June 24, 2016 - by Oliver Schmidtke, director of the Centre for Global Studies, University of Victoria
June 24, 2016 - by George Ross, ad personam Chaire Jean Monnet, Université de Montréal
The Brexit moment has been discussed at length. We can be brief, therefore, in asking a few pertinent questions.
What is its history? The UK has never been enamoured of European integration. It refused to join the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951 and tried to sabotage the EEC around the Treaty of Rome by promoting EFTA. 1957. When the UK did finally applied to join the EEC in 1961, its entry was vetoed twice by French President de Gaulle for being insufficiently “European” (i.e. too economically liberal and tied to closely to US foreign policies). Finally admitted in 1973, internal political opposition led to a first referendum in 1975 and the decision to stay. Since then British participation has been grumpy with complaints about paying too much to the EU budget, about the Single Market’s regulations and social policies, about much of the 1991 Maastricht Treaty, leading to opt-outs of EMU, Schengen, and most legislation under the EU’s Area of Freedom, Security, and Justice. The grumpiness continued and helped provoke the referendum.
The Brexit Referendum, Why Now?
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