Scotland’s European Choices as UK Exits the EU

flags_scotland_ukAs some claim that the elections results put an end to the Brexit debate, Kirsty Hughes argues that the independence debate is not going away and re-joining the EU will be core to the discussions. 

In just two weeks, the UK will leave the EU – a huge damaging folly, irreversible in the next few years. And, as Boris Johnson predictably rejects the Scottish government’s request for a second independence referendum, the independence debate is set to intensify.

But how will the UK’s hard Brexit path impact on Scotland’s future European choices, if Scotland does sooner or later choose independence?

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The EU should be concerned about the UK’s plans to rule out an extension to the transition period

Image result for piet eeckhout"Piet Eeckhout, Dean of UCL Laws and Academic Director of the UCL European Institute, argues that the Government’s plans to enshrine in law that the transition period can’t be extended could be both legally and politically problematic. 



The government is proposing to add a new clause to the Withdrawal Agreement Bill which will exclude an extension of the transition period. This would enshrine in UK law Boris Johnson’s commitment not to extend the transition period beyond 31 December 2020. Given Johnson’s large majority, this new clause is likely to pass in Parliament in January.  There is however a strong need to reconsider.

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Boris Johnson’s Brexit policy explained


Oliver Patel, Research Associate at UCL European Institute, outlines Boris Johnson’s Brexit policy, noting that there is a huge amount of uncertainty regarding the nature of the future relationship he seeks. The tight timeframe also means that the next crisis could be on extending the transition period. 

Getting Brexit done?

Boris Johnson’s mantra for the 2019 election has been that a vote for the Conservatives is a vote to “get Brexit done”. By this, he means that a Conservative government would pass his withdrawal agreement through parliament.

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The Mechanics of a Further Referendum on Brexit Revisited: Questions for the New Parliament

Screenshot 2019-12-11 at 16.48.44A further referendum on Brexit is central to many parties’ general election pledges. The Constitution Unit published a new report examining how such a vote might come about and what form it might take. This updates previous work conducted last year. In this blog, reposted from the Constitution Unit and adapted from the report’s final chapter, Alan Renwick, Meg Russell, Lisa James and Jess Sargeant sum up the key conclusions. They find that, though it would not be without difficulties, a vote on Johnson’s deal may be the quickest option and the one most likely to command public legitimacy. 

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