Sovereignty and Brexit: From Theory to Practice

Brexit Institute Working Paper Series, No 5/2021

14 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2021

See all articles by Brigid Laffan

Brigid Laffan

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS)

Date Written: February 18, 2021

Abstract

Angst about sovereignty played an important role in the UK’s membership of and subsequent exit from the EU. Sovereignty was and remains at the heart of the Brexit project. Those campaigning to take the UK out of the EU successfully deployed the powerful and vivid slogan ‘Take Back Control’ during the referendum to good effect. After the referendum, sovereignty was key to UK redlines and greatly influenced, even dominated, UK negotiating strategy. The UK wanted to divest itself of EU law, institutions and policies. Prime Minister May tried to reconcile her sovereignty demands with the needs of the UK economy whereas the Johnson Government pursued a sovereignty-first relationship with the EU to the detriment of its relations with its near neighbours and the UK economy.

Keywords: Brexit, Sovereignty, Divergence, Alignment, Negotiations

Suggested Citation

Laffan, Brigid, Sovereignty and Brexit: From Theory to Practice (February 18, 2021). Brexit Institute Working Paper Series, No 5/2021, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3788141 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3788141

Brigid Laffan (Contact Author)

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) ( email )

Villa La Fonte, via delle Fontanelle 18
50016 San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence, Florence 50014
Italy

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