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
After the Brexit referendum, it became clear that the people had spoken. But in the days that followed, it also became clear that no one knew what had been said. And nowhere is this more apparent than with the leaders of the “Out” campaign who seem to have no real plan on how to actually leave the bloc and organize the United Kingdom’s relationship with the European Union thereafter. Boris Johnson’s surprise exit from the race to replace Prime Minister David Cameron, who announced his resignation following the vote, on top of the Labour Party establishment coup against its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, adds to this feeling of insecurity. Some observers have raised the option of the Swiss model. And there are certainly parallels worth considering, even if land-locked Switzerland has never attempted to join the EU and the island kingdom may soon be put out to sea.
Nearly a quarter century ago, in December, 1992, Switzerland held its own “In–Out” referendum. It was on whether to join the European Economic Area (EEA), which the Swiss government branded as a “training camp” for full membership into the European community and which, it argued, would come without any option for an exit. A small majority of the voters, prioritizing the protection of national sovereignty and fearing that the country would lose its cherished reputation for political neutrality if absorbed by the European Union, ticked “Out.” For this group of voters, the expected economic benefits from joining and the possible geopolitical fallout from remaining out of the economic bloc, were less important.
In the last two decades, Switzerland has twisted itself in circles to strike different economic and political deals with the EU without actually becoming a member. It has even joined, among other treaties, the controversial Dublin Regulation requiring European countries to take in asylum-seekers wherever they first land. Switzerland also negotiated a deal with the EU that made it a member of the Schengen area, which effectively abolished Swiss sovereignty
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