The Fundamental Flaws of Brexit Backers / Britain’s sovereignty chestnut

Author (Person)
Series Title
Series Details 19.04.16
Publication Date 19/04/2016
Content Type

Much of the Brexit debate is driven by emotions and by fuzzy but very potent concepts of sovereignty and identity. And yet, it is also interesting to look at the more intellectual, policy-based arguments for Brexit, for they reveal another underlying truth: the Out camp fundamentally misunderstands the central mechanics of globalisation.

The analytical case for Brexit boils down to two core arguments: First, it is possible to have greatly beneficial economic integration without political integration. Second, Britain could regain major influence over its own affairs by getting out of the EU.

In both cases, the author argues, the exact opposite is true.

If Britain wants to reap all the benefits of globalisation while having a say in the way it unfolds and being protected from some of its negative side effects, the country needs to stay in the EU. The price for that will be to accept the sometimes irritating, sometimes tedious company of other Europeans to whom Britain would be bound in a fateful way. And yet, that would still be better than being fatefully unbound. With a sober head and emotions firmly under control (which is what Brits like, presumably), the gains of being in the EU far outweigh the costs.

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Related Links
ESO: In Focus: Brexit - The United Kingdom and the European Union
ECFR: Commentary, 03.05.16: Britain’s sovereignty chestnut

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