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HOW COULD THIS HAVE HAPPENED? On 23 June 2016, UK voters elected to leave the European Union. The result was perhaps the biggest bombshell in modern British political history. In this new and updated edition of Denis MacShane’s bestselling history of the UK’s relationship with Europe, the former Europe Minister reveals the full story behind Britain’s historic EU Referendum decision. Denis MacShane was the only senior Remainer to have called the EU Referendum result correctly and his book provides the essential context to the new political and economic landscape of Brexit Britain.
Much attention has been paid to the ongoing and unpredictable Brexit negotiations between the EU and the UK, but much less on what the absence of the UK might entail for the remaining 27 EU Member States. This book explores the range of implications for the EU after Brexit, and whether it is likely to become stronger or weaker as a result. It reviews the different attitudes on the EU’s future within both the member states and the individual EU institutions, and examines the impacts of Brexit on the composition of the EU institutions and on the balance of power between the member states. It also looks at linguistic and cultural impacts, the UK’s wider legacy for the EU and possible changes in EU priorities. The author concludes that Brexit has reinforced the EU’s unity in the short term, but that the EU will have to confront a number of key challenges if it is to be reinforced in the longer term. This book will appeal to practitioners, scholars and students interested in EU politics and integration in general, and Brexit in particular.
This edited collection brings together leading international scholars to explore the connection between Brexit and the media. The referendum and the activism on both sides of the campaign have been of significant interest to the media in the UK and around the world. How these factors have been represented in the media and the role of the media in constructing the referendum narrative are central to assisting the development in our understanding of how UK and global democracy is being manifested in contemporary times. This book explores these topics through presenting a wide range of perspectives from research conducted by leading international scholars, and concludes with an assessment of the potential democratic and international implications for the future. By grappling with a highly important and controversial topic in a comparative and varied way, the volume contributes to theoretical debates about the nature and role of the media in complex social, political and cultural contexts.
While the discussions among Brexiters mainly focus on the referendum of 2016 or David Cameron’s “great miscalculation” and its repercussions, this book looks at the Brexit as a process that began decades earlier. It analyses EU-UK relations from a new perspective, taking into consideration the historical background, political aspects, and legal and economic matters. The book provides a holistic understanding of the Brexit, approaching the referendum and its outcomes as the culmination of a long process rather than an isolated political event crafted within the corridors of Westminster or Downing Street 10. Accordingly, it addresses a range of thematic issues, historical patterns of political and economic behavior both within and beyond the United Kingdom, and possible future effects on relations between the Union and one of its most important members.
British Foreign Policy after Brexit by David Owen and David Ludlow is, perhaps surprisingly, a book written by two people from different generations who voted on opposite sides in the 2016 referendum. One a politician, the other a former diplomat, they both have significant business experience in world markets. The authors demonstrate how Britain's global role and influence can be enhanced rather than diminished post-Brexit, with a diplomatic, security, development and trade agenda based on hard-headed realism, including a review of budgetary priorities. As a firmly European country, they see the UK as a key player with Germany and France in the wider Europe, and a leader in security issues threatening the continent's stability. They do not regard the relationship with Moscow as inevitably confrontational, but believe strengthening NATO is essential and a top priority to contain Russia. In the wider world, a reinvigorated UK-US relationship will be critical, but must accommodate differences in some core areas, e.g. in dealing with China. Furthermore, they see the UK's new aircraft carrier at the heart of a UN Rapid Reaction Force drawn mainly from Commonwealth countries, including Australia, Canada, India and New Zealand, and supporting operations around the globe.
Soon after the UK referendum in June 2016, sociologists and other social scientists began to evaluate the implications of the decision both for the UK and, more importantly, for the European Union, Europe and the world. Some of these consequences were immediately evident. The vote revealed cleavages across the UK on a regional and class basis, paralleled, for example, in the support in France for the extreme-right Front National versus the Socialist Party. In the UK, there has been a revival of a kind of class politics, in which working-class voters swing right rather than left. The regional divisions are hard to explain: the most deprived areas of the UK, which have benefited substantially from EU development aid, were often those most hostile to UK membership of the EU. In the rest of Europe, the vote has opened up as a serious prospect what was previously only a pipe-dream of the political fringes: withdrawal from the EU itself. Although one can put this in the context of the Union’s failure to attract the support of enough voters in Norway and Switzerland for membership, the shock effect is incomparably greater. The UK was always a semi-detached member state, with opt-outs from Schengen and the euro, but it still carried substantial weight in the formation of EU policy. Although one of the immediate responses has been a rise in support for the EU across much of Europe, Brexit has massively strengthened the forces of (mostly right-wing) populist insurgent politics, adding withdrawal to the more local themes of migration and ‘islamization’ which play out in different variations across Europe. Brexit aims to trace the implications of the UK’s projected withdrawal from the EU, locating short-term political fluctuations in a broader historical and social context of the transformation of European and global society. It provides a forum for leading Eurosociologists (broadly defined), working inside and outside the UK, to rethink their analyses of the European project and its prospects, as well as to reflect on the likely implications for the UK.

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