Podcast: The impact of coronavirus on the Brexit process

Posted on 5 May 2020 by Ian Montagu

Sir John Curtice, Ian Montagu and Alex Scholes discuss what impact the outbreak COVID-19 has had on attitudes towards Brexit, whether people feel that the UK’s transition period should be extended, and whether the coronavirus pandemic might affect the government’s plans for the UK’s post-Brexit immigration policy.


Ian Montagu

By Ian Montagu

Ian Montagu is a doctoral student at the University of Strathclyde and was previously a Senior Researcher at ScotCen Social Research. Ian has a particular interest in political attitudes and social equality, and is currently researching associations between attitudes towards the European Union and other areas of public policy.

14 thoughts on “Podcast: The impact of coronavirus on the Brexit process

  1. This the best time to do Brexit when trade is low and we can leave without a deal, use the money saved to help trade with the rest of the world while the EU makes up it mind what they want to do. Just get it done and dusted and take it from there.Report

  2. What ”Independent” Analysis .. Remainers Include Professor Niall Ferguson & his Mistress are hopeless on their Models.for Cjd,BSE,Birdflu etc… Brexit will be Good for United Kingdom…Reamainers Should explain why we need to Continue giving EU £80billion in Last 4 years since the Referendum.
    They live in A bubble if they Love dictatorships Go & live in China. Covid19 shows folly of Open Borders So beloved by EU fanatics..
    The likely outcome of Covid is Spain,Italy,Greece,France leaving EU ….German taxpayers wont subsidise Any more Eurobonds..Report

  3. We can’t even heal the wounds caused by the differences in opinion over Brexit until everybody accepts that the fight is over, and we are leaving. That can’t happen if there is an extension. Report

  4. Sorry, after about 9 minutes I’m having to give up listening. The quality of sound from Sir John’s mic makes it too much of a strain. Pity!Report

  5. Jon Evans’ comments on Brexit are well-informed and wise. I differ from them on one important detail. The pandemic has accelerated and amplified the damaging impact of Brexit.in the very short term. Important branches of industry and finance will reduce their activities in the UK even sooner and more radically than expected because they will not see a justification for re-starting once anti-CV measures are phased out. Compared to what was expected even three months ago, I would expect much of what remains of the steel industry, aircraft construction (Rolls Royce, Airbus wings), car manufacture, pharmaceuticals and other industries not to re-start.. . Why struggle with Brexit complications when you now have spare capacity in Wolfsburg, Stuttgart or Munich? Why keep banking and insurance operations going in London when you can do the job more efficiently from Frankfurt, Amsterdam or Dublin? Into the bargain, I fear that everytime our charlatan pm undertakes not to extend the Brexit transitional period, thousands of UK jobs are lost. Brexit is the last straw, nail in coffin and all the rest.Report

  6. ‘Rebuilding the UK’ is a very telling comment.

    Notwithstanding the, as yet unknown, extent of the damage caused by the pandemic, the narrative of Brexiteers has very often been one of damage limitation. All the independent analysis has shown that Brexit will be damaging to the UK economy and every sector from science and education, the NHS, business and commerce to the security services, has voiced serious concerns about the wisdom of leaving the EU.

    We’ve been consistently subjected to comments along the lines of ‘the sky hasn’t fallen in yet, has it?!’
    – a reference to the avoidance of an apocalypse that was never predicted to happen. This will be a relatively slow process of decline, albeit with more immediate disruption at times. When talking to Brexiteers it has been very noticeable how they are bullish when talking about coping with Brexit – ‘we’ll get through it’ – but are vague to the point of blind ignorance when asked to explain just how much better off we’ll be. What are the benefits? Er, couldn’t tell you but we’ll survive.

    Brexit, lest we forget, was promoted as a pathway to Johnson’s ‘sunny uplands’ (his own career pathway), NOT as some kind of bizarre, self-inflicted endurance test that we embark on just to show we can survive. In ten, fifteen, twenty years time if Britain is not massively worse off (unlikely) but still muddling along, is that counted as success??

    It is a vanity project promoted by a very small number of people for their own self-serving ends, and actually has nothing whatsoever to do with improving the lot of the country at large.

  7. A major characteristic that of ‘Remain’ voters or EU enthusiasts is that they seek to apply any negative incident or issue onto Brexit. The UK has not ‘suffered’ disproportionately to France, Spain or Italy in terms of pandemic spread and arguably will fare better as it wont be bound by the State aid rules of the EU that Germany and France have ignored anyway.

    The comment that ‘leave’ voting areas are not law abiding is so wrong on so many levels. The poor and working class (who voted leave in greater numbers) don’t have the luxury of space and wealth that many liberal ‘remain’ voters enjoy and who have greater access to social space and home delivery (affordability). And Dr Ferguson’s married lover was a political activist for the green and remain vote and showed scant regard for the law beyond meeting her own needs.

    But at the end of the day these are wasteful arguments because the decision has been taken to leave.

    It’s time to enact the vote and leave the EU and get on with rebuilding the UK.Report

    1. And a trait of Brexiters is that they close their ears to any criticism of Brexit.

      Brexit caused a permanent schism in the British nation. There’s no going back. The entire process has weakened the country irreversibly.

      To claim that Brexit hasn’t caused economic/strategic problems in the British economy is simply naive. No company can thrive if they are fatally hampered in trading with their largest and closest market.

      If ‘enacting the vote’ means resources, manpower, and energy is put into Brexit when it could have gone into combatting the virus, and its economic challenges, then it will be a disgrace. To put lives above Brexit is criminal.Report

    2. The UK is a figment of your imagination try telling the Catholics in Northern Ireland that they are from the UK or indeed many Scots. We are so “United” that anything in Scotland tarnished with the Yoon Jack is left on the shelves and the saying is if it has a Union Jack put it back! Scotland and Northern Ireland did not vote to leave the E.U. and just like you and your Brexit stance this pandemic has only hardened many Scots resolve to leave this broken one sided union! England and Wales if you want to leave the E.U. then go just don’t drag the other Nations that make up these Isles with you.Report

      1. The Union of England and Scotland was a Scottish creation to get it out of bankruptcy. Ireland and NI are not happy bedfellows (and Mary Lou has frightened many unionists with her republican rhetoric). The truth is that not as many people hate the United Kingdom as you suggest and I think you may find yourself in a far greater minority than you realise. Democracy is about respecting the vote and the denial of a democratic process by many arguing on here shows the hopelessness of negotiating a decree absolute with the EU. Remainers just don’t want to leave and will concoct any excuse or argument to keep shouting ‘foul play we must stay’. It’s the antics of the playground. It’s very sad. But fits perfectly with the culture of the EU. Report

      2. Rees-Mogg is a Catholic – as are the majority of top Brexiters. It’s the Catholics that are keen on Brexit in England. Trying to divide people further with sectarianism is dangerous and unhelpful.Report

  8. Interesting that there seems to be some correlation between leave vote areas and flouting lockdown restrictions. Also, right wing commentators who were overwhelmingly in favour of Brexit are also by and large (not universally true) are very much in favour of moving the lockdown sooner rather than later. Seems to be a certain amount of coordinated messaging on this on social media.Report

  9. We need to help each other .We ignored help from the EU on Corona and suffered because of it.It would be mad to leave the EU for America who put themselves first.Report

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