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On 23rd January 2013, Prime Minister David Cameron made a speech that set out his vision for a renewed partnership between Britain and the European Union. Apart from a call for repatriating certain powers, the Prime Minister promised the British people an in-or-out referendum in 2017 should his party win the 2015 general election. Now, after the Conservative Party’s surprisingly won an absolute majority in the May ballot, Mr Cameron decided to fast track the referendum, to be held as soon as 23rd June 2016.

The referendum process raised many important questions for the United Kingdom. Will David Cameron be able to negotiate a “New Deal” for his country before June 2016? How will his diplomacy affect Britain’s relationship with its European partners? Is a referendum of this kind democratic? And, what would a British exit from the EU—a “Brexit”—look like? Over the past year, the Oxford University Politics Blog has published a number of expert contributions that engage with these issues.

Now that the UK has voted to leave, the series will focus on the consequences of Brexit, the exit negotiations, and the changing relationship between Britain and the EU.

The British parliamentary system, inspired by John Locke, Edmund Burke, John Stuart Mill and many others who believed in a system of checks and balances to guarantee our liberties, has in the past been much admired as a model of liberal democracy, one that has enabled the peaceful evolution that has been an almost unique part of our history. Today it has been superseded. The doctrine of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, that the will of the people must always prevail, much admired by autocrats ever since the days of Robespierre and the Committee of Public Safety, now prevails in Westminster instead. Speaker …

of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, having been given sovereignty over whether the Kingdom leaves or remains in the European Union insist, in the interest of democracy and unity, on being given the opportunity to take an informed decision on the final outcome of the Art. 50 negotiations, as approved by parliament, through a referendum to either accept this outcome or to remain in the European Union. THE REFERENDUM PREDICAMENT A lot has been made in the press and in the recent parliamentary debates about the moral obligation for members of parliament to respect “the will …

Do we know more now about the likely shape of the future Brexit deal?  While Theresa May’s speech has provided some much-needed clarity on the British position, her uncompromising stance on the single market could make the deal yet more unpredictable. In the configuration sketched out today, the eventual result will depend even less on what Theresa May wants and even more on what the rest of the EU will give her. Commentators tend to argue that there are too many unknowns to figure out the positions and bottom lines of the 27.  But nevertheless, the fundamentals are arguably simple enough to be …

The outcome of the British referendum on European Union (EU) membership has sent shockwaves across the globe that are still reverberating. Politically, the two major political forces in Westminster, the Conservative and Labour parties, are in disarray about how to shape UK’s ongoing relationship with the EU once we leave. Prime Minister Theresa May faces the daunting task of organising the British exit from the EU whilst keeping her party and country together. There are question marks over not only Britain’s new relationship with the EU, but also our partners within the British Union. Hot on the heels of the …

When Britain will put forward its Brexit proposing in the spring of 2017, it should consider membership in a reformed European Economic Area, argues Michael Starks. Economic stability within a reformed EEA, which recognised the legitimate concerns of non-EU countries over open-ended migration from the EU, could provide either an interim or a permanent status for the UK in 2019. In 2017 the UK will put its opening Brexit proposal to the other 27 members of the European Union. On present evidence, the British government will ask for an agreement tailor-made for Britain, not something off-the-shelf. Theresa May, the prime …

The decision of the United Kingdom (UK) to leave the European Union (EU) in the referendum of June 23rd 2016 has reverberations well beyond Europe as a political and economic shock of substantial proportions. The future relationship of China, both with the remaining member states of the EU and with the UK, is one example of how a domestic political decision is having global ramifications as change ripples through the international system. Overarching any analysis about the impact of Brexit must be a sense of caution about what still remains unknown over the shape of future policy outcomes. Two cross-cutting …