The Constitution Unit


The UK and Europe


The Process of Brexit

Withdrawal from the European Union will be the biggest change in British politics for generations.  The process of getting there will stretch the resources of Whitehall and challenge the relationship between government and parliament.  It will raise profound questions about the degree to which the UK political system rests upon parliamentary or upon popular sovereignty.  It is certain to make relations among the UK’s nations more complex, and it has the potential to precipitate the end of the United Kingdom in its present form.

The Constitution Unit is monitoring these developments closely.  Our report The Process of Brexit: What Comes Next sets out what can be said about how the process of leaving the EU is likely to unfold.


The Uk in Changing Europe

This project is funded by The UK in a Changing Europe initiative 

UCL European Institute: Brexit Divisons project


The European Institute is bringing together leaders of the UK's Stronger In and Vote Leave campaigns, as well as analysts, academics and activists, in order to examine how campaigns can influence how people think and vote in referendums. On 08 March,  Brexit Divisions Ithe UK's current Brexit campaigns and the lessons we can learn from previous EU referendums in other countries. During Brexit Divisions II on 22 March, the focal point will be migration, probably the one core issue swaying voters. the European Institute are also guest editing two weeks' worth of articles with openDemocracy 7- 11 and 21-25 March.

Special EU Referendum Seminar Series and Briefing Papers

Brexit: Its Constitutional Consequences for Britain and Europe

The referendum on 23 June on the UK’s future membership of the European Union raised many important issues. This special seminar series and briefing papers – organised jointly by the UCL Constitution Unit, UCL European Institute, and UCL School of Public Policy – focused on a crucial subset of these issues: the constitutional consequences that Brexit would have for the UK, for the EU, and for other EU member states.

The seminars brought together leading practitioners and academics from the UK and around Europe to debate the issues. The briefing papers drew on the seminars and other materials to sum up current expert opinion on each issue. Both the seminars and the briefing papers were generously supported by the UK in a Changing Europe project.

The series concluded with a major debate on all aspects of the Brexit question.

Brexit: Its Consequences for Whitehall & Westminster - Briefing Paper & Video
Brexit: Its Consequences for the EU’s Political System - Briefing Paper & Video
Brexit: Its Consequences for Devolution & the Union - Briefing Paper & Video
Brexit: Its Consequences for Other Member States - Briefing Paper and Video

The UCL EU Referendum Debate: To Remain or To Leave?

Thursday 16 June 2016, 6–7.30pm

Following the shocking murder of the MP for Batley and Spen, Jo Cox, campaigning for the EU referendum was suspended on 16 June 2016.  The planned UCL EU Referendum Debate, which had been due to feature leading figures from both campaigns, was therefore changed into a Meet the Experts Q&A.  A panel of academics with expertise in the politics and economics of the EU and the processes around the referendum answered a wide range of questions from audience members.  The panellists were:

  • Professor Anand Menon, Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs at King’s College London and Director of the UK in a Changing Europe initiative
  • Dr Swati Dhingra, Lecturer in Economics at the London School of Economics and at the LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance
  • Dr Simon Usherwood, Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Surrey and Fellow of the UK in a Changing Europe initiative
  • Dr Alan Renwick, Deputy Director of the Constitution Unit at UCL.

The event was organised by the UCL Constitution Unit, UCL School of Public Policy, and UCL European Institute.  It was chaired by Professor Meg Russell, Director of the Constitution Unit.

A video of the event is now available online. Please click here to watch the debate.