PSA presents What’s Happening… "Brexit: towards the break-up of the Union?"

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The Political Studies Association (PSA) presents: "What's Happening... Brexit: towards the break-up of the Union?" Chaired by award-winning journalist Stephen Bush (Political Editor, New Statesman), the second instalment of the PSA's What's Happening? series will once again bring together academics, journalists, policy-makers and the interested general public to unravel the events that have had the nation talking over the past 12 months. The UK Referendum to Exit the European Union has altered the political landscape of the UK in ways that otherwise would have been unimaginable – putting under question the scope and future of not just the European Union, but the United Kingdom too.  After the Scottish Independence referendum in 2014, many commentators thought that this question was settled, and that the nations of the UK would be able to continue to forge a future together.

However, Brexit has now cast further doubts on this. The nations of the UK have returned very different votes, driven by different motivations – showing a profound level of division of opinions that, more two years after the referendum, still remain unaddressed. In areas like Scotland and Wales, the respective national parties are picking up support and are actively seeking to politicise calls against Brexit, with a view to resort to the ‘independence card’ if their ‘voice’ continues to be disregarded by the government in London. Northern Ireland voted largely Remain, but now has to face the socio-political consequences of Brexit – with the risk of reopening conflicts and widen cleavages that many had hoped were a thing of the past. England, too, has revealed through the vote the presence of territorial, social and economic fractures – between big cities and town, urban and rural areas, North and South, cosmopolitans and backwaters, young and older voters. Beyond this, there remains the question of how repatriated powers will be distributed (or not) across the UK – throwing into sharp relief the issues that underpin the system of devolution in the UK and questioning, even, whether this could be thwarted through processes of re-centralisation. And, beyond all this, Brexit will have wide and potentially problematic economic consequences across and within the nations of the UK. Although this is just the tip of the iceberg, it is clear that Brexit is posing new and unexpected challenges to the Union, which could be further exacerbated by a No Deal exit. All these dynamics do and will continue to affect in a most profound way UK politics, and will reverberate across Europe too – especially in view of next years EP elections. Join us as we explore how Brexit might impact the future of the Union in political, social and economic terms – and whether we may even see the end of the UK as we know it. Panel The panel consists of academic experts from the PSA's Specialist Groups (SGs) and is chaired by Stephen Bush of the New Statesman: Dr Katy Hayward (Queen's University Belfast) - Irish Politics SG Dr Scott Lavery (SPERI, University of Sheffield) - British and Comparative Political Economy SG Dr Timofey Agarin (Queen's University Belfast) - Ethnopolitics SG Professor Margaret Arnott (University of the West of Scotland) - Parliaments SG Dr Emily Rainsford (Newcastle University) - Young People's Politics SG Dr Matt Wall (Swansea University) - Elections, Public Opinion and Parties SG  Chair: Stephen Bush (Political Editor, New Statesman) Programme 18:15                  Doors open 18:30 - 19:30      Panel Discussion  19:30 - 20:00      Audience Q&A 20:00                   Networking reception with drinks and canapés  Event contact: Rosie Inman ([email protected]) Accessibility: The venue is fully wheelchair accessible. If you have any other accessibilty requirements, please do not hesitate to get in touch and we will do our best to accommodate your needs. Please note: This event is free and open to all interested parties, but advanced booking is required. As this is a free event, we overbook places to allow for no-shows and to avoid empty seats which could otherwise be enjoyed by those who would like to attend. Please be aware that admission is therefore on a first-come, first-served basis and entry is not guaranteed. Please aim to arrive early (from 18:15 onwards) to avoid disappointment.

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