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Last chance for an exit from Brexit? EPC Policy Brief 29 March 2018

Zuleeg, Fabian (2018) Last chance for an exit from Brexit? EPC Policy Brief 29 March 2018. [Policy Paper]

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    The result of the Brexit referendum on 23 June 2016 came as a shock to many, including much of the political establishment in the United Kingdom (UK). With a relatively narrow margin of victory (less than 4%) and Scotland, Northern Ireland, and London clearly voting to Remain, the vote left the country deeply divided. The immediate decision of Prime Minister David Cameron to resign, triggering a leadership contest in the Conservative Party, added to the overall sense of dislocation. In addition, there was a degree of uncertainty about the final outcome. In the UK, a referendum is non-binding and the final decision-making body remains the House of Commons. Since there appeared to be a solid Remain majority in Westminster then, there was speculation that the result of the referendum might not be followed, and that Brexit could be averted. From an EU perspective, a UK reversal of the decision would surely have been welcomed in the summer of 2016. But domestic politics in the UK was on a different trajectory. Abiding by the result of the referendum was portrayed as the only democratic choice within both major parties, Conservative and Labour. Many (Conservative) parliamentarians who had previously campaigned to remain committed to heeding the result of the referendum, including Theresa May who was elected by the Conservatives to succeed David Cameron. In the leadership election campaign, her slogan was 'Brexit means Brexit', making it clear that under her stewardship the UK would leave the European Union (EU).

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > Brexit
    Countries > U.K.
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > European Policy Centre > Policy Brief
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2018 12:07
    Number of Pages: 4
    Last Modified: 30 Apr 2018 12:07

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