Friday, April 29, 2016

'European and international views of Brexit' in Journal of European Public Policy

Published today online by the Journal of European Public Policy is my article 'European and International views of Brexit.' Originally presented as a paper for a conference at the University of Copenhagen, it now forms part of a debate section of articles put together by Graham Butler, Mads Dagnis Jensen, and Holly Snaith. 

Abstract: A British withdrawal from the European Union (EU) would change Britain, the EU, the politics and security of Europe and the place of all three in the international system. To explore these possible changes, this article draws on a series of commissioned analyses that look at the views of Brexit in other EU member states and select third countries outside the EU. Specifically, it examines and maps out the prevailing ideas of what the aforementioned changes could entail. It argues that ideas connected to European unity and integration will define how a Brexit is managed.

Other articles in the debate section include: 

Graham Butlera, Mads Dagnis Jensen & Holly Snaith
Abstract: With a referendum set to take place on 23 June 2016 in a large and important European Union (EU) member state on whether it should remain within the Union or leave altogether, this year will prove crucial for all Europeanists. Brexit is a real possibility that both the Union and other member states must be prepared to plan for and eventually absorb the potential impact of. Whilst the process of ‘will they, won’t they’ will continue until the referendum, and even beyond, this level of uncertainty creates challenges for the existing actors with a stake in the process. This introductory contribution will set the scene for the ensuing debate, which flows from the various perspectives that each of the authors have with regard to the ultimate question of a Brexit. The three editors introduce the legal, political and economic themes that run through the articles, whilst simultaneously attempting to map out the trajectory for if, when and how a Brexit may actually occur, given the differing perspectives in the debate.

Mads Dagnis Jensen & Holly Snaith
Abstract: This article analyses Britain’s quest to negotiate its future membership of the European Union (EU) through the lens of Liberal intergovernmentalism. The article demonstrates that despite the significant economic consequences of a potential Brexit, party political factors have hitherto proven more significant in defining the terrain of the debate than lobby group influence where a cross section of United Kingdom (UK) lobby groups are either actively or passively in favour of remaining within the EU ahead of the referendum.

Daniela Annette Kroll & Dirk Leuffen
Abstract: This article links insights from research on European Union (EU) decision-making and on differentiated integration to the recent negotiations about the future United Kingdom (UK)–EU relationship. We argue that since a Brexit would overturn well-established statics of EU decision-making, EU member states reacted differently to the British demands. States that feared a weakening of their position after a Brexit were more willing to grant concessions to the UK. This largely applies to most northern member states. In contrast, most other member states appeared more reluctant to meet the British expectations. First, these states hoped to improve their standing inside the EU after a Brexit. Second, reflecting deeper structural tensions, the British demands would have entailed higher prices for these member states. Anticipating heterogeneity between the other member states, and thus the stability enhancing mechanisms of the joint decision trap, the UK downscaled its demands before the European Council of February 2016. In consequence, the negotiations on the terms of Britain’s EU membership did not result in a grand overhaul of the EU, but rather in symbolic concessions aimed at pleasing British domestic politics without severely harming other member states’ interests.

The ‘hokey cokey’ approach to EU membership: legal options for the UK and EU
Paul James Cardwell
This contribution analyses the potential legal outcomes in meeting the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) demands in advance of the referendum and what they might mean for EU integration should the UK vote to remain in the Union. It argues that there is unlikely to be a ‘quick fix’ to meet the full range of demands, since there is no obvious legal mechanism which can satisfy the demands in either substance or the proposed time-frame.

Unilateral withdrawal from the EU: realistic scenario or a folly?
Adam Ɓazowski
This article looks at the legal parameters of a unilateral withdrawal and argues that it is in the interest of all concerned that a Brexit, if it materializes, is properly negotiated and governed by a withdrawal agreement addressing all pertinent legal issues.