The Mayor Boris Johnson in Croydon, South London, Tuesday November 22, 2011.  Photo by Andrew Parsons/ Parsons Media

The new DUDE in 10 Downing Street

Depart European Union

Unit the country

Defeat opposition party

Energise the country

Boris Johnson is to be the UK’s new prime minister.

At an uncertain and unstable time for British politics, for the economy and for the country’s place in the world, Conservative Party members have chosen a leader who defies almost every norm. Johnson is a controversial figure within British politics and journalism. Supporters have praised him as an entertaining, humorous, and popular figure, with an appeal stretching beyond traditional Conservative voters. Johnson appointed his Cabinet on 24 July 2019, describing it as a “Cabinet for modern Britain. Johnson increased the number of ministers attending the Cabinet to 33, four more than had attended the May Cabinet. One quarter of those appointed were women, and the Cabinet set a new record for ethnic minority representation, with four secretaries of state and two additional ministers coming from minority backgrounds.


Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson positions on Brexit

Only 160,000 Conservative Party members get a vote for UK’s next PM.

Boris ‘s position on Brexit:

  • Promised to leave the EU by October 31st 2019
  • No deal Brexit is an option
  • The ‘backstop’ clause focused on Northern and Republic of Ireland would be revisited in 2019-2020 when the UK and EU negotiate its long term trading relationships.
  • No deal would mean that the UK withholds its membership fees to the EU.

Hunt’s position on Brexit:

  • Called October 31st a fake deadline
  • UK must change the ‘backstop’ clause in the existing deal
  • Rework Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement



EU election overviews

President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. She would be the head of the EU’s executive arm, which is responsible for proposing laws and implementing policies.


“I did not deliver Brexit” Theresa May

Theresa May resigned as Conservative Leader due to failing to gain enough support from Parliament to push through her Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. The Withdrawal Agreement failed three times when voted upon in Parliament.

Votes lost by

1st 230
2nd 149
3rd 58

EU election stories

Lord Ashcroft Polls – My Euro-election post-vote poll: most Tory switchers say they will stay with their new party

The Guardian – EU elections turnout rises as political landscape fragments

The Guardian – EU election results 2019: across Europe

The Guardian – European election predictions: what the pollsters are forecasting

The Guardian – European election latest results 2019: across the UK

BBC News – European elections 2019: Brexit Party dominates as Tories and Labour suffer

The Guardian – A quiet revolution sweeps Europe as Greens become a political force

ECFR – Europe’s underestimated young voters

UKandEU – Vote for your future on Thursday


The vote that the British people should never have been asked to cast: the European elections

European elections. The big winner was the Brexit Party.


One third of votes were cast for parties that support no deal. The Brexit Party swept across Britain, and the Liberal Democrats and Green Party also made gains. On average turnout was 36.7%, up a little less than two percentage points on the last EU election in 2014.

Young people could turn the Brexit tide

How UK young people voted in the EU elections 2019. UK Electoral Commission data from April showed that one in three young people (defined as 18-34s) were not registered to vote, a starkly low figure in comparison to the over 95% of over 65’s registered.


Table: European Parliament election turnout % by country 1979—2019

Member States 1979 1984 1989 1994 1999 2004 2009 2014 2019
United Kingdom 32.35% 32.57% 36.37% 36.43% 24% 38.52% 34.7% 35.60% 37%
Average EU Turnout 61.99% 58.98% 58.41% 56.67% 49.51% 45.47% 42.97% 42.61% 50.82

The Games of Thrones: Who will sit in 10 Downing Street and rule over United Kingdom?

European Parliamentary elections 27th May

The United Kingdom invoked Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union on 29 March 2017 following a referendum on 23 June 2016 to leave the European Union. As a result, the country was due to leave the EU on 29 March 2019, before the European Parliament elections took place. Nonetheless, on 27 May 2018, it was reported that the UK’s Electoral Commission had set aside £829,000 for its “activities relating to a European Parliamentary election in 2019”. The Commission described the money as a “precautionary measure, so that we have the necessary funds to deliver our functions at a European Parliamentary election, in the unlikely event that they do go ahead.

Party Brexit positions

Party Brexit Position Withdrawal Agreement Position
Ulster Unionist Pro-Brexit Opposes
UKIP Pro-Brexit Opposes
SNP Anti-Brexit Opposes
Sinn Féin Anti-Brexit Supports
Plaid Cymru Anti-Brexit Opposes
Liberal Democrats Anti-Brexit Opposes
Labour Pro-Brexit Opposes
Green (E&W) Anti-Brexit Opposes
Democratic Unionist Pro-Brexit Opposes
Conservative Pro-Brexit Supports
Change UK Anti-Brexit Opposes
Brexit Party Pro-Brexit Opposes


Labour-Tory Brexit talks end without deal

17th May:  Brexit had been due to take place on 29 March – but after MPs voted down the deal Mrs May had negotiated with the bloc three times, the EU gave the UK an extension until 31 October.

This prompted negotiations between the Conservatives and Labour to see if the parties could come to a Brexit agreement, despite differences over issues including membership of a customs union and a further referendum.

Who will be the next Conservative Party leader and UK PM?

16th  May:  Mrs May has promised to set a timetable for leaving Downing Street following a House of Commons vote on her EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill in the week beginning 3 June.

Both Conservative and Labour experience voter apathy at local elections due to impasse over Brexit

2 May: Local elections in 248 English local councils. Conservative councillors were elected to 3,561 seats, a decrease of 1,333 from their previous count. Labour won 2,023 seats, down by 82. The biggest winners were the Liberal Democrats, who gained 704 seats to make a total of 1,351 councillors, and the Green Party, who gained 194 seats for a total of 265 seats. UKIP lost 145 seats, having only 31 councillors elected.

Brexit timeline – next steps

23-26 May:
European Parliamentary elections are held across member states

22 May:
New exist day only if MPs do approve May’s deal

12 April:
New exist day.  The reason the EU chose April 12 is because under law this is the deadline for the UK to decide whether to hold European Parliament elections.

29 March:
Exist Day. Current Brexit date in UK law

27 March
If MPs do not approve the withdrawal deal – “all options will remain open” until 12 April. The UK must propose a way forward before this date for consideration by EU leaders.

Theresa May tells MPs she will leave office if they vote for her plan.

Indicative votes for 8 Brexit options but is it Parliamentary naval-gazing or a way to build consensus to move beyond the deadlock.

23 March
700,00 march on London calling for a second referendum vote to stay in the EU.

22 March
UK Government wrote to EU for approval to Article 50 extension, which was approved until April 12th 2019.

21 March 2019
‘Cancel Brexit’ petition passes 2m signatures on Parliament site. A petition calling for Theresa May to cancel Brexit by revoking Article 50 has passed two million signatures.

21 March
EU submit on UK extension.

14 March
UK lawmakers approve Brexit delay before deadline to leave European Union. Parliament voted by 412-202 in favour of seeking to postpone Britain’s departure for at least three months beyond the current March 29 deadline

Why we’re marching

On 20 October 2018, an estimated 700,000 people marched for a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal. In a stroke of luck for the campaign, protestors were greeted with a clear sky and temperatures of up to 20 degrees as they descended on Westminster. Led by Sadiq Khan and thousands of young people mobilised by youth groups Our Future, Our Choice and For our Future’s Sake, the day felt like a real turning point for many in attendance, and it was not without impact.

Many broadcasters, journalists and even some MPs expressed surprise at the scale of the demonstration. Since that day, the People’s Vote campaign and its branch-offs have become major players on the political scene. What was previously derided as a London-centric club of Blairite ‘remoaners’ could not be ignored any longer.

But ultimately, it wasn’t enough on its own. Despite the massively increased publicity and willingness of many both in the media and in Westminster to take the campaign seriously; five months later there remains no majority in Parliament for anything. Many sympathetic MPs targeted by People’s Vote campaign in recent weeks remain reluctant to tie their colours to the mast.

By Nathaniel Shaughnessy

Brexit: A letter from the four Children’s Commissioners of the United Kingdom

A letter from the four Children’s Commissioners of the United Kingdom to Rt. Hon Stephen Barclay MP, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. The letter seeks assurances on some of the immediate issues facing children arising from Brexit.

Brexit will cost young people up to £108,000 each in lost earnings, according to a new report

The report, entitled ‘Young People and Brexit’, by Thomas Peto, an economic researcher at the University of Oxford, also points to other ways the young will be punished by Brexit, including:

  • The loss of freedom of movement – with 78 per cent of 18 to 20-year-olds saying they will miss the right to live and work across the continent.
  •  They are disproportionately agency and part-time workers – where EU protections were resisted by the UK and are “most at risk of repeal after Brexit”.
  • The threat to EU youth education, training and employment initiatives – including the Erasmus+ scheme, allowing students to live and work abroad.
  • The minimum income threshold for UK nationals to bring foreign spouses or children into the country is set to be extended to EU nationals.
  • Some data protection rights will be lost – which will “particularly affect a generation who have grown up online”.

The report also cites polling suggesting that 71 per cent of 18-24-year-olds voted Remain in the 2016 referendum and that 84 per cent of 18-20-year-olds would do so now.

Life after BREXIT: What are the UK’s options outside the European Union? By Swati Dhingra and Thomas Sampson

  • It is highly uncertain what the UK’s future would look like outside the European Union
    (EU), which makes ‘Brexit’ a leap into the unknown. This report reviews the advantages
    and drawbacks of the most likely options.
  • After Brexit, the EU would continue to be the world’s largest market and the UK’s
    biggest trading partner. A key question is what would happen to the three million EU
    citizens living in the UK and the two million UK citizens living in the EU?
  • There are economic benefits from European integration, but obtaining these benefits
    comes at the political cost of giving up some sovereignty. Inside or outside the EU, this
    trade-off is inescapable.
  • One option is ‘doing a Norway’ and joining the European Economic Area. This would
    minimise the trade costs of Brexit, but it would mean paying about 83% as much into the
    EU budget as the UK currently does. It would also require keeping current EU regulations
    (without having a seat at the table when the rules are decided).
  • Another option is ‘doing a Switzerland’ and negotiating bilateral deals with the EU.
    Switzerland still faces regulation without representation and pays about 40% as much as
    the UK to be part of the single market in goods. But the Swiss have no agreement with
    the EU on free trade in services, an area where the UK is a major exporter.
  • A further option is going it alone as a member of the World Trade Organization. This
    would give the UK more sovereignty at the price of less trade and a bigger fall in income,
    even if the UK were to abolish tariffs completely.
  • Brexit would allow the UK to negotiate its own trade deals with non-EU countries. But as
    a small country, the UK would have less bargaining power than the EU. Canada’s trade
    deals with the United States show that losing this bargaining power could be costly for
    the UK.
  • To make an informed decision on the merits of leaving the EU, voters need to know more
    about what the UK government would do following Brexit.
  • This is the first in a series of briefings analysing the economic costs and benefits of Brexit
    for the UK.


Promoting Youth Involvement and Social Engagement: Opportunities and challenges for ‘conflicted’ young people across Europe.

The full report presents a collection of standardised country reports from the ten partner countries involved in PROMISE. Using the most recent data available from macro-indicators and surveys, each country report provides a national baseline of the attitudes, activities and social involvement of young people. The macro-indicators used to describe the national context are used consistently throughout to allow comparison. In particular, each country report provides an overview of the general ‘state of the country’s health’; the situation that young people face; how young people feel about their situation; and what, if anything, they are doing to change it.