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KASSIM H. - Understanding Brexit : Causes, Consequences and Challenges (8h)

Professor: Hussein KASSIM, University of East Anglia (UEA) and Visiting Professor, College of Europe

The June 2016 referendum represents an historic juncture for both the UK and the EU, and began a long, difficult, and complex process. The effect of the vote has already been dramatic, and the impact of the UK’s departure from the EU promises to be wide-ranging and far-reaching for both sides. Addressing these issues, this workshop has three main aims. The first is to situate the referendum in the context both of recent British politics and a long tradition of British exceptionalism concerning the country’s place in the world. The second is to examine developments since the referendum. It looks at the actions of UK government and parliament, the positioning of UK political parties, and UK public opinion. It also traces the reaction of EU institutions and the EU27, especially France, Germany, and Ireland, and the progress of Article 50 negotiations. A third aim is to reflect on wider questions: Brexit as part of a more general crisis of liberal democracy, what developments since June 2016 have revealed about the robustness of UK institutions, and the implications of Brexit for the EU and for the UK as a union of nations.

The workshop will draw on primary and secondary texts, as well as the grey literature and social media – essential given Brexit’s fast-moving character. Since the workshop will make extensive use of multimedia sources, please bring a laptop, tablet or smartphone to the sessions.