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The Political Economy of Brexit

The political Economy of Brexit book cover image
30 May 2017

The Political Economy of Brexit, published by Agenda and edited by David Bailey (Aston University) and IKD member Leslie Budd, provides an important first step in assessing the threats and challenges that Brexit poses for both the UK and the wider EU economy.

Over the past forty years, the UK’s economy has become increasingly intertwined with – and dependent upon – its relationship with the other EU member states. Now, with both the EU and the UK’s economic landscape irrevocably fashioned by this membership, Brexit takes both parties into unchartered territory.

The contributors therefore assess the likely impact of Brexit on the UK’s already weak manufacturing industries and how the withdrawal of EU funding for regional development might impact on growth and future economic development outside London and the South East. Areas of particular focus include:

  • the probable impact on wages and labour regulations
  • how relations with the UK’s closest neighbours are likely to develop – including, critically, those between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
  • the Scottish question
  • how the EU will fare without its second largest economy.

Leslie Budd's chapter, Stalling or Breaking? Northern Ireland's Economy in the Balance, advances evidence to show how hard Northern Ireland will be hit by Brexit unless there are significant compensatory fiscal transfers from the UK government, In addition – and as in Scotland – Brexit opens up the distinct possibility of the UK's territorial disintegration. Given that Northern Ireland voted to stay in the EU, the possibility of a referendum on reunification of Ireland no longer seems preposterous.

Meanwhile fellow IKD member Dimitris P Sotiropoulos, together with John Milos, contributes The Exit Connection: Europe's New Polanyian Moment. In it, the two authors draw on the central argument of Karl Polanyi that a self-regulating economic system is an imaginary construction and, as such, is impossible to achieve. They then move on to explore the challenge for the Left in the UK as it tries to negotiate where to position itself in regard to Brexit.

Buy The Political Economy of Brexit.

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