Lecture 43: Brexit:Is no-deal inevitable?

2019/9/9 13:46:53

Guest speaker:Richard McMahon from Department of Political Science, University College London
       Moderator:Prof. Mingming LI, SIPA
       Time:14:00-15:00 PM, September 12th Thursday
       Venue:Room 239, Xuhui Campus
       Soft Brexit is the term used for Britain leaving the European Union with a deal that allows the country to continue to trade with Europe with minimum disruption. Most economists believe that the harder the form of Brexit deal that is achieved, the greater the economic damage to the UK. Nevertheless, the new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, appears to want the hardest possible Brexit, taking the UK out of the EU with no deal at all. Like all previous solutions to the Brexit conundrum, this may be blocked by the inability of parliament and government to agree on anything. This presentation will outline what has brought us to this point, focusing on two factors that help explain this deadlock in Westminster, the Irish backstop and a new political cleavage. The backstop protects peace in Northern Ireland from the effects of Brexit but limits post-Brexit Britain’s freedom to set trade policy. Parliamentary opposition to the backstop prevented the ratification of Theresa May’s deal with the EU. However, I argue that parliament and government were deadlocked because two different cleavages, or systems for ordering politics, are in competition. In the light of this I will consider how the crisis might end.
       Lecturer's bio:
       Richard McMahon is a lecturer in EU politics at University College London, Department of Political Science. His PhD is from the European university Institute in Florence and he has taught at several other universities in Ireland, Germany and the UK. His research and teaching focuses on European integration and especially on Europe’s external relations and the relationships between politics, culture and history. I examine for example how the position of scholars within the transnational networks of EU Studies affected their narratives about European integration. He also has a particular interest in the intersection between nationalism and race, EU-China relations and right-wing discourses about European integration. His work consistently combines political science and historical approaches to transnational issues. Areas of expertise: European integration, IR & culture, China, political narratives in the human sciences, Central and Eastern Europe.

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