Seminar: Brexit - Why, how and with which effects

Course content

For many observers the outcome of the 2016 referendum was a chock and the political establishment appeared to have been completely unprepared. No official blue print for leaving the EU was available, however many, often hard-hitting, arguments and schemes for a “leave” had been produced.

In this seminar, we try to provide some overview of the historical and political background for the leave decision; however, the focus is mainly on the economic aspects of Brexit. There will, however, be room for broad papers combining insights in history, politics and economics as well as technical papers on how trade can be organized after Brexit, the effects on the UK and EU economies including the British Financial Industry and the immigration issue. We also have the Northern Ireland border case, the long-standing UK skepticism towards EU economic policies regarding the Euro, British criticism of the structural reform in Southern Europe and how that crisis there was solved. Finally, we also need to deal with possible changes in EU27 after Brexit.

A list of possible titles for papers

  1. “Britain should never have entered in the first place!” The classical conservative arguments against the EU. Margaret Thatcher’s dual role.
  2. The legal and constitutional issues. A proud country with an unwritten constitution cannot bow to the ECJ. However, will Brexit stop that?
  3. The performances of the major EU economies; will the EU break anyway?
  4. “The EU is against free trade and Britain is for; we should trade with the entire world!”
  5. For and against the “Norway model”, inside or outside the Single Market
  6. What happens to London’s status as a leading financial centre?
  7. Outside the EU is a golden future of high tech and a sophisticated world-class economy!
  8. Will leaving the Single Market create a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and which would be the eventual consequences?
  9. Admitting former Soviet Bloc countries to the EU created a flood of emigrants in the UK – good or bad. Can Britain do without the “Polish plumbers”?
  10. After Brexit, what happens to the market for university education?
  11. The UK criticism of EU economic policies
  12. Consequences of Brexit for Denmark (or other countries)
  13. Consequences of Brexit for the EU27
  14. Will EU27 change after Brexit with more or less integration?
  15. Other approaches are possible and welcome.



MSc programme in Economics

The seminar is primarily for students at the MSc of Economics

Learning outcome

Having completed the seminar and additional for the learning outcome specified in the Curriculum  you will obtain an understanding of an issue of a profound importance; you will also see that arguments of all possible kinds are interwoven.  

Kick-off meeting, research and writing process of the seminar paper, sessions with presentation of own paper and critical evaluation/feedback to another student´s paper, actively participating in discussions at class.

Before the session a "so-finalized-as-possible"-version of the paper must be uploaded in Absalon. After the presentations, the student submit an edited version of the paper in the Digital Exam portal as the final exam paper. The aim is that students use the presentation sessions as an opportunity to receive and use the constructive feedback to improve the paper.

A possible starting point is to follow the debate in the Economist and other media including the myriads of blogs etc. written by remainers as well as leavers. The UK government and the EU publish many position papers. There is an organization used to be called “Economists for Brexit” now “Economists for Free Trade” with Professor Patrick Minford in the lead. Many books of varying academic quality are available, i.e.

  • Liam Halligan and Gerald Lyons: Clean Brexit, Biteback Publishing 2017
  • Roger Bootle: Making a Success of Brexit and Reforming the EU, Nicholas Brealey Publishing 2017
  • Geoffrey Evans and Anand Menon: Brexit and British Politics, Polity Press 2017
  • Also check this: and the Think Tank Europa:
  • There is one book, I recommend everybody to read as it provides a valuable background:
  • Kenneth A. Armstrong Brexit Time, Leaving the EU, Why, How and When? Cambridge University Press 2017


All econ students at the MSc level can do the seminar.

BSc in Economics or similar

• Kick-off meeting: September 6, 2018, 14-16
• Supervision during the semmester. The students are wellcome to contact the supervisor from late August.
• Deadline commitmentpaper: not later than October 1.
• Deadline of pre-paper uploaded to Absalon: one week before presentations
• Presentations/Workshops: Week 43. Dates will be made in agreement with the students

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination
- a seminar paper in English that meets the formal requirements for written papers stated in the curriculum of the Master programme and at KUNet for seminars.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

Students are assessed on the extent to which they master the learning outcome for the seminar and can make use of the knowledge, skills and competencies listed in the learning outcomes in the Curriculum  of the Master programme.

To receive the top grade, the student must with no or only a few minor weaknesses be able to demonstrate an excellent performance displaying a high level of command of all aspects of the relevant material.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Seminar
  • 20
  • Project work
  • 186
  • English
  • 206