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The Implications of the Departure of the UK for EU Social Policy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 September 2018

Mary Daly*
Affiliation:
Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford E-mail: mary.daly@spi.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

This article considers the significance of the UK departure for EU social policy from the perspective of the economic orientation of policy, institutional configuration and associated political agency. The analysis first focuses on the role the UK has played since it joined in 1973, highlighting the UK's strong support for the EU as a market project with a secondary role for social policy. It can as a consequence claim some success in imprinting its (neo)liberal orientation on EU policy while at the same time securing favourable terms for its own selective engagement with EU policy. The signals regarding EU social policy's future after the UK departs are very mixed. While there are some signs of a more social impulse in policy, the strong ties to a market approach, lack of consensus around the need for a different type of EU social policy engagement and institutional and political hierarchies constrain change.

Type
Themed Section: European Social Policy and Society after Brexit: Neoliberalism, Populism, and Social Quality
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2018 

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