’s Lancaster House speech
and the white paper published on 2 February 2017 . The Article 50 bill is being debated in parliament. By the end of March 2017 – if the government gets its way – we will be entering a new phase in the process.

The question is: What comes next? Can the government deliver on its wish list? Can parliament provide effective scrutiny? Will the courts intervene again? How is Brexit likely to play in the devolved nations? Is a second referendum at all likely?

In the report the author summarises five key lessons:

1/ The UK government is very unlikely to get what it says it wants.
2/ Parliament will continue to matter.
3/ The courts will continue to play a role too, but this shouldn’t be exaggerated.
4/ The process of Brexit could have profound implications for the future of the union between England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
5/ Public opinion will remain crucial to determining the direction of events.

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Blog: UCL The Constitution Unit, 08.02.17: The process of Brexit: what comes next?
ESO: In Focus: Brexit - The United Kingdom and the European Union

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