Accueil > Brexit – What just happened, and what happens next ?

EJPR 12A00 - Winter Workshop - Behind the News: Brexit: What just happened, and what happens next?

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 15

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

The workshop will explore the origins of the European Union (EU) and its institutions, and will review the relationship that has existed between the United Kingdom (UK) and the EU since the Second World War. It will examine the factors and characters that have defined this relationship, which ultimately led to the UK joining the then European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973, and voting to leave the EU in 2016. The workshop will review the political, social and economic factors which led to the referendum taking place, and will consider the main actors and issues which shaped the campaign, notably including questions surrounding immigration, the jurisdiction of the ECJ, and the UK's national sovereignty. The workshop will explore the results of the referendum, and the geographical, generational and socio-economic cleavages which can be discerned in the vote, and will ask what this tells us about British politics and society. The workshop will consider the legal background to the referendum – set out in Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – and the format and nature of the negotiations between the UK and the EU to-date, and how this is playing out in the domestic political arena in the UK and throughout Europe. It will explore the main threads which shape the negotiations between the EU-27 and the UK, namely: the rights of EU citizens post-Brexit, the UK's financial obligations or 'divorce bill', and the implications of the UK's withdrawal for the Irish border. The different options that may be available, in terms of the UK's future relationship with the single market, the customs union, the World Trade Organisation (WTO,) and the EU institutions will also be explored. The workshop will seek to understand 'Brexit' in its domestic political context – both in terms of how it may reshape and recast the constitution of the UK, with respect to the future constitutional status of Scotland, Northern Ireland and London, and the roles of the UK courts and parliament. Finally, the workshop will seek to locate the UK's withdrawal from the EU in its global context, and will consider the wider geopolitical significance of this event.


COLFER, Barry (PhD Student)

Pedagogical format

The first part of each day before lunch will involve an interactive lecture where I will present a series of concepts, topics, and facts concerning the UK's withdrawal from the EU. I will use powerpoint slides with graphs, photographs, short clips and maps to guide discussion, and to explain relevant phenomena. The second part of each day (after lunch) will involve group discussions and work by students centred around a resource (a document, a short clip or documentary etc), and a set question, where students will work together in groups. Each group will then present their work to the class before the end of the session.

Course validation

Students will be expected to display an understanding of the European Union and its institutions, and of the historical background shaping the UK's relationship with the European project and its precursors. By the end of the course, students should be familiar with some of the main factors and actors which led to the UK's vote to withdraw from the EU in June 2016, and should be able to display an awareness of the status and nature of the negotiations between the UK government and the EU-27 which are underway, of the main issues upon which the negotiations are based, and of the different options that could be available to the UK following its withdrawal from the EU.

Required reading

Brexit: What the Hell Happens Now? - Ian Dunt - 2016

Additional required reading

  • The European Union: A Citizen's Guide – Chris Bickerton - 2016
  • The UK's Journeys into and out of the EU: Destinations Unknown – Julie Smith 2017
  • Brexit and Ireland: The Dangers, the Opportunities, and the Inside Story of the Irish Response 2017
  • Brexit: How Britain Left Europe – Denis MacShane – 2016