Europe's Britain: Brexit through the Eyes of the Rest of Europe

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
East Quad Lecture Theatre (University of Glasgow)
Tim Oliver , LSE IDEAS, LSE
Britain’s relations with the EU and Europe more broadly have often been written about from the perspective of the UK. Current debates about the UK’s new relationship with the EU – a Norway, Switzerland or free trade model etc – all focus on what is best for the UK. What does the rest of Europe think about Britain and its place in Europe? How has the British vote to leave the EU changed European integration? Has it made it more likely that the EU will disintegrate or integrate? Or will the EU muddle through Brexit as it has so many other challenges, coping with it but not solving the problems it presents? This paper builds on two ongoing projects: a book project on European views of Britain's place in European politics and a series of reports compiled through a network across the EU in which contributors outline national views of ongoing UK-EU relations, with a particular focus on the recent renegotiation, referendum and now Brexit. The paper will look at views of the UK in terms of national debates and pan-European debates, and look at views from other European states such as Russia and Turkey. The paper will examine how important Britain has been for the rest of Europe in pushing forward or limiting European integration and shaping European politics more broadly.