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Policy Contribution

The UK’s EU vote: the 1975 precedent and today’s negotiations

As the United Kingdom will hold a referendum before the end of 2017 on its continued EU membership, Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol draws lessons from the first UK referendum of 1975 on the EU.

By: Date: June 21, 2015 European Macroeconomics & Governance Tags & Topics

• The United Kingdom’s European Union Referendum Bill, introduced in the House of Commons on 28 May 2015, legislates for the holding of a referendum before 31 December 2017 on the UK’s continued EU membership. UK prime minister David Cameron is opening negotiations with other EU member states to try to obtain an EU reform deal that better suits UK interests. Both the negotiations and the outcome of the referendum pose major challenges for the UK and the EU.

• It will not be the first time that a UK government has staged a referendum following a renegotiation of its terms of EU membership. The first such referendum took place on 5 June 1975 after nearly a year of renegotiations, and the ‘yes’ won with 67.2 percent of the vote. Notwithstanding obvious differences, the conduct of today’s renegotiations should bear in mind this precedent, and in particular consider (a) how much the UK government can get out of the negotiations, in particular with respect to potential Treaty changes; (b) why political marketing is central to the referendum’s outcome; (c) how the UK administration’s internal divisions risk derailing the negotiations; and (d) why the negotiations risk antagonising even the UK’s best allies.

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By: Alicia García-Herrero and Jianwei Xu Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: December 20, 2016
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Policy Contribution

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By: André Sapir Date: October 21, 2016
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By: André Sapir and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: September 27, 2016
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External Publication

Europe after Brexit

Europe after Brexit: A proposal for a continental partnership

This paper leaves aside the issue of EU reform and focuses on the desirable EU-UK relationship after Brexit. The authors argue that none of the existing models of partnership with the EU would be suitable for the UK. They propose a new form of collaboration, a continental partnership, which is considerably less deep than EU membership but rather closer than a simple free-trade agreement

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Opinion

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Negotiations on the UK's exit from the EU have not yet begun, but the UK leadership needs to find a balance between single market access and free movement. There are also tensions between the demands of voters and what EU partners can plausibly agree. Guntram Wolff doubts the likelihood of a Norway- or Switzerland-style deals, and urges caution on all sides.

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By: Zsolt Darvas Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 13, 2016
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Past Event

Past Event

Britain and the EU after the referendum

The UK's referendum on its EU membership was a critical moment for Britain and Europe. The days after the leave victory brought confusion and political chaos. But there was also an opportunity to reflect on what has happened, what has changed, and how all parties might move forward.

Speakers: Maria Demertzis, André Sapir, Bernadette Ségol, Philipp Steinberg, Glenn Vaughan, James Watson and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: June 27, 2016
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By: Uuriintuya Batsaikhan Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: June 22, 2016
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