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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.

Ever since the Conservatives’ surprise win of a Parliamentary majority in the 2015 general election, the EU referendum has been at the centre of public debate. There has been much speculation about how many Conservative members of parliament (MPs) would back Brexit. Now David Cameron’s renegotiation has been concluded, MPs are free to choose sides in the referendum debate. Ever since, scores of Conservative of MPs, including the Mayor of London and six Cabinet Ministers, have endorsed the Leave campaign. Other MPs have sided with the Prime Minister and the Chancellor in backing Remain. My DPhil research focuses on the …

Many voters and some politicians would expect a Brexit vote to lead to immediate action by the UK to over-ride EU rules, including restrictions on EU immigration. Some sections of the press would call for no less, and demand a quick fix for immigration, and a quick fix for a new trading relationship with the EU in which trade “just means trade.”   Leaving the EU would be a process rather than an event.   But leaving the EU would not be like this. It would be a process rather than an event. The UK would remain in the EU …

  The EU might be dysfunctional but it is still Britain’s home. Help us fix it from the inside.   Dear British friends, My kids and husband are British, I teach and pay taxes in this country, talk to my village neighbours everyday and love English country lanes, Scottish castles, Welsh road-signs, Cornwall’s gardens and all the bloody rest of it. As a French and Greek citizen, I won’t have a vote in this referendum and yet this is one of the most momentous decisions that will ever be taken in my name, as a European citizen living on this …

Events over the last few days should have put a spring in the step of the euro-sceptics in Britain. The recent draft paper setting out the basic parameters of David Cameron’s renegotiation deal was savaged by the press last week. A YouGov poll for The Times on the weekend put the Leave campaign nine points in front (although research was carried out on line and such a methodology proved to be problematic during last year’s general election). More generally, the European Union (EU) is perceived by many to be in crisis, buffeted by the twin threats of sovereign debt default …

The EU referendum could be held as early as June so clarity is needed about what will happen in the event of a vote to leave. In this post Alan Renwick explains Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which sets out the procedure for leaving the EU. Under it a second in/out referendum of the type floated by Boris Johnson among others is not possible. Anybody suggesting that voters can vote to ‘leave’ safe in the knowledge that they can later change their minds is either playing with fire or manipulating voters disingenuously. 2016 looks likely to be the year in which voters get to …

If the Scottish independence referendum has taught us anything, it has shown the ability of a vote on a non-partisan question to reshape the subsequent partisan political landscape. As with the Scottish referendum, the referendum on the United Kingdom’s continued EU membership is likely to generate a high level of interest and engagement. Turnout could well exceed general election levels. It could also spell electoral disaster for Labour in the next general election. Many in the Labour Party assume that the party’s unified stance in favour of remaining in the EU will be politically beneficial, particularly in contrast to a …