Britain and Europe: The political economy of ‘Brexit’

Posted on 28 January 2016

Successful funding from the White Rose University Consortium

Lucia Quaglia, Tony Heron, Jim Buller and Nicole Lindstrom  have secured funding from the White Rose University Consortium as part of a joint bid led by Scott Lavery (SPERI, University of Sheffield), in partnership with Charles Dannreuther (School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds). In the run-up to the referendum on Britain’s EU membership this collaborative project – entitled ‘Britain and Europe: The political economy of ‘Brexit’’ – will consider the impact on the British model of capitalism of:

a) The Conservative Government’s attempt to re-negotiate the terms of Britain’s EU membership;


b) The impact of a British exit (‘Brexit’) from the EU; and


c) The implications and nature of what would then be a substantially reformed relationship between Britain and the EU.

To do this the project will focus on three key features of Britain’s economic model:

The labour market: The first strand will focus on Britain’s highly flexible labour market and employment legislation, as well as considering questions around EU citizenship, welfare and the free movement of labour.

Investment and infrastructure: The second strand will consider public procurement and infrastructure, investment from public and private sources and the possibilities of macroeconomic policy if the City of London loses its role as Europe’s offshore financial centre.

Trade and financial services: The third strand will consider: i) trade in goods, services and financial services regulation; ii) the completion of Economic and Monetary Union, and Banking Union; and iii) the external relations of the EU and the UK with third parties.

Academic workshops to explore the three strands will be held at SPERI at the University of Sheffield, at the University of York and at the University of Leeds. The project will engage a wide range of inter-disciplinary academics from the three universities, as well as drawing in external experts including local and regional politicians, trade union and industry representatives and think-tanks.