In Europe, not ruled by Europe: Tough love between Britain and the EU

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Discussions of a potential “Brexit”, the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, have sparked debate in Britain, and also across Europe, intensified by the UK veto of the “fiscal compact” at the European Council in December 2011. What sounded like the absurd pipedream of a few hard-core eurosceptics a couple of years ago has now become a genuine possibility. This study argues that this state of affairs does not originate from a deliberate strategy by the UK or its European partners. Rather they have set themselves on diverging paths, one leading to more integration, the other at best to the status quo – actually a form of relative disintegration – or to less integration. The more the gap widens, the less improbable a “Brexit” appears.
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