Deal or No-Deal, workers’ rights will suffer

michael-browning-WbjdcWUyLRQ-unsplash.jpgBased their IER report on Brexit and Workers’ Rights, Nicola Countouris and Keith Ewing offer a timely assessment on how the new deal reached by the Prime Minister will affect workers’ rights. They assess that this deal, as much as the previous one, will lead to the erosion of British workers’ rights. 

While most MPs, analysts, and commentators are spending endless hours trying to spot the difference between the ‘old deal’ and the ‘new deal’, pinpointing the extent to which Northern Ireland may or may not dislocate itself from the rest of the UK, one thing is once more very clear: Deal or No-Deal, workers’ rights will suffer.

The new deal agreed yesterday does not change our assessment of the old deal concluded by PM May last year: once out of the EU, UK workers’ rights will be subject to a relentless process of stagnation, divergence, and eventual erosion.

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Why the European Council Must not Reject an Article 50 Extension Request

Piet Eeckhout

Professor Piet Eeckhout, Academic Director of the UCL European Institute and Dean of UCL Laws, outlines the legal reasons why the European Council must not refuse an extension of Article 50. He notes that a refusal, in the current context, would amount to expelling the UK against its will, which the judgement in the Wightman case deemed unlawful.

The Brexit saga continues to evolve from day to day, and even hour to hour.  Notwithstanding the so-called Benn Act (the European Union (Withdrawal) (No 2) Act 2019), there is huge uncertainty whether the UK Government will formally request an extension, in case no deal can be reached on the Withdrawal Agreement at the impending European Council meeting.  There is also speculation that, even if an extension is requested, the European Council could refuse it.  In light of the unanimity requirement in Art 50(3), commentators speculate that it would take but a single Member State to oppose an extension for the United Kingdom to crash out of the EU without a “deal”.

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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


In a piece for, 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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