Britain, the Six and the World Economy
The European Community and 1992
Britain in the New Europe
Europe's Endangered Liberal Order
The Importance of Being English: Eyeing the Sceptered Isles
What If the British Vote No?
The End of Europe?
Letter From London: One Market, Many Peoples
Will the Crash Scuttle the European Project?
Saving the Euro, Dividing the Union
Could Europe's Deeper Integration Push the United Kingdom Out?
The New British Politics
What the UKIP Victory and the Scottish Referendum Have in Common
The United Kingdom’s Retreat From Global Leadership
Should It Stay or Should It Go?
The Brexistential Crisis
Putting a Safety Valve on Democracy
The Conservative Case Against Brexit
Euroskepticism's Biggest Fallacy
Why Brexit Would Benefit Europe
The Pragmatic Case for Brexit
The New Divided Kingdom
A Brexit Post-Mortem
Life After Brexit
Brexit's False Democracy
What the Vote Really Revealed
The Roots of Brexit
1992, 2004, and European Union Expansion
The Irish Question
The Consequences of Brexit
Scotland After Brexit
Will It Leave the United Kingdom?
The Swiss Model
Why It Won't Work for the United Kingdom
NATO After Brexit
Will Security Cooperation Work?
A Brexiteer's Celebration
A Conversation with Kwasi Kwarteng
A Remainer’s Lament
A Conversation With Ed Balls
May's Brexit Mastery
Time for the United Kingdom to Move On
If Europe were a democracy, all of its citizens would have had a say in whether the United Kingdom leaves or remains in the European Union. After all, it is not the just the fate of the British that Brexit would affect, but also the quality and longevity of the entire European project. The EU, as it turns 65, is showing grave sclerosis, and voices—nationalist, populist, and sometimes xenophobic—are calling for its dissolution. The moment has thus come, if it has not already passed, to prune the dead wood of the tree to save the trunk.
The European Union’s original mission was more political than economic, as were its greatest successes. The union was designed to put an end to perpetual conflict between France and Germany. It succeeded, ending a millennium of intra-European wars in the process. The union also brilliantly helped Eastern European countries quickly transition from decades of Russian tutelage following the disintegration of the Soviet Union. In parallel to the political project, over the decades, Europeans created an integrated economic space, culminating in the adoption of a single currency at the turn of the millennium.
The problem is that, over time, the economic dimension of the European project has overtaken its political and cultural aspects. Losing sight of all that Europe could be, the poorest regions and members came to see the union as a giant ATM. The richest believed it to be a money pit for their taxes. The United Kingdom, more than anyone else, has been aware of those tensions and has exploited them since the days of Margaret Thatcher. By doing so, it has reinforced public perceptions that membership in the union is a zero-sum game, especially when money is tight.
The United Kingdom’s position in Europe was always uncomfortable. During the 1960s, its accession to the common market was repeatedly vetoed by French President Charles de Gaulle, who denounced London as a Trojan horse for Washington’s interference. In reality, de
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