Edited by Annette Bongardt, Leila S. Talani and Francisco Torres
Chapter 3: The road to Brexit: European integration, the UK and the failure of the malign neglect strategy toward the EU
This chapter shows that there is a long-term rationale for Brexit since the early years of UK membership of the ECC. The UK had to decide between full integration in the EU or independence via Brexit in the 2016 referendum. The UK approach to further integration in Europe, here called “malign neglect” was no longer sustainable. International financial crises since 2008 had resulted in the empowerment of the EMU economic governance, but staying out of the EMU and its arena of influence made the UK’s position increasingly marginal in EU affairs, endangering the global role of the country. At the time of the referendum, the UK had to choose between full integration, Brexit or complete marginalisation in European affairs. Brexit was a real political option, not just an accident resulting from the unexpected outcome of a populist referendum.
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