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Making sense of the social policy impacts of Brexit

Hantrais, Linda, Stewart, Kitty ORCID: 0000-0001-7744-8741 and Cooper, Kerris (2019) Making sense of the social policy impacts of Brexit. Contemporary Social Science, 14 (2). pp. 242-255. ISSN 2158-2041

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Identification Number: 10.1080/21582041.2019.1572217


When Denmark, the Republic of Ireland and the UK joined the European Communities in 1973, their governments were required to transpose into domestic law all the treaty commitments previously negotiated by the six founding member states. A chapter on social policy in the 1957 Treaty, conceptualised as a necessary component of economic integration, was designed to prevent distortion of the rules of competition and ensure a high standard of social protection for workers. Although successive UK governments strongly supported the concept of a single European market, they resisted the notion of a European ‘social superstate’ or ‘social union’. They opposed the extension of qualified majority voting to social security and favoured softer forms of social legislation to preserve national sovereignty over social protection systems. This article attempts to make sense, firstly, of the role played by the social dimension during the UK’s membership of the European Union, the referendum campaign and Brexit negotiations; and, secondly, of the direct and indirect implications of Brexit for the future development of social and employment policy in both the EU and the UK. The authors consider the implications for the EU’s social agenda, and for employment rights, public service provision and living standards in the UK.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2019 Academy of Social Sciences
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2019 16:27
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2024 05:48

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