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Breaking Europe

How Likely Is Brexit?

A bus passes the Big Ben bell tower at the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain February 22, 2016. Luke MacGregor / Reuters

On Friday night, British Prime Minister David Cameron emerged from a marathon European Council meeting in Brussels with a new settlement between the United Kingdom and the European Union. The negotiations were prompted a pledge that the ruling Conservative Party had made during the 2015 general election to seek such a renegotiation. The new agreement covers key areas including economic governance, immigration, and welfare benefits, and competitiveness.  

But the deal, for which negotiations began last year following May’s Conservative election victory, will not be the end of the matter. Rather, it is only the start of a process that will determine whether the United Kingdom will stay in the 28-member union, with a public referendum on EU membership announced for June 23. 

The poll will probably be the defining issue of the current British parliament, and it will help decide the future political and economic character of the United Kingdom and

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