Brexit and the union: Territorial voice, exit and re-entry strategies in Scotland and Northern Ireland after EU exit

Nicola Mcewen, Mary C Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article examines the effects of Brexit on the internal boundaries and territorial future of the United Kingdom (UK). Divergent Brexit preferences, coupled with the process of negotiating and preparing for Brexit, have raised new questions about the ability of the UK to remain united. Focusing upon Scotland and Northern Ireland, where territorial challenges are most acute, the article draws upon and adapts Hirschman’s voice, exit and loyalty framework to examine the strategic choices and options faced by institutional actors in each case when determining constitutional and political options in response to Brexit. The article contends that, while credible exit threats were used to bolster voice in the Brexit negotiations, the Brexit vote and subsequent process have exposed the limitations of territorial voice, and unleashed new exit dynamics. We enhance the framework by exploring the concept of re-entry, exploring the contrasting paths these territories would face to re-enter the European Union (EU).
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Political Science Review
Early online date12 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Mar 2021

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