Publication details




Year of publication 2023
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

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Description This chapter examines the complicated period between the General Election of 2015 and the entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement between the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) in 2020, which marked the end of the UK’s EU membership. As befits the protracted policy process of Brexit, the party politics of leaving the EU was a rather messy affair. During this time, UK politics was buffeted by multiple crises as the aftermath of the 2016 referendum led to two Prime Ministerial casualties, two snap general elections, unexpected participation in a European Parliamentary election, and an influential – if unsuccessful – grassroots campaign to hold a second referendum. We analyse this sequence of events by reflecting on how UK parties defined themselves in relation to Brexit: not just for or against, but what end form it should take. In particular, this chapter explores how the ensuing internal tensions, especially within the two main Westminster parties, the Conservatives and Labour, came to dominate the political process.
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