Would introducing ID cards prevent a stalemate in a new referendum?  


Polls show that a so-called People’s Vote might leave the UK split down the middle. UCL’s Tessa Buchanan looks at whether majority support for ID cards could help to break any potential stalemate. Are they the “have-cake-and-eat-it” solution as one think tank suggests? 

People rarely change their minds once they are made up and myth-busting doesn’t work. This was the message that struck home from an event where academics from ‘The UK in a Changing Europe’ revealed the latest polling data on how Brexit is perceived by the UK public.

Guess what. Those who believed in the £350m a week figure in 2016 still largely believe it; the majority still over-estimate how many EU migrants live in the UK; and many still link EU immigration with crime, pressure on the NHS and lower wages. Both Remainers and Leavers credit beliefs that tally with their own versions of the truth, which helps to explain why there has been relatively little change in support for Brexit in the last two years.

So if calls are mounting for a People’s Vote, what would prevent any new referendum being a re-run of 2016?

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Donald Trump’s rhetoric has only highlighted the already growing rift between the EU and the US

31628193973_3c14f2f5d1_o-640x400.jpgIt’s been just over a year since the inauguration of Donald Trump as president, and the future of the transatlantic relationship is as uncertain as ever. According to Lisa ten Brinke, Research Associate at the LSE’s Dahrendorf Forum, the rift between the EU and the US began before Trump entered the Oval Office, and this is not likely to change any time soon. This article was originally featured on the Dahrendorf Forum site and is reposted with permission. 

On January 20th 2017, the world watched as Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States. In Europe, his inauguration signalled the beginning of an insecure and unpredictable time for the transatlantic relationship. As Trump promised to put ‘America First’ and called NATO ‘obsolete’, politicians, journalists, and citizens on both sides of the Atlantic feared for the future of US-European relations.

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Brexit and its potential consequences for British foreign policy

wright_WPIn a new EI Working Paper titled ‘Brexit and the Re-Making of British Foreign Policy’, Nicholas Wright analyses the challenges Brexit will pose to British foreign policy-makers and institutions, the future of UK-EU relations, and the impact of Brexit on UK engagement with the multilateral system. The paper also shows how the UK government can mitigate the risk of a significant loss of international influence. In this blog entry, Dr Wright highlights the key findings of the paper.

Since the end of the Second World War, the UK has been a multilateral power par excellence, directly contributing to the construction and expansion of many of the most important institutions of international governance, and championing a rules-based international system. In the 2015 National Security Strategy, for example, the maintenance of this system was identified as a core British national interest, contributing to the UK’s capacity to ‘punch above its weight’ in international affairs.

However, although Brexit entails the UK’s departure from a major component of this system, the consequences for British foreign policy remain under-examined in public debates. A number of challenges need to be addressed.

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Brexit and UK Foreign Policy: ‘Keeping Britain Great’ or ‘Putting the Great back into Great Britain’?

benblog2The Leave and Remain campaigns defined British ‘Greatness’ in very different ways. The referendum reflects more than attitudes toward EU membership — it  marks a new understanding of Britain’s role in the world, as Benjamin Martill, Dahrendorf Postdoctoral Fellow at the LSE, argues in this piece. The end of the postwar consensus of liberal internationalism has important implications and needs to be taken seriously.




The ‘Great’ in Great Britain is a geographical term identifying it as the larger of the two Britains – the other being Brittany in France, once known as Britannia minor. But this is not the way many Brits interpret the term. For greatness has also become a political category, referring not to British territory but to its venerable national attributes and its reputation on the international stage. What, we are often asked, makes Britain ‘great’? Continue reading

Britain has lost a role, and failed to find an empire


Responding to Theresa May’s long-awaited Brexit speech on Tuesday 17th January, Benjamin Martill, Research Associate at the UCL European Institute, argues that the  speech must be understood as an aspiration, rather than a roadmap, since its realisation requires the consent of other parties and the removal of important contradictions.

In her long-awaited ‘Brexit speech’, Theresa May set out a comprehensive vision for the future of Britain in a post-Brexit world, envisioning a “great global trading nation” abroad and a fairer, more egalitarian society domestically. This new Britain, May argued, will be fully outside the EU, echoing her earlier sentiment that “Brexit means Brexit”, and grounding fears voiced by remainers that the UK will be heading for a ‘hard’ Brexit.

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