Delegation and Devolution After Brexit: A Revised Theory of Intergovernmental Policymaking
21 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2019
Date Written: November 10, 2019
British institutions allow the central government to make the key choices regarding the devolution of EU powers, but what incentives does it face when choosing whether to centralize or devolve authority post-Brexit? We offer a formal theory of the delegation and devolution of powers under both "hard" and "soft" Brexit scenarios that produces four main findings. First, when structural independence is less effective in reducing policy drift and incentivizing expertise for both European and territorial agents, hard Brexit yields more devolved policy-making. Second, however, the extent to which structural independence decreases policy drift and capacity acquisition does not influence the devolution choice of the central government. Third, if Westminster does not see a clear difference in the effect of independence on drift or expertise in the European or regional agencies, territorial agencies will enjoy at least as much independence as they did pre-Brexit. Fourth, a soft Brexit will lead to a decrease in devolution and structural independence compared with pre-Brexit levels. We also argue that technical policies will experience more devolved authority, while ideological policies will be more centralized.
Keywords: Delegation, Devolution, Brexit, Public Administration, Public Policy, European Union, Intergovernmental Relations
JEL Classification: D73, D78
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation