So what does Angela Merkel think? Germany’s reactions towards the new British government

6996023785_a7766e6000_zNina Trentmann, UK Business Correspondent at Die Welt, takes a look at the recent appointment of Boris Johnson as UK Foreign Secretary and the reactions of politicians in Germany to this news, particularly in the context of future negotiation tactis between the UK and the EU.

It was a shock. German politicians, their French counterparts, EU representatives – they all shook their head in disbelief when it became known that the former mayor of London, Boris Johnson, would become the UK’s new foreign minister. German TV commentators were reportedly confounded by the appointment. Others, such as the French foreign minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, described the Prime Minister’s choice as a sign of the political crisis in the UK, and branded Johnson a ‘liar’ for his behaviour during the referendum campaign. Continue reading

Brave New World – first reflections on Brexit

farageThe UK has stepped back from Europe and stepped back from the world. Kirsty Hughes explains how in the process, the UK has done deep damage to itself, the EU and the wider world.

The shockwaves from England and Wales’ Brexit vote will reverberate and grow for months and years to come.

In the first few hours since the vote, there have been calls for a second Scottish independence referendum, for a vote on Irish reunification, for joint control of Gibraltar, Cameron’s resignation, the Labour right mounting a pre-planned attack on Corbyn, falling stock markets, falling pound and other currencies and more. Continue reading

Does the Prime Minister have to trigger Brexit talks under Article 50 after a vote to leave the EU?

Credit: Quinn DombrowskiArticle 50 of the Lisbon Treaty sets out the procedure for a member state leaving the EU, as would be the case for Brexit. In an earlier post, Alan Renwick, Deputy Director of the UCL Constitution Unit, discussed how Article 50 could lock the UK into negotiations that could tilt the balance of power away from the UK and make a second in/out referendum on an improved renegotiation package (an idea floated by Boris Johnson among others) impossible. But could these problems be avoided by not using Article 50, as some Leave campaigners have suggested? Alan Renwick argues that the use of Article 50 would, in practice, be unavoidable.

Suddenly, the Lisbon Treaty’s Article 50 is the talk of the town. This is the legal provision setting out how a member state can leave the European Union. First, the departing state declares its intention to leave. Then negotiations are conducted between the departing state and the remaining 27. Either a deal is done and the departing state leaves on those terms, or, after two years, the departing state automatically exits (unless a unanimous vote of all the member states prolongs the window). Continue reading