Brexit: Six months on
PSA Public Statement
23 December 2016
The Political Studies Association (PSA) welcomed the hard-won right of the British people to express themselves at the ballot box on 23 June 2016, but would like to reiterate its concerns about the quality of information delivered by both sides. Brexit has proven time and again the importance of political studies – and therefore ‘experts’ – in informing and stimulating healthy political debate.
The campaigns and coverage around the EU referendum saw a worrying tone seep into our politics, and highlighted some deep-rooted divisions in society. Political studies, and the social sciences more generally, must therefore be given centre stage to address how we ‘do’ politics. As Grayson Perry observed at the PSA Awards in November 2016, we need to reflect on the tone of politics in order to develop a culture of empathy in which both sides can better understand one another.
Democracy is not simply about ‘votes’ and the ‘will of the people’. It is about collective decision-making, rights and the rule of law. As a discipline we have a responsibility to feed into this democratic process to arm politics with robust evidence.
By helping the public understand our democratic processes, we can also contribute to a more cohesive society that works together towards positive ends. Healthy and enlightened political debate is essential for democracy to prosper. As the country moves forward with its Brexit negotiations, decision-makers must listen to the thoughtful analysis and insight coming from the academic community.
Now is therefore the time to celebrate academic freedom. We want to reiterate the valuable contribution EU citizens make to academic and public life in the UK, as well as our commitment to the equality and diversity of the profession. The rights of international students and staff must also be protected under new immigration rules, in order to preserve the capacity and excellence of UK political science. Both the study and conduct of politics benefit greatly from the positive exchange of ideas and information that come from our diverse society.
We look forward to working with our members, other associations, policy-makers, and the wider public in support of the important goals and values we share.
Professor Matthew Flinders, Chair, PSA
Professor Rosie Campbell, Vice-Chair, PSA
Professor Will Jennings, Chair of Research and Impact, PSA
Brexit: Six months on - new report published with The UK in a Changing Europe
The PSA has today, 23 December 2016, launched a new report with The UK in a Changing Europe looking at what has happened in the six months since the UK voted to leave the European Union.
Brexit: Six months on considers the key political, economic, legal, social and security changes that have occurred since 23 June as well as at how EU countries view Brexit.
The document’s authors from The UK in a Changing Europe include:
Angus Armstrong, Catherine Barnard, Iain Begg, John Curtice, Matthew Goodwin, Sara Hagemann, Jo Hunt, Michael Keating, Anand Menon, Jonathan Portes, Simon Usherwood, Richard Whitman.
Download the full report here.