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Ian Manners, photo.

Ian Manners


Ian Manners, photo.

Where Does The Brexit Debate Stand In The United Kingdom Right Now? : Presentation to the European Affairs Committee of the Danish Parliament, 14th October 2016


  • Ian Manners

Summary, in English

On the 11th October 2016 the opposition Labour Party presented the ruling Conservative UK government with a list of 170 questions – one for each day before Theresa May’s self-imposed deadline to start the process of leaving the EU. A more realistic list of questions in the UK’s ‘Brexit’ debate right now would consist of 17 000 questions – the four decade-old UK-EU relationship raises so many questions that it would take that many days (46 years) to address them.

This briefing will focus on three factors in the UK right now – referendum context, UK gov-ernment, and Brexit debate – with a specific focus on just seven questions in the Brexit debate: legal, political, social, economic, conflict, and environmental questions.

The briefing argues that the UK referendum has unsettled Britain for a generation to come. The unconvincing referendum context, the UK government omnishambles, and the unanswerable questions of the divisive Brexit debates all create a very uncertain future which further threatens the cohesion of the UK.

Prior to 2016 the question of ‘Europe’ – the UK’s membership of the EU - was long con-sidered a ‘second order’ issue of no real political interest to voters and politicians alike. The divisive campaign, referendum, and resulting political chaos have created a new, first-order rupture at the heart of British society and politics.

Publishing year




Document type



University of Copenhagen


  • Political Science


  • Brexit
  • United Kingdom
  • European Union
  • European Affairs Committee
  • Danish Parliament