1st Edition

The Brexit Policy Fiasco

Edited By Jeremy Richardson, Berthold Rittberger Copyright 2021
    160 Pages
    by Routledge

    160 Pages
    by Routledge

    This volume attempts to examine the many possible causes of Brexit. The conceptual 'peg' on which the volume hangs is that, irrespective of one's views on whether Britain's exit from the EU was a good or a bad thing, Brexit can justifiably be seen as yet another example of a British policy fiasco. Put simply, the British political elite was not at its best.

    The collective concern of this volume is twofold. First, it advances possible explanations of how the Brexit issue arose. Why was Britain’s membership of the EU thought to be so problematic for so many members of the British political elite and ultimately for a majority of voters? How did we get to June 2016 and the Brexit Referendum? Secondly, the volume examines how the issue was managed (or mismanaged) following the referendum result up until the Withdrawal Agreement in March 2019. The contributions to this volume explore these questions by looking at Brexit from different analytical angles. Some authors explore the long-term causes of Brexit, by disentangling the fraught relationship between the UK and the EU, which had provided the Brexit train with steam; others explore the highly conflictual domestic political dynamics in the run-up to the referendum and in the negotiations of a Brexit deal.

    The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Journal of European Public Policy.

    Introduction - Brexit: simply an omnishambles or a major policy fiasco?

    Jeremy Richardson and Berthold Rittberger

    1. Narrative genres of Brexit: the Leave campaign and the success of romance

    Alexander Spencer and Kai Oppermann

    2. Explanations for the Brexit policy fiasco: near-impossible challenge, leadership failure or Westminster pathology?

    Allan McConnell and Simon Tormey

    3. Can’t get no learning: the Brexit fiasco through the lens of policy learning

    Claire A. Dunlop, Scott James and Claudio M. Radaelli

    4. Divided they fail: the politics of wedge issues and Brexit

    Tim Heinkelmann-Wild, Lisa Kriegmair, Berthold Rittberger and Bernhard Zangl

    5. Political, process and programme failures in the Brexit fiasco: exploring the role of policy deception

    Darrin Baines, Sharron Brewer and Adrian Kay

    6. The Brexit car crash: using E.H. Carr to explain Britain’s choice to leave the European Union in 2016

    Justin O. Frosini and Mark F. Gilbert

    7. No match made in heaven. Parliamentary sovereignty, EU over-constitutionalization and Brexit

    Susanne K. Schmidt


    Jeremy Richardson is Emeritus Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. His most recent book is British Policy-making and The Need for a Post-BREXIT Policy Style, Palgrave, 2018. Previous titles include European Union. Power and policy-making, Fourth Edition, edited with Sonia Mazey, Routledge, and Constructing a Policy-Making State? Policy Dynamics in the EU (Ed.), 2012, Oxford University Press

    Berthold Rittberger is Professor of International Politics at LMU Munich, Germany. His research focuses on EU integration, political representation and regulatory-policy-making