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Israel Solorio and Jenny Fairbrass

This chapter tests the well-established idea of the United Kingdom (UK) as an ‘awkward partner’, using the case of renewable energy promotion. To do so, it pays special attention to the bottom-up dimension of Europeanization, arguing that the UK has been able to effectively ‘upload’ its national interest to the European Union (EU) level thanks to a strategy that has consisted of sometimes adopting the role of a pacesetter, sometimes performing a foot-dragger role, and sometimes acting as a fence-sitter when necessary. The overall result has been a role for the UK as an awkward partner which has been able to significantly shape EU renewable energy policy according to national interests, but has been incapable of meeting its domestic commitments on renewable energy promotion. It concludes that, in the context of the post-Brexit decision, the British legacy is a EU renewable energy policy weakened in terms of objectives and renationalized in terms of governance. Keywords: awkward partner, biofuels policy, Brexit, Europeanization, renewable electricity policy, UK renewable energy policy, United Kingdom

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Jenny Fairbrass and Andrew Jordan