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