Britain and the world after Brexit
Reason for embargo
‘Brexit’ – Britain’s forthcoming exit from the European Union (EU) – can be understood as a series of related material and ideational processes. These processes served to bring about the ‘Leave’ vote in the referendum of 23 June 2016, and will continue to shape subsequent outcomes: both the Brexit settlement that is eventually negotiated, and Britons’ satisfaction (or otherwise) with such a deal. Building on Tim Oliver’s recent article in International Politics (2016), this essay contends that the most suitable targets for future research into the causes of the Brexit vote include the economic and cultural distortions of globalization and the factor flows associated with it, public and corporate policy failures over more than three decades, a strong public attachment to representative democracy, and distinctive conceptions of Britain’s role in the world. The article then progresses to consider the potential UK national security implications as the Brexit process unfolds. It suggests that – while such implications should not be overstated – plausible outcomes could include the fragmentation of the UK and its collective defence effort, diminished political and fiscal capacity for national security policymaking, and a less benign regional security environment, including the possibility of a federal ‘United States of Europe’ eventually dictating terms to Britain.
This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in International Politics following peer review.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.