Following the Supreme Court ruling, what happens next?

high-courtFollowing today’s Supreme Court judgement, the focus of attention shifts back to parliament.  How long will it take for parliament to pass the necessary legislation? How likely is it that the legislation will be amended? UCL Constitution Unit scholars Robert Hazell and Alan Renwick assess the implications for the Brexit timetable, and the government’s negotiating strategy. This blog was initially posted on the UCL Constitution Unit blog.

What will happen to the government’s timetable?

The government will introduce a short bill, probably just one or two clauses, which it will seek to pass as a matter of urgency. Bills have occasionally been passed through parliament in a few days, or even a few hours. But that can only happen if both chambers recognise the urgency, and support the bill. Crucially, the government would need to get majority support for a timetabling motion in the House of Commons to expedite the process. That might not be forthcoming in a House where three quarters of MPs voted for Remain. (In 2012 Nick Clegg had to abandon his Lords Reform bill after the government lost the timetabling motion following a big Conservative rebellion).

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Why Britain’s public finances will suffer if Brexit reduces migration

20271175720_875bb8c005_zIan Preston, Professor of Economics at UCL, notes that Brexit will likely lead to reduced migration. As migrants tend to be of working-age, this could result in a smaller proportion of the population comprising the labour-force, which could have a negative impact on UK tax receipts and public finances more broadly. 

Brexit will have high fiscal costs and a large part of that will be a consequence of what happens to migration numbers. That was the conclusion widely drawn from the Office for Budget Responsibility’s most recent Economic and Fiscal Outlook published in late November – the first since June’s referendum vote. It was illuminated further by supplementary analysis published on December 8.

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Brexit: Ireland stands to lose the most

Katie Daughen, head of Brexit research and support services at the British Irish Chamber of Commerce, assesses the economic risk which Brexit poses to Ireland. She argues that Brexit is especially dangerous for the UK-Irish relationship, and that businesses in both countries need to work together during the negotiations to ensure their interests are represented.

From a British and Irish business perspective, Brexit has the potential to be one of the most disruptive events for trade and business of the post-industrial age. In the immediate aftermath, it has been Irish businesses that have suffered most, although many economists agree that the UK economy is likely to start feeling the effects in the New Year. 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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The economy after Brexit: encouragingly resilient or still a case of ‘wait and see’?

iainbeggIt is becoming increasingly clear that economists were wrong to forecast a major economic shock immediately after the Brexit vote. Iain Begg, Professorial Research Fellow at the LSE European Institute, asks whether the pessimists are wrong, whether it’s too early to tell or whether there are other forces at work?


More than five months on from the referendum, it is still hard to establish how much the vote to leave the EU has affected the economy, let alone what will happen next. The more extreme projections of a slide into recession have, so far, proved to be unfounded. Critics of ‘project fear’ will be gratified to see the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirming the earlier flash estimates for third quarter GDP, which show that the British economy grew at an annual rate of 0.5%. Buoyant employment data tell a similar story.

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