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The Law & Politics of Brexit: Volume IIThe Withdrawal Agreement$
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Federico Fabbrini

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198848356

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198848356.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 December 2021

The Negotiations

The Negotiations

(p.37) 2 The Negotiations
The Law & Politics of Brexit: Volume II

Emily Jones

Oxford University Press

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.

Keywords:   Unite Brexit negotiations, UK government, domestic politics, Theresa May, UK Cabinet, Conservative Party, UK Parliament, constitutional crisis, Boris Johnson, Withdrawal Agreement

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