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Between intergovernmental relations and paradiplomacy: Wales and the Brexit of the regions

Hunt, Jo ORCID: and Minto, Rachel ORCID: 2017. Between intergovernmental relations and paradiplomacy: Wales and the Brexit of the regions. British Journal of Politics and International Relations 19 (4) , pp. 647-662. 10.1177/1369148117725027

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The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU) is an assertion of UK nation-state sovereignty. Notwithstanding this state-centrism, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have distinct interests to protect as part of the Brexit negotiations. This article explores how the interests of one regional case, Wales, were accommodated in the pre-negotiation phase, at a domestic level—through intergovernmental structures—and an EU level through paradiplomacy. We explore the structures for sub-state influence, Wales’ engagement with these structures and what has informed its approach. We argue that Wales’ behaviour reflects its positioning as a ‘Good Unionist’ and a ‘Good European’. Despite the weakness of intra-UK structures, Wales has preferred to pursue policy influence at a UK (not an EU) level. In Brussels, regional interests inform the context for Brexit. Here, Wales has focused on awareness-raising, highlighting that the UK Government does not command the ‘monopoly on perspectives’ towards Brexit in the United Kingdom.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1369-1481
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 1 September 2017
Date of Acceptance: 18 July 2017
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 03:03

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