This chapter analyses the politics of the Brexit negotiations and shows how the UK government’s failure to manage the fraught domestic politics posed a major constraint and challenge to the negotiations. Under UK Prime Minister Theresa May, the UK government struggled to put forward coherent negotiating proposals, hamstrung by deep splits within the UK Cabinet and the Conservative Party. After two years of negotiations, in November of 2018, the UK and EU reached an agreement, only to see it resoundingly rejected by UK Parliament three times. The UK was then plunged into a constitutional crisis, and Prime Minister May stepped down. Boris Johnson, May’s successor, took a more hard-line approach. He took extreme measures, including suspending the UK Parliament, a move that was ruled illegal by the UK Supreme Court. Activist backbench MPs and a series of court cases ruled out a no-deal exit and helped generate an agreement between the Johnson government and the EU, but it was not ratified until after a snap general election in December of 2019 delivered a resounding victory for the Conservatives. The UK duly left the EU on January 31, 2020, with a Withdrawal Agreement in place.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.