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.


PROMISE explored the ways young people with a history of stigmatisation or conflict participate in society. The focus was on the different ways they engage with social, environmental and political issues, and how they create opportunities for social change. The following recommendations on Promoting Youth Involvement and Social Engagement in Europe are based on ethnographic case studies with young people and quantitative research using the European Value Survey and other secondary data sources.



Post-Summit Analysis covering EU Summit

The paper does not ‘only’ analyze the key issues on the Summit agenda (Brexit; EMU reform; migration; MFF). Given that the December Summit was the last European Council meeting before the EU enters the final stretch towards the end of the current politico-institutional cycle.
The final section of the paper offers an account of the current state of affairs (‘tale of two narratives’), dares to look into the immediate future (‘battle of (split) camps’), and ends with a proposal on a potential shared Leitmotif for the next EU leadership.

PM Leadership Challenge – Just survived

Conservative MP’s trigger a vote of no confidence in May’s leadership of Brexit negotiations with the EU. Prime minister defeats leadership challenge after Conservative MPs vote to back her by 200 to 117, and survives confidence vote with a majority of 83.

Meaningful Vote

UK Parliamentary debate on deal leading to MP’s vote on 11 th
December. Vote postponed by May who heads off to Brussel’s to
negotiate further with EU leaders on the Back Stop terms. May held
in contempt by the Lower House for postponing vote at such short
notice. The meaningful vote is postponed until week beginning 7 th
January 2019. May needs 320 votes in Parliament to get approval
deal, however the Conservatives hold 316 seats in 650 set Lower

Our Future Our Choice’s new battlebus

The bus, organised by the youth movement Our Future Our Choice, aims to show MPs the strength of feeling in young people about Brexit. This marks a new phase of campaigning by young people that calls for a final say on the Brexit deal.


Dominic Raab
Second Brexit Secretary to resign

The second Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab resigns from his post in disagreement with the Cabinet owned Brexit deal.

Cabinet sign-up to May’s Brexit deal

UK Cabinet ministers approve the draft deal on Brexit followed by a series of registrations including the foreign secretary Brexit minister and a few junior ministers.


Brexit submit

May headed to Brussel for a special Brexit submit to seal the deal with her EU counterparts.


People’s Vote

Young people come together to demand a say on Brexit. In October a people’s took place in London calling for a new Brexit referendum. Organizers claim that 700,000 people attended the march – representing all generations – to demand a people’s vote on the final terms of any Brexit deal. That would make it the second largest protest in the UK this century after the Stop the War demonstration in 2003.