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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.

History is written by the victors. In the  two weeks that have followed the shock result of the United Kingdom’s referendum on EU membership, a profound sense of horror and foreboding has settled across liberal and progressive Britain. Whatever expectations the British people may have entertained throughout the course of the campaign, it is now painfully clear that the primary result of the referendum will be to hand control to a small number of right-wing demagogues dedicated to reversing the advance of modern cosmopolitan Britain. And this rag-tag cabal looks likely to set the narrative of democratic politics in Britain …

Viewed from the perspective of the three main protagonists, Cameron, Gove and Johnson, Brexit has variously been presented as a Greek tragedy or a spat between Oxford alumni[1]. Certainly the latter, it has real elements of the former. But, in truth, the real tragedy is the further erosion of British democracy. Prime Minister David Cameron reluctantly agreed to the inclusion of an in/out referendum in the 2015 Conservative election manifesto in order to appease the Eurosceptic right wing of the party.[2] Some commentators suggest that he never expected to have to deliver the referendum thinking that it would be vetoed …

The UK’s Brexit referendum outcome has left Europe, and the world, in disbelief. After 40 years, Britain’s historic decision to turn its back on the European Union has divided the country—a division that cuts not only across families and friends, but also between the “establishment” and the electorate. It is perhaps this latter divide that is most pronounced. But will this division last? Brexit presents a unique opportunity to expose and debate some of our most pressing problems, and to restore the bonds of trust between voters and the political elite. Britain divided by elite maneuverings Britain leaving the EU …

After a bitter referendum campaign which featured much blue-on-blue infighting, the Conservatives now face a leadership contest to choose the next Prime Minister. Some of the candidates have spoken of the need to unite the party after decades of division over Europe. Stephen Crabb has been the most pleading, urging the party to move beyond the ‘Leave’ and ‘Remain’. He reckons that failure to do so risks splitting the party. Theresa May has also said that she wants to bring the leave and remain sides together. However, the evidence so far from the leadership contest suggests that the Parliamentary Party is …

The result of the UK referendum on EU membership was an act of rejection of elite opinion. Almost the entirety of the country’s intellectual, economic and political establishment had explicitly opposed Brexit. There had been letters by Nobel laureates detailing the cost to UK research of a ‘Leave’ vote, a public statement by over 250 academics to the same affect, the official opposition of most British businesses as well as an avalanche of expert reports indicating the significant economic cost of leaving the world’s largest single market. In political terms, the ‘Remain’ campaign had the formal support of the country’s four …

An impressive list of academics, including seven Oxford faculty members, signed a petition in mid-June calling for new strategies to deal with misinformation. It makes very good sense to desire competent opinion as opposed to misinformation, and to argue that democratic legitimacy of the referendum’s outcome in some sense rests upon informed choice. (A specific example of a helpful intervention is this letter from the UK Statistics Authority challenging the “potentially misleading” statement of Nigel Farage about the “independence dividend” of Brexit.) These epistemic interventions need to be given more thought, but they all share the same classic problem: Who …