Sovereignty and Brexit: From Theory to Practice
Brexit Institute Working Paper Series, No 5/2021
14 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2021
Date Written: February 18, 2021
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
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