1st Edition

The Brexit Effect What Leaving the EU Means for British Politics

    232 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    232 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines the seismic impact of Brexit on the British political system, assessing its likely long-term effect in terms of a significantly changed political and constitutional landscape.

    Starting with the 2015 general election and covering key developments up to "Brexit Day", it shows how Brexit "transformed" British politics. The unprecedented turmoil – two snap elections, three Prime Ministers, the biggest ever defeat for the Government in Parliament, an impressive number of rebellions and reshuffles in Cabinet and repeated requests for a second independence referendum in Scotland – as a result of leaving the EU, calls into question what sort of political system the post-Brexit UK will become. Taking Lijphart’s "Westminster model" as its reference, the book assesses the impact of Brexit along three dimensions: elections and parties; executive–legislative relationships; and the relationship between central and devolved administrations. Based on a wealth of empirical material, including original interviews with key policymakers and civil servants, it focuses on the "big picture" and analytically maps the direction of travel for the UK political system.

    This book will be of key interest to scholars and students of Brexit, British politics, constitutional, political, and contemporary history, elections and political parties, executive politics, and territorial politics as well as more broadly related practitioners and journalists.

    Chapters one and two of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF at http://www.taylorfrancis.com under a Creative Commons [Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND)] 4.0 license. Funded by the University of Trento and the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies.


    1. The Westminster model and the UK political system before Brexit

    2. Understanding the Brexit effect

    3. Westminster preserved: Elections, party system, and the absorption of the Brexit shock

    4. Westminster challenged: The constrained dominance of the executive

    5. Westminster reasserted: A unitary but disunited state

    6. Understanding the Brexit strains during the Covid crisis

    7. Conclusions: British politics after Brexit


    Gianfranco Baldini is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Bologna, Italy, and Research Associate at the Centre for Britain and Europe, University of Surrey, UK.

    Edoardo Bressanelli is Associate Professor of Political Science at the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa, Italy, and Senior Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London, UK.

    Emanuele Massetti is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Trento, Italy, and Associated Fellow at the Centre on Constitutional Change, University of Edinburgh, UK.

    "After a period of intense fluidity and flux, The Brexit Effect provides a sophisticated account of exactly how the landscape of British politics has changed."

    Matthew Flinders, University of Sheffield and Vice President of the Political Studies Association, UK

    "This is an excellent analysis of the ways in which Brexit has had an impact on the British political system, taking into account the peculiarities of British political culture. It is essential reading for scholars and students interested in British politics and the consequences of Brexit."

    Sofia Vasilopoulou, King's College London, UK