Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit: results and initial reflections

citizens-assembly-on-brexitThe Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit has come to an end. After two weekends of intense deliberation, the members voted on a range of options for the form they want Brexit to take in relation to trade and immigration. Their conclusions will surprise some, and they deserve detailed attention from politicians and commentators. Assembly Director Alan Renwick summarises these conclusions and reflects on the weekend as a whole. He argues that, while the Brexit debate is often presented in stark binary terms, the Citizens’ Assembly suggests that the British public are capable of much subtler thinking – if only they are given the chance.

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A Year of Brexit Uncertainty Lies Ahead: Deal, No Deal or a Second EU Referendum by Autumn 2018?

Barnier.jpgAs Brexit negotiations proceed, British politics is navigating into unchartered waters. Kirsty Hughes, Director of the Scottish Centre on European Relations, outlines potential scenarios for the unpredictable year ahead.


With only a year to go to agree a Brexit deal or not, the looming deadline next autumn should start to focus minds – whether on getting a deal or on whether Brexit can be halted via a second referendum or other means.

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What now for Brexit after the German election?

wahlzettel.jpgThe German elections on 24 September 2017 have reshuffled the balance of power among parliamentary factions. To form a new government, complex coalition talks will be held in the coming months. John Ryan, Fellow at LSE Ideas, reflects on the impact these will have on Germany’s stance in the Brexit negotiations.

The result of the German election means that there will be coalition talks between Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats CDU/CSU and the Free Democratic (FDP) and the Green party. Those talks are likely to last until December 2017. This means that Germany may have a new coalition government in January 2018. This makes the political climate in which any Brexit negotiations are taking place more uncertain. Continue reading

Why May is right – and therefore wrong

mayAnalysing Theresa May’s Florence speech, Albert Weale, Emeritus Professor of Political Theory and Public Policy at UCL, points to a series of contradictions in May’s line of argument, in what was otherwise a cogent and well crafted speech.

Theresa May was absolutely right when she spoke in Florence on 22 September. Lucidly outlining the challenges of mass migration, terrorism, global climate change, the growth of protectionism and the dangers of nuclear proliferation, she concluded that the ‘only way for us to respond to this vast array of challenges is for likeminded nations and peoples to come together and defend the international order that we have worked so hard to create – and the values of liberty, democracy, human rights and the rule of law by which we stand.’

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Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit (II): reflections on the first weekend

Tcitizens-assembly-on-brexithe Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit has recently begun its work. The project’s director, Alan Renwick, Deputy Director of the UCL Constitution Unit, here offers some initial, personal reflections on a highly successful first weekend.



The Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit has just completed its first weekend of deliberations. As an earlier post explained, the Assembly is a gathering of people from across the UK who have been randomly selected to reflect the make-up of the electorate. They are meeting over two weekends to learn about options for the form Brexit should take – focusing on the issues of trade and immigration – discuss what they make of these options, and draw conclusions. Their proposals will be written up in a report and delivered to policy-makers in parliament and government.

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