In June 2017 the UCL European Institute hosted a public discussion on the impact of Brexit on fisheries and maritime policy. Aaron Brown, a skipper from pro-Brexit campaign group Fishing for Leave, was one of the speakers. Here, he outlines why Brexit could be a boon for UK fishermen, coastal communities and the wider economy. He stresses, however, that it is down to the government to act decisively in seizing this opportunity.
With Brexit comes a golden opportunity. If we act decisively we can repatriate one of our nation’s greatest renewable resources, revitalise an industry of critical significance to coastal communities, and boost our nation’s food security. But there is a grave danger that all this will be sacrificed once again, squandered on vested interests, or wasted for political convenience (or appeasement to the EU).
After a year of political flux and upheaval, the Brexit negotiations officially began on Monday 19 June. The underrepresentation of women at the highest political level is one thing which appears to have remained constant. Columba Achilleos-Sarll, a PhD candidate at the University of Warwick, points out that only one and two women make up the UK and EU negotiating teams respectively. She assesses the impact that this could have on the process, and what it means more broadly.
Brexit negotiations have kicked off but one thing is amiss – there is only one woman sitting at the negotiating table for the UK team and only two at the negotiating table for the EU team. This seemingly banal observation, however, is curious, and prompts a question once posed by feminist scholar Cynthia Enloe: “Where are the women?”
Much commentary has presented the hung parliament that resulted from last week’s general election as a source of damaging instability. In this post, Albert Weale, Emeritus Professor of Political Theory and Public Policy at UCL, argues that democrats should in fact welcome a hung parliament, where a parliamentary majority approves measures on the basis of the merits of the arguments rather than on the basis that they were included in the majority party’s manifesto.
The UK now has a hung parliament. Does that mean that British government is no longer strong and stable but weak and wobbly? To listen to much commentary, you would think so. But for democrats there are good reasons for welcoming a hung parliament.
The unexpected election result leaves the Conservatives seeking to establish a minority government, with support from the Democratic Unionist Party’s ten MPs. With fewer than half the seats in the House of Commons, and barely more than half when adding the DUP, Theresa May’s new government will face many additional challenges in parliament. UCL Constitution Unit Director Meg Russell explores some of the clearest examples.
Following weeks of speculation about the general election result, few were contemplating the prospect of a minority government led by Theresa May. The Prime Minister proposed the election in the clear expectation of an increased House of Commons majority, citing (in a rather exaggerated manner) difficulties in parliament. Instead she now doesn’t have a majority at all: the Conservatives are on 318 in a 650-number House. Combined others (excluding seven Sinn Féin, who do not take their seats), have 324. May’s government is hence liable to be outnumbered without relying on the support of the 10 DUP members, with whom she has opened talks.
The election result was a disaster for Theresa May and the consequences for Brexit are profound. Although this will certainly weaken the PM’s hand, there is one way in which Theresa May could benefit from the outcome, argues Uta Staiger, Executive Director of the UCL European Institute.
When Theresa May called the surprise snap election she’d vowed so very often not to call, it was supposed to help her deliver Brexit. A decisive personal mandate, she claimed, would protect her vision of Brexit from the opposition parties hell-bent on derailing it—and strengthen her hand in Brussels.