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British Exceptionalism Causes Brexit Conundrum

John Ryan ()

The Economists' Voice, 2019, vol. 16, issue 1, 14

Abstract: This paper examines the shortcomings in the UK government’s Brexit negotiation strategy which reflected Prime Minister Theresa May’s weak political leadership which focused on securing the short-term political survival of her government amidst turbulent and fractious domestic politics, over negotiations with the EU27. Brexit negotiations were poorly planned, and the UK government was woefully unprepared. Brexit also threatened a serious re-opening of old wounds in Northern Ireland, as debate grows around the prospect of a united Ireland inside the EU. UK politics is in turmoil and in a chronic crisis. What route the Brexit saga takes next is uncertain. But the crossroads is approaching – either the UK leaves by 31 January 2020 with no deal or passes the deal the Boris Johnson has negotiated with the EU27. The Brexit process has revealed the weakness of Westminster’s insular politics seemingly incapable of running a modern economy and society. Westminster’s politics are becoming more not less dysfunctional. The phenomenon of British exceptionalism towards the EU is set to take a new dramatic turn, while the UK’s chaotic political divisions will not disappear any time in the foreseeable future. The result of the 12 December 2019 General Election may even complicate the Brexit Conundrum.

Keywords: Brexit; European Union; United Kingdom (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F15 F50 F51 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1515/ev-2019-0020

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