Devolution: The Social, Political and Policy Implications of Brexit for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

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The referendum vote for Remain in Scotland and Northern Ireland and the small majority for Leave in Wales immediately attracted much attention to the position of the devolved governments on Brexit negotiations and to the impact of Brexit on their jurisdictions. As the core of devolved powers relate to social policy, identifying the impact of leaving the EU on aspects of social policy is highly significant. This article examines the impact of EU programmes, funding, directives and regulations as delivered in recent years, noting the nature of the participation of the devolved administrations in EU decision making. The post-referendum concerns of the devolved governments and their approaches to Brexit and Brexit negotiations are explained. Also discussed are the likely major changes as well as possible changes that will take place in the operation of devolution after Brexit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)765-782
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Social Policy
Issue number4
Early online date14 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


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