What policy do British voters want on EU immigration? Is there a hidden consensus?

Brexit-migrationVery few British people know about restrictions on freedom of movement allowed under existing EU regulations. Yet when they learn about the EU’s “three-month rule”, two-thirds (64%) say it would provide “enough control” over EU immigration. And 67% say that they would support the introduction of ID cards if it meant the authorities could enforce restrictions applied in other EU countries. Tessa Buchanan (UCL), Lee de-Wit (University of Cambridge) and Alan Renwick (UCL Constitution Unit) discuss the findings.

With an election widely anticipated before the end of the year, policymakers will be asking themselves again: “What do British voters actually want when it comes to EU immigration?” An opinion survey released today, carried out by YouGov on our behalf, suggests that despite growing polarisation there may be a hidden consensus on EU immigration across the political spectrum.

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Polling ‘People vs Parliament’: What a new survey says about our constitutional mess

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In a piece for politics.co.uk, Christina Pagel and Christabel Cooper analyse new polling data to show a country united in its worries about democracy but apparently divided over which aspects of democracy are in danger.

The British constitution is in trouble. For three years our uncodified constitution has struggled under the weight of having two separate mandates – the traditional one from electing representatives to parliament and the other the instruction to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum.

Last week the tension between them exploded as prime minister Boris Johnson effectively decided that he embodied the “will of the people” expressed in the referendum and had the right to suspend parliament for most of the crucial period leading up to the October 31st deadline for leaving the EU.

We carried out research over the first weekend of September, with fieldwork by YouGov, to explore the views of the public. We asked 3,000 representative voters whether it was acceptable for the prime minister to suspend parliament to ensure we leave with no-deal.

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Jacob Rees-Mogg’s alarming cry of “Illuminati”

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Michael Berkowitz, Historian at UCL, argues that during Parliament’s No Deal Brexit debate this week, Jacob Rees-Mogg has used a little-noted but unequivocally antisemitic trope.

Few seem to have noticed an expressly antisemitic sentiment articulated by Jacob Rees-Mogg in the vociferous Brexit debate during the evening of Tuesday, 3 September 2019. As a historian of antisemitism who has published on the stereotype of “Jewish criminality” used by the Nazis and their accomplices, it was extremely unsettling for me to hear Rees-Moog castigate his opponents, particularly his two fellow Tories of Jewish background, Sir Oliver Letwin and Speaker John Bercow, as “Illuminati who are taking the powers to themselves.”

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The Moral Maze: Values and conflict in EU foreign policy

Only weeks away from the confirmation of Josep Borrell as the EU’s High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Marta Kozielska and Benjamin Martill take stock of the challenges and trade-offs current world politics present him with.

European Values and the Extra-European World

Josep Borrell, the EU’s nominee for the position of High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, and former Spanish foreign minister, arrives in post at a challenging time. International order is weaker than it was a decade ago, with those who designed it (the US, Britain) and those who wish to change it (China, Russia) testing its stability. The US’s commitment to Europe, upon which European integration itself was constructed, feels weaker than ever before under Donald Trump. NATO is in disarray. The regional security situation is poor, with a host of crises and intractable civil conflicts on the Union’s border.

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Reform the EU to re-integrate the UK

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Miguel I. Purroy argues that Brexit gives an opportunity for the EU to reform itself and adopt more flexible approaches for its integration process, to make it notably more democratic. The UK could be thus a member of a restructured EU accepting different levels of political and economic integration.   

Continental Europe is showing an unfortunate inability to understand Brexit as a historic opportunity to rethink the European project and open ways for breaking the deadlock in which the European Union now finds itself. “Br-exit” could be transformed into “Br-entry”, a reincorporation into a concept of Europe that is acceptable to the United Kingdom.

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