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  • Author: Anand Menon
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: UK in a Changing Europe, King's College London
  • Abstract: Professor Anand Menon explains the need for social science to play a role in informing public and political debates is as great if not greater than ever, now that the UK is embarking on a new course after Brexit.
  • Topic: European Union, Brexit, Trade
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Dong-Hee Joe
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: Immigration is one of the factors often considered as the causes of Brexit. Researchers find evidences that regions with more immigrants from the new member states of the European Union (EU hereinafter) in eastern Europe tended to vote more in favor of Brexit in the 2016 referendum. Similar relations between the size of immigrant population and anti-immigration attitudes or far-right voting are found in other richer EU member states. A common explanation for this relation is the concern that immigrants negatively affect the outcome in the host labor market. Immigration is drawing attention in Korea too. Although immigrants' share in population is still substantially smaller in Korea than in the EU, its increase is noticeable. Also, certain industries in Korea are known to be already heavily reliant on immigrant labor. Recently, as entry into the country was tightened due to the COVID-19 pandemic, firms and farms are reported to have faced a disruption in production. This trend of increasing presence of immigrants in population and in the labor market, vis-à-vis the low fertility rate and rapid aging in Korea, is raising interest and concern on the socioeconomic impact of immigration. To offer some reference for the debates related to immigration in Korea, KIEP researchers (Joe et al. 2020 and Joe and Moon 2021) look at the EU, where immigrants' presence was much higher from much earlier on, and where the greater heterogeneity among the immigrants allows for richer analyses. This World Economy Brief presents some of their findings that are salient for Korea.
  • Topic: Immigration, European Union, Brexit, Labor Market
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe, Asia, Korea
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: Britain has effectively left the EU after long and tiresome negotiations. But the implications of Brexit have not transpired completely as the aftershocks may be felt within Britain itself in the form of increased desire for independence in Scotland; and London may fail to establish trade agreements that can compensate for its exit from the EU.
  • Topic: European Union, Economy, Brexit, Trade
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Scotland
  • Author: Adrian Chojan
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Liberty and International Affairs
  • Institution: Institute for Research and European Studies (IRES)
  • Abstract: The article aims to analyze Brexit from the perspective of the Visegrad Group countries in the context of the future of the European Union. Addressing this issue is important from the point of view of assessing the role of the EU for the Visegrad countries. The main thesis of the research is that Brexit will not lead to a reform of the EU in the coming years, which is what some of the Visegrad Group countries are trying to do. The article is provocative, because, during the migration crisis, the Visegrad Group was shown as a brake on the European integration process. After Brexit, it was considered that some of EU Member States could follow Great Britain and leave the EU. The article complements the scientific achievements in this field, as it presents the view from the country of Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Topic: Migration, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Brexit, Integration
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Amelia Hadfield, Nicholas Wright
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: The UK’s rejection of any institutionalised relationship with the EU in foreign, security and defence policy (FSDP) is arguably the most noteworthy feature of the post-Brexit dispensation. In a stark reversal in early 2020, the British government abandoned pledges made in the 2019 Political Declaration to ‘establish structured consultation and regular thematic dialogues [that] could contribute to the attainment of common objectives’, including on the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) (1). This gap was intensified by the absence of any reference to foreign affairs in the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) or the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy (IR) (2). Indeed, the IR essentially ignores the EU, referring only to British ambitions to remain a lead European defence actor, with a focus on multilateral venues (notably the UN and NATO), bilateral relations and ad hoc groupings. In short, an EU-sized hole now exists in British foreign policy thinking. This matters in London and across Europe. While in the EU, the UK exercised significant influence and leadership in FSDP, its EU membership magnifying its global capacities. In leaving, Sir Simon Fraser, formerly permanent under-secretary in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), warned that Brexit represented ‘the biggest shock to [the UK’s] method of international influencing and the biggest structural change to our place in the world since the end of World War Two’ (3). From the EU’s perspective, as observed by High Representative Josep Borrell, ‘with Brexit, nothing gets easier and a lot gets more complicated. How much more complicated depends on the choices that both sides will make’ (4). The choices thus far indicate a rejection of ‘old obligations’ (5) and an essentially transactional relationship that will be ‘structurally adversarial for the foreseeable future’ (6). Nonetheless, Brexit also gives both the UK and the EU a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rethink and reconfigure their approaches to foreign affairs and how they navigate a profoundly changed regional context. To understand the scale of this undertaking, we offer an innovative thematic analysis focused on four ‘Rs’: reputation, responsibility, resources and relevance. Each ‘R’ represents a core element of both sides’ respective foreign policies, offering insights into possible international roles and goals. The four ‘Rs’ also help us identify the main risks and opportunities Brexit encompasses, providing a conceptual symmetry as to how the choices of both the EU and UK might align and impact each other.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, European Union, Brexit
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Andrew Duff
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Policy Centre
  • Abstract: Andrew Duff argues that the loss of the United Kingdom should prompt serious reflection about the constitutional direction of the European Union. The secession of a member state changes the context of European integration. Brexit leaves the EU weaker, smaller and poorer — but it can and should also spur reform. The EU should aim to have major changes in place by 2029, including treaty revision. The reforms should include: (i) a renegotiation of the Brexit deal leading to a new class of affiliate membership; (ii) completion of the constitutional framework for a fiscal union; (iii) a European Parliament fully legitimated by election from transnational lists; and (iv) a ‘European Security Council’ of defence ministers to span the divide between the EU and NATO. The Conference on the Future of Europe may prove to be a useful democratic experiment. But it is not designed to address the important constitutional challenges that the Union faces. Duff therefore proposes creating an expert reflection group to stimulate the full implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon as well as prepare the way for the next Convention which must be called to amend the EU treaties. More immediately, the reflection group should make proposals to settle the controversial matter of how to elect the new President of the European Commission in 2024.
  • Topic: Politics, Reform, European Union, Brexit, Institutions
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Diego Acosta
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Policy Centre
  • Abstract: Some of the millions of EU nationals in the UK and British nationals in the EU are already suffering from Brexit’s drastic curtailment of the right to free movement. How can migration now be governed and facilitated between the two parties? Although an EU-wide agreement with the UK that ensures free movement remains the ideal solution, it is currently unrealistic. This calls for an evaluation of possible alternatives. Bilateral agreements should be explored and examined as a possible alternative to an EU-wide agreement with the UK to facilitate and govern cross-border mobility. Various bilateral free movement agreements across Europe show that their use is not only legal but also habitual. They offer flexibility when it comes to the rights of entry, residency and work, as well as other important rights. And they could also be used as a foundation upon which to build an agreement between the EU as a whole and the UK, if not to facilitate the rebuilding of mutual trust. Migration law expert Diego Acosta makes a further case for Spain being the first possible candidate for a post-Brexit bilateral free movement agreement concluded between an EU member state and the UK. Spain is the most important EU destination for British emigrants, and British migrants residing in Spain constitute the latter’s third-largest non-national population. In turn, the UK is the most important migrant destination for Spanish nationals worldwide, who represent the fifth-largest migrant group from the EU. He offers concrete suggestions as to what a bilateral treaty between Spain and the UK could include. In addition, governments of EU member states that have important reciprocal migration flows with the UK, as well as the UK government, should consider the following recommendations when exploring the possibility of adopting bilateral agreements on migration: The negotiating parties should place the rights and interests of both short-term and long-term British and European nationals residing in each other’s territory at the centre stage. In negotiating a possible treaty, both the respective EU member state (e.g. Spain) and the UK should take the pre-Brexit status quo as the departing point. The status of mobile nationals could be improved beyond that enjoyed by EU citizens pre-Brexit. For example, political rights could be extended beyond the municipal level. Certain categories of individuals (e.g. retirees, young workers) could benefit from special provisions which also depart from the pre-Brexit situation.
  • Topic: Migration, Treaties and Agreements, European Union, Brexit, Diversity, Mobility
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Rebecca Christie, Thomas Wieser
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: In the negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom over their future relationship, we see a high probability of a weak contractual outcome, given the dominance of politics over considerations of market efficiency.
  • Topic: Markets, Governance, Europe , Brexit, Negotiation, Macroeconomics
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Michael Leigh, Beth Thompson, Reinhilde Veugelers
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: This report sets out what the Wellcome Trust and Bruegel have learned from a project to simulate a negotiation process between the UK and EU to create a post-Brexit research and innovation agreement. Our negotiating scenario assumed that the UK had left the EU with a withdrawal agreement, and that the negotiation was taking place during a ‘standstill’ transition period.
  • Topic: Treaties and Agreements, Governance, European Union, Research, Brexit, Macroeconomics, Innovation, Transition
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Mark Leonard
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)
  • Abstract: The shock of covid-19 in Britain may end the culture-wars politics set off by the Brexit referendum – which split the country between Leave and Remain, town and city, old and young. Many people had lent their votes to Boris Johnson’s Conservatives for cultural reasons, in spite of the fact that they were closer to the opposition Labour Party on economic issues. Covid-19 might cause a rethink, as voters expect competence from the government. Counterintuitively, both Leavers and Remainers are open to a leftist domestic agenda and greater cooperation with international partners – issues on which Labour is normally strong. Covid-19 has caused voters to take a dimmer view of previously touted post-Brexit trade partners like the US and China. They think more highly of countries such as Germany. The battleground will be ‘Red Wall defectors’ – voters who gave Johnson his 2019 general election landslide but who are reassessing what matters to them after Brexit. A politics divided along the lines of Leavers and Remainers could disappear as quickly as it appeared – but the Conservatives may nevertheless attempt to stoke the divisions of 2016 that secured them Brexit.
  • Topic: Politics, European Union, Brexit, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe