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  • 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
  • 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: Juha Jokela, Ilari Aula
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The EU needs to assume more responsibility in defending its interests and security. Brexit will constitute an additional challenge for the EU in this respect, and has led to calls to strengthen the efficiency of the the Common Foreign and Security Policy, including EU sanctions, which currently form one of the toughest and most increasingly used tools in the EU’s foreign policy toolbox. The UK has been the most active and influential member state in formulating the EU’s sanctions policy. The EU could largely replace the technical expertise provided by the UK, yet the level of ambition of the EU’s sanctions policy is likely to decrease. Even though the UK has taken measures to maintain the sanctions regimes it agreed to as an EU member state, an independent UK sanctions policy could result in divergence. The envisaged coordination mechanisms between EU and UK sanctions policies can mitigate some of the negative implications of Brexit, but they cannot replace the UK’s EU membership.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Sanctions, European Union, Brexit
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Manolis Kalaitzake
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: The fate of British finance following the Brexit referendum revolves around the “resilience or relocation” debate: will the City of London continue to thrive as the world’s leading financial centre or will the bulk of its activity move to rival hubs after departure from EU trading arrangements? Despite extensive commentary, there remains no systematic analysis of this question since the Leave vote. This paper addresses that lacuna by evaluating the empirical evidence concerning jobs, investments, and share of key trading markets (between June 2016 and May 2020). Contrary to widely held expectations, the evidence suggests that the City has been remarkably resilient. Brexit has had no significant impact on jobs and London has consolidated its position as the chief location for financial FDI, FinTech funding, and attracting new firms. Most unexpectedly, the City has increased its dominance in major infrastructure markets such as (euro-denominated) clearing, derivatives, and foreign exchange – although it has lost out in the handling of European repurchase agreements. Based upon this evidence, the paper argues that the UK’s negotiating position is stronger than typically recognised, and outlines the competitive ramifications for both the UK and EU financial sector.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, European Union, Brexit, Urban, Local
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Geoffrey Sloan
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: This essay draws on the author’s previous work, specifically: The Geopolitics of Anglo-Irish Relations in the 20th Century. The greatest failure of the European referendum campaign in 2016, which can be attributed to both sides, was the inability to articulate an understanding of Britain’s geopolitical relationship to Europe. By geopolitics, I do not mean its current usage: interpreted merely as a synonym for international strategic rivalry. I refer, instead, to classical geopolitics, which is a confluence of three subjects: geography, history, and strategy. It draws attention to certain geographical patterns of political history. It fuses spatial relationships and historical causation. It can produce explanations that suggest the contemporary and future political relevance of various geographical configurations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Britain, 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
  • 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
  • Author: Danielle Piatkiewicz
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: In her latest EU monitor, Danielle Piatkiewicz explores the future of Central and Eastern European security after Brexit. January 31st will begin the long-awaited legal withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. As the UK disengages politically, Europe’s existing security structure will undergo reconstruction as EU Member States reevaluate their future without the UK as active members established security including CSDP, NATO, PESCO, among others. As the UK seeks bilateral partnerships post-Brexit, steadfast security consumers like Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) should gauge how Brexit will affect their security region. With external threats mounting in the East, the CEE region relies heavily on the existing security blanket that Europe and NATO have provided. As one of the strongest European militaries, an engaged or disengaged UK will certainly affect the security environment, but it will be up to how the EU and CEE countries react and adapt, that will impact the future security of their region once Brexit takes effect.
  • Topic: Security, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Czech Republic, Central Europe
  • Author: Shimukunki Manchishi, Mwanda Phiri
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR)
  • Abstract: Following the Brexit referendum held in the UK in 2016 that resulted in a majority vote to leave the EU, there has been speculation and uncertainty surrounding the likely impact of Brexit on trade relations between the UK and developing countries such as Zambia. With Brexit, comes the exit of the UK from the EU, its customs union as well as the single market. Consequently, this implies that Zambia’s trade with the UK will no longer be under the ambit of the EU Everything But Arms (EBA) trade agreement which grants Zambian products other than arms, duty-free and quota-free market access to the UK. Naturally, this brings about questions of the likely impact of Brexit on trade relations between Zambia and the UK which thus far, has been determined collectively under the framework of the EU since the UK’s accession to the EU customs union. In this policy paper, we provide a contextual analysis of the same. From this, we deduce that a ‘deal’ or ‘no deal’ Brexit is not likely to adversely impact the UK’s trade with Zambia. This is on condition that the UK’s own unilateral preference scheme comes into place and in time, to replicate the EU-EBA scheme with no disruption to traders. On the Investment front, although the UK has been Zambia’s fourth-largest source country for FDI inflows over the period 2010-2017, investments have been waning. Brexit has the potential to turn things around as the UK seeks to increase investments in other jurisdictions outside of the EU. With the UK now envisioning to become the largest G7 investor in Africa by 2022, there is a high probability that Brexit could lead to a positive investment crowding in effect, provided Zambia becomes a more attractive investment destination.
  • Topic: Bilateral Relations, Brexit, Investment, Trade
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Kingdom, Europe, Zambia