Arantza Gomez Arana, Jay Rowe, Alex de Ruyter, Rebecca Semmens-Wheeler, Kimberley Hill | The Economic and Labour Relations Review
This article explores the UK vote in 2016 to exit the European Union, colloquially known as ‘Brexit’. Brexit has been portrayed as a British backlash against globalisation and a desire for a reassertion of sovereignty by the UK as a nation-state. In this context, a vote to leave the European Union has been regarded by its protagonists as a vote to ‘take back control’ to ‘make our own laws’ and ‘let in [only] who we want’. We take a particular interest in the stance of key ‘Brexiteers’ in the UK towards regulation, with the example of the labour market. The article commences by assessing the notion of Brexit as a means to secure further market liberalisation. This analysis is then followed by an account of migration as a key issue, the withdrawal process and likely future trajectory of Brexit. We argue that in contrast to the expectations of those who voted Leave in 2016, the UK as a mid-sized open economy will be a rule-taker and will either remain in the European regulatory orbit, or otherwise drift into the American one.