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Chapter

Daniel Kenealy, John Peterson, and Richard Corbett

This chapter considers the impact of the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) decision to leave the EU. In June 2016, the UK held a referendum on continuing its EU membership. The UK voted to leave the EU by a narrow margin, but one large enough for its new Prime Minister (after David Cameron, who called the referendum, resigned), Theresa May, to call ‘Brexit’ (the process of Britain exiting the EU) ‘the settled will of the British people’. The result sent shock waves across Europe. This chapter seeks to explain how and why the Brexit vote occurred and what might happen—both to the UK and to the EU—as a result. Possible outcomes of the negotiations on Brexit are considered with a view to assessing their impact on the UK, the EU, and the future of European integration.

Book

Edited by Daniel Kenealy, John Peterson, and Richard Corbett

The European Union: How does it work? provides an introduction to the European Union's structure and operations. Chapters cut through the complexity to explain how the EU works in practice. This edition of this text reflects the ongoing changes in the EU in the aftermath of the Eurozone crisis, and the global context in which the EU exists. It also features expanded coverage of theories of European integration and policy making, and considers the hugely topical debate about the United Kingdom's future in the EU.

Chapter

This chapter examines the history of the United Kingdom’s relationship with the European integration process. Britain’s relations with the European Union is characterized by partial Europeanization. The British ruling elite, especially the civil service, has been Europeanized. However, the political parties have been beset by internal divisions on European integration, while the British public has not been supportive of integration. The chapter first provides an overview of the UK’s European diplomacy before discussing the impact of Europeanization on British politics. It then considers the differing levels of accommodation with European integration and the changes that have accompanied the coming to power in 2010 of the Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition after a lengthy period of Labour rule (1997–2010). The chapter concludes by comparing the UK’s experience with those of fellow member states Ireland and Denmark.

Book

Origins and Evolution of the European Union provides an authoritative account of the emergence and evolution of the European Union from the aftermath of World War II to the uncertainties of the present era. It explains the forces, events, and individuals that have shaped one of the most unusual and controversial political entities in history. This second edition covers key issues including the antecedents of European integration in the years before World War II; the challenges of reconstruction and reconciliation in the early post-war period; the ups and downs of European integration in 1960s and 1970s; the acceleration of European integration in the late 1980s and early 1990s; almost-continuous enlargement; the eurozone crisis; the constitutionalization of the EU; and Britain's troubled membership. The text is updated throughout and includes new chapters focusing on the United Kingdom and European integration, and the constitutionalization of the EU.

Chapter

Anand Menon and Luigi Scazzieri

This chapter examines the history of the United Kingdom’s relationship with the European integration process. The chapter dissects the long-term trends in public opinion and the more contingent, short-term factors that led to the referendum vote to leave the European Union. The UK was a late joiner and therefore unable to shape the early institutional development of the EEC. British political parties and public opinion were always ambiguous about membership and increasingly Eurosceptic from the early 1990s. Yet the UK had a significant impact on the EU’s development, in the development of the single market programme and eastward enlargement. If Brexit goes through, Britain will nevertheless maintain relations with the EU in all policy areas from agriculture to energy and foreign policy. Europeanization will remain a useful theoretical tool to analyse EU–UK relations even if the UK leaves the Union.

Book

Edited by Daniel Kenealy, John Peterson, and Richard Corbett

The European Union: How Does It Work? is a perfect first introduction to the European Union, providing concise, accessible coverage of all the main actors, policies, and developments in the EU. An expert team of leading scholars and practitioners cuts through the complexity to explain clearly how the EU works in theory and practice. The book equips readers with the knowledge and skills required to master the subject. Throughout the text engaging and innovative features such as ‘How it really works’ and ‘Compared to what?’ boxes support the analysis, helping readers to think broadly and critically about the reality of EU politics and policy-making. This edition reflects the ongoing changes in the European Union in the aftermath of the Eurozone crisis, and also the changing global context in which the EU operates. In addition, it features a discussion of the topical debate about the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the EU.

Chapter

This chapter examines the crises that dominated the period after the Lisbon Treaty was adopted in 2009: first, the eurozone crisis that began in 2009 and threatened the existence of the single currency; second, the refugee crisis that unfolded from 2015 as large numbers of refugees fled an intensifying war in Syria and attempted perilous crossings of the Mediterranean Sea; third, Britain’s decision to leave the EU, which followed a referendum on membership in 2016; and finally, the challenge of populist politics in the EU, with reference to the emergence of governments led by or including populist parties in Hungary, Poland, and Italy. The chapter then considers other developments during this period, including elections to the European Parliament (EP) in 2014 and 2019, a further enlargement to include Croatia in 2013, and the launch of the ‘Europe 2020’ strategy. It also looks at the United Kingdom’s adoption of a series of measures that raised doubts about its future relationship with the EU.

Chapter

This chapter examines the eurozone crisis that dominated the period after the Lisbon Treaty was adopted in 2009 and the challenges it presented for European institutions. It shows that the eurozone crisis affected European Union member states in starkly diffrent ways and that acute disagreements emerged over the appropriate reform agenda, particularly between ‘debtor’ and ‘creditor’ countries. The chapter first provides an overview of how the eurozone crisis unfolded before discussing the politics of the crisis and how it led to the increased relevance of intergovernmentalism within the EU, along with national government power in the crisis context. It then considers other developments during this period, including elections to the European Parliament, a further enlargement to include Croatia in 2013, and the launch of ‘Europe 2020’ strategy. It also looks at the United Kingdom’s adoption of a series of measures that raised doubts about its future relationship with the EU.

Chapter

Cathy Gormley-Heenan and Mark Sandford

This chapter examines the relationship between the UK Parliament and the devolved legislatures established in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. It first considers the impact of devolution on parliamentary sovereignty before discussing the establishment and development of the devolved parliaments in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. It then describes the key features of those devolved institutions and the way in which Parliament's interactions with them have evolved since their inception, as well as the division of powers between the United Kingdom and devolved governments. It shows that the influence of Parliament on devolution in the UK has so far been marginal, and that these subtle changes in practices at Westminster point to Parliament as an increasing reflection of wider shifts in public attitudes about the relationships between the territories of the United Kingdom, especially after the Brexit referendum.

Chapter

This edition examines why and how European Union institutions matter. It discusses the origins and development of EU institutions as well as their structures, functions, and powers. It also considers how a particular institution fits into the EU’s long wider institutional system, which theories help us best to understand the institution, and how the institution is likely to be changed by the EU’s long constitutional crisis and continued turmoil over the euro. This chapter provides a brief history and a taxonomy of EU institutions and considers the crises confronting EU institutions, including the referendum vote in the United Kingdom in 2016 to leave the EU. It also describes three competing theoretical approaches to the study of EU institutions: integration theory, the new institutionalism, and the separation of powers tradition. Finally, it looks at debates about the accountability of EU institutions.

Chapter

13. A Special Case  

The United Kingdom and the European Union

Desmond Dinan

This chapter examines the United Kingdom's troubled relationship with the movement for European integration and with the European Union more generally. Citing speeches made by leading British politicians over the last seventy years, including Winston Churchill, Harold Macmillan, Margaret Thatcher, and David Cameron, the chapter outlines four distinct stages of British association with the EU: a period of detachment in the early years; involvement in a lengthy accession process and renegotiation of membership terms; engagement in effort to reform the budget and launch the single market programme; and growing disillusionment as the EU strengthened along supranational lines and extended its policy remit, notably by embracing the economic and monetary union (EMU). These periods cover a range of important developments, such as the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the European Economic Community (EEC), the EMU, and the Single European Act.