Brexit or No Brexit? Political and Institutional Implications of an EU without the UK

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Series Details No.7, March 2016
Publication Date 09/03/2016
ISBN 978-88-98650-86-6
ISSN 2280-4331
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The United Kingdom will vote on its fate within the European Union on 23 June 2016. Currently, there is still time to influence the outcome of this referendum – both from the UK and the EU side. The effects of a Brexit need to be closely assessed and communicated. This paper sets out to analyse the implications of different scenarios for Britain’s European future both in institutional and political terms. The main argument is that one way or the other the UK will be inclined to give up on its full membership, and then the EU will have to find the best possible ways to accommodate.

Against this backdrop, this paper discusses the implications of differentiated integration, the UK’s role within the EU, British demands for renegotiating its EU membership, and the costs of keeping the UK within the EU or letting it go. The paper recommends agreeing on as much compromise as possible within the existing treaty framework. A Brexit cannot and will not solve current pressing problems of European integration.

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