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
Thursday is referendum day in the United Kingdom, and politicians and pundits from all sides of the debate are trying to cram in their last words. Those who believe that the country should opt to remain in the EU are reiterating all their well-worn economic arguments; those in favor of leaving are once again focusing on sovereignty and border control. Both are portraying themselves as making the positive case in a season of political negativity.
Those foundations are the renegotiation of the United Kingdom’s relationship with the EU that British Prime Minister David Cameron undertook in Brussels earlier this year. He went to the bargaining table with five key demands. At the time, polls suggested that around two-thirds of British adults would vote to remain in the EU if Cameron won on those points (which included an attempted exemption from the commitment to an “ever-closer union”). Only 26 percent were willing to leave regardless.
It was thus vital for the prime minister and his supporters to insist that he came out of the fray with what he had said he would. But even that is much debated. And one nugget that the “Remain” camp is intent to overlook is not only the unambitious nature of the original renegotiation but also the fact that the resulting agreement has still not been ratified by the other member states. Even if the British public ticks “Remain” on Thursday, in other words, there is still no certainty that the United Kingdom’s European partners would hold up their end of the deal.
Perhaps it is inevitable that, in a campaign based on a black-and-white choice, both sides should play down any gray areas. After all, that is how Cameron planned it. By making the vote come down to either approving his new
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