Brexit Briefings

Detailed analysis of how Brexit will impact upon particular policy areas.

  • Courtesy Tiocfaidh ár lá! via Twitter

    The government’s latest Brexit customs plan won’t be simple to deliver

    After its failure to settle internally on either the “customs partnership” or “maxfac” wheezes to avoid a hard border in Ireland, the government now envisages that the whole of the UK should remain in a customs union with the EU until such time as other solutions are found – a remarkable U-turn.

  • Courtesy wikipedia

    Tricks of the trade

    Confuse your customs unions with your comprehensive trade agreements? Not that bothered by NTBs?

    There are a lot of trade terms swirling around the media at the moment, so here’s a handy guide to what they mean.

  • Created by JPC

    Transition or extension?

    The realisation that any post-Brexit transition period will leave the UK still subject to EU legislation, including modifications to such legislation and new legislation, has given rise to the idea that Britain should extend its membership so as to serve any transition period as a voting member rather than as a “vassal state”. 

  • Brexit and Young People

    It is self-evidently young people who are going to have to live longest with the consequences of Brexit, if it happens. These consequences are numerous and wide-ranging.

  • Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

    Brexit: now the difficult bit starts….

    Theresa May appeared at the dispatch box on Monday afternoon, trying hard to be joyful and triumphant, claiming that she was able to offer a Brexit that would please everyone.

  • Courtesy pxhere

    Having your fudge and eating it

    On Friday the EU27 and the UK published a joint report on phase one of the Brexit negotiations. Yet this deal fudges many key issues, and raises new ones. It has given rise to conflicting interpretations within hours of it being published.

  • Courtesy Inha Leex Hale via flickr

    Is 29th March 2019 the date we leave the EU?

    The date of 29 March 2019 is never far from the lips of government ministers. As the two-year period for negotiating our departure from the European Union runs down, that day is heralded by leading Brexiters as one of the few certainties left in this chaotic Brexit process. But, as is often the case, reality is far less straightforward

  • Courtesy wikicommons

    We have not passed the point of no return

    We go into this general election with the government claiming we have passed the point of no return, in that a notification under Article 50 of Britain’s intention to leave the EU cannot be reversed. They’re wrong.  Britain still has the right to change its mind. For a start, there is a clue in the […]

  • Courtesy Wikipedia

    Brexit and Agriculture: Growing Concerns

    At a conference for the agriculture sector in York, four areas of concern about Brexit emerged from those working in the industry: EU Labour, threats to income, future trade agreements and food standards. The government should be listening to their concerns.

  • Courtesy Pixabay

    Brexit and Pharmaceuticals: Access to Medicine

    A sector that doesn’t raise its voice in public (for fear of annoying ministers) but which is very worried about the consequences of Brexit, is the pharmaceutical industry. This is yet another industry which, behind the scenes, is asking for a “bespoke” agreement for its sector with a “deep and comprehensive” trade agreement and even a pharmaceutical protocol.

  • Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

    Brexit and Transport: Going nowhere fast

    Officials in the transport sector – the people who keep the British economy moving by road, rail, sea and air – are becoming increasingly concerned about the lack of attention paid to some vital practical implications of Brexit, as negotiations between the UK and the EU stall.

  • Courtesy wikimedia commons

    Brexit and the European Investment Bank

    The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the world’s largest international public lending institution, providing loans and long-term project funding at very low interest rates. But the “Brexit means Brexit from every aspect of the EU” position of the Tory right wing is dictating that we must leave even this beneficial body.

  • Photo © Stephen Richards (cc-by-sa/2.0)

    Brexit and Chemicals: A Chain Reaction

    The chemicals industry is a vital sector of the UK economy, making up 10% of all UK manufacturing. No wonder then that industry representatives and experts are extremely worried about the consequences of Brexit and the government’s chaotic approach to the negotiations.

  • Brexit and Citizens’ rights: The devil is in the detail

    What happens to EU citizens’ rights – of EU citizens here and Brits in other EU countries – after Brexit? This is the first key issue of the Article 50 “divorce” negotiations. It is a cause of great anxiety for the millions of citizens affected. In this briefing I look at several of the key areas for negotiation – and the serious implications for millions if they are not resolved.

  • courtesy geograph.org.uk via wikimedia commons

    Brexit and the Railways

    I was recently given a document entitled “seven key principles for Brexit” produced by the Rail Delivery Group, which works with Network Rail and the passenger and the freight operating companies. Here are some of their key concerns.

  • Brexit and Women

    As we celebrate women’s history month it is important not just to look at the past achievements, but to look ahead and see how we can ensure we continue the fight for equality.

    The EU’s role has been important.

  • Courtesy Flickr

    After a year, we are still no clearer

    Negotiations formally start today. The EU envisages around 22 four-week cycles to the negotiations in which each cycle addresses specific issues, with a week of preparation, a week of exchange of papers and explanation, a week of negotiation to find a deal and a week of reporting back to secure agreement with what the negotiators […]

  • Brexit and the Environment

    One of the most important issues in the Brexit debate is the environment, but it is hardly a surprise that this Tory government does not appear to be concerned about how leaving the EU will threaten the UK’s environmental protections, given that one of Theresa May’s first acts as Prime Minister was to scrap the Department for the Energy and Climate Change.

  • Courtesy Vimeo

    Theresa in Wonderland

    The utter foolishness of Theresa May’s ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ mantra when it comes to negotiating a new relationship with the EU is back in every speech by her and senior cabinet ministers as well as appearing in the Conservative manifesto. It can’t be emphasised enough that ‘No deal’ is simply not an option.

  • Courtesy Leshaines123 via Flickr

    Does Britain face a Brexit blackout?

    Since the government confirmed that it wants Britain to leave Euratom as well as the EU, there has been alarm over what this means for the UK’s energy supply. Leaving Euratom adds to an already problematic situation regarding traditional and renewable energy sources that arises if we leave the EU.

  • by QuinnDombrowski Courtesy Flickr

    Brexit, Beer and Brewing

    Looking at the brochure on Brexit produced by the British Beer and Pub Association, I am struck by some of their key demands.

  • Courtest Wikimedia commons

    Brexit and Immigration: Squaring the circle

    Politicians have to understand the public’s concerns about immigration and take action on this. But leaving the European single market primarily because of its provisions on freedom of movement would have a major economic cost, while at the same time changing very little, if anything, in terms of the UK’s ability to control migration. But there is a way to square the circle…

  • courtesy wikimedia commons

    Brexit and Agriculture

    Leaving the EU will presumably mean leaving the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).Currently, some 55% of total UK farm income comes from CAP support. If we don’t want to see a massive decline in our farming sector and an end to some much loved landscapes, replacing that in some way has to be a top priority.

  • Courtesy Thijs ter Haar via flickr

    Brexit and EU Agencies

    Theresa May’s statement that we won’t be trying to stay in bits of the EU means that, in principle, we shall also be leaving more than 40 EU agencies (including some located in Britain) which perform tasks on behalf of all member states, including us, over a wide range of policy areas.

  • courtesy daily edge

    Brexit and Ireland

    Much of the debate around Brexit thus far has rightly centred on the government’s shambolic handling of the process, and its cavalier attitude to the potentially disastrous impacts on the UK economy. However on the rather serious constitutional question of Ireland, the Leavers’ astounding recklessness has gone almost unnoticed.

  • courtesy wikimedia

    Euratom: Brexit goes nuclear

    The 60-year-old Euratom Treaty is a separate legal entity from the EU. The referendum last June did not concern Euratom. Little thought seems to have been given as to what we should do about our membership.

  • courtesy Pixabay

    Brexit and the CFP – There’s always a catch!

    The difficulties that face the fisheries and related industries and communities in the upcoming Brexit negotiations have been at best underestimated, and at worst deliberately misrepresented by those insisting it is simply a matter of ‘taking back our waters’.  

  • Courtesy Rama on Flickr

    Things are far from settled

    On the face of it, it’s clear. The referendum decided that Britain should leave the EU. And yet, despite this, there have been rallies across the country opposing Brexit, several million people signing a petition to Parliament urging it to vote against triggering Article 50, and the devolved Scottish government hinting it could block the process. So why is this?

  • Courtesy www.goodfreephotos.com

    Brexit and Consumers: Buyer Be Wary

    Consumers across Europe have benefited greatly from EU-wide rules which not only protect them when buying products in their home country, but also when making cross-border purchases. So what benefits might British consumers lose if the UK leaves the EU? And, if we go ahead with Brexit, what measures should the government take to lessen these potential impacts?

  • Uncertain futures: How Brexit could leave our children less protected

    Uncertainty reigns supreme in the Brexit negotiations. But what is now clear is that Brexit will weaken our rights, protections and shared standards. And while many hundreds of articles have been written on customs unions and chlorinated chicken, scant attention has been paid to what Brexit specifically means for our youngest generation. How might children be affected by Brexit?

  • Falsehoods, Failures, Fibs & Fabrications

    The 40 reasons to back the Brexit deal published by the Prime Minister to support her deal, are a frantic farrago of frequently fanciful falsehoods, failures, fibs or feeble fabrications. They are listed below with my comments on each of them in red, explaining why this entire document is so disingenuous and should not be […]

  • Courtesy Policy Exchange via Flickr

    Fisking “Common Market 2.0” (Revised)

    The “Norway Plus Group” of MPs have put forward a paper called “Common Market 2.0” as a possible alternative Brexit deal to current deal. I analyse how credible it actually is, in this long read.