Brexit 2018

Discover the most relevant content on this historic topic

The UK has voted to leave the European Union. It is scheduled to depart at 11pm UK time on Friday 29 March, 2019. The UK and EU have provisionally agreed on the three "divorce" issues of how much the UK owes the EU, what happens to the Northern Ireland border and what happens to UK citizens living elsewhere in the EU and EU citizens living in the UK. Talks are now moving on to future relations - after agreement was reached on a 21-month "transition" period to smooth the way to post-Brexit relations. As we draw closer to the official departure date of April 2019, we have selected the most relevant content below, including an interview with author Tanel Kerikmäe. 

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Interview with Tanel Kerikmäe, one of the authors of "Brexit: History, Reasoning and Perspectives"

Can you give us an overview of the work you published in the book? 

Our book looks at the Brexit as a process that began decades earlier. It analyses EU-UK relations from a new perspective, taking into consideration the historical background, political aspects, and legal and economic matters. The book provides a holistic understanding of the Brexit, approaching the referendum and its outcomes as the culmination of a long process rather than an isolated political event. Accordingly, it addresses a range of thematic issues, historical patterns of political and economic behaviour both within and beyond the United Kingdom, and possible future effects on relations between the Union and one of its most important members. The book is divided into four parts: first it discusses the UK’s historical approach to European integration, then analyses British strategy towards the European Community before accession. It then focuses on the period when the UK was a Member State, and lastly the authors outline future scenarios.

What were your findings with regard to Brexit?

The main findings of the book regarding the Brexit are connected with the concept of a process that started even before the UK joined the European Community; the research focuses on the historical differences in the conceptual approaches to integration and cooperation in the European context. The progressive intensification of the integration in Europe did not lessen the differences between the British and the rest of the Europeans; rather, it worsened the gap in terms of national sovereignty disputes. Hence Brexit negotiations should follow the findings of this research in order to find the most mutually acceptable solution for all the parties involved in the process.

In your view, why is it important to look at the Brexit as a process (that began decades earlier)?

Most people following the Brexit are defining it as an event - no matter whether it’s the infamous referendum of 2016, or the ensuing cacophony of political statements made by Theresa May or representatives of the EU. Some of them see the Brexit as a "divorce bill" that will likely be enforced in March 2019. However, the Brexit phenomenon cannot be entirely understood without knowing the British-EU relationship over the decades. It is evident that the "great leaving", which astonished so many people, was not caused by random coincidences but rather the outcome of long-term political and economic developments and trends that were moulded by complex factors.

How do you hope your research will impact the future? What do you think the future holds for those working in this area?

The editors believe that the analysis provided can be used for several purposes - for historical understanding but also for forecasting the future. The EU has never been an ideal construction, but rather a changing landscape. The book may help to predict scenarios, and to recognise the process of political disintegration as it takes shape. The contribution also shows that changes on this scale should be reviewed by means of interdisciplinary analysis, which allows us to see the "big picture" and not become distracted by legal terms, ideologies, etc.

Featured Chapter: Great Britain and Differentiated Integration in Europe

Professor Tanel Kerikmäe undefined

Professor Tanel Kerikmäe

Director of Tallinn Law School

One of the authors of the Springer book 'Brexit'

Brexit: History, Reasoning and Perspectives

Social Science Matters

Social Science Matters

Peter Joyce, author of The Policing of Protest, Disorder and International Terrorism in the UK since 1945, reviews the potential difficulties facing the UK’s security during the Brexit process.

In-depth Brexit eBooks

  • Debating Europe in National Parliaments
  • Europe as a Stronger Global Actor
  • Europe, the Crisis, and the Internet
  • Evolving Euroscepticisms in the British and Italian Press
  • Immigration and the State
  • Britain and the Crisis of the European Union
  • Immigration Policies and the Global Competition for Talent
  • Preparing for Brexit
  • The 2015 UK General Election and the 2016 EU Referendum
  • The Language of Progressive Politics in Modern Britain
  • The Mediated Politics of Europe
  • The Struggle for EU Legitimacy
  • The UK Challenge to Europeanization
  • Palgrave Studies in European Political Sociology
  • Why the UK Voted for Brexit
  • European Union in International Affairs series
  • Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics series

More articles & eBooks

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