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Origins and Consequences of European Crises: Global Views on Brexit

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Edited By Birte Wassenberg and Noriko Suzuki

Almost sixty years after the signature of the Treaty of Rome in 1957 creating the European Community), a Member-State, the United Kingdom, has for the first time in history decided to leave the European Union. The "yes" to leave vote during the British referendum on 26 June 2016 led to the use of Article 50 of the EU Treaty triggering off a long period of negotiations between the UK and the EU, which was overshadowed by a permanent struggle between the options of a "deal" or a "no-deal". The Withdrawal Agreement was finally signed on 24 January 2020 and Brexit actually took place on 31 January 2020 – more than three and a half years after the referendum. It is not surprising that a lot of analyses have been put forward to explain the British electoral result, mainly from the perspective of political sociology. However, there has been less research so far on the deeper roots of Brexit as a historical and political process and its development from the start of the referendum campaign until the end of the negotiations between the UK and the EU, nor on its possible social, economic, legal and (geo)political consequences.

In order to examine the origins and consequences of Brexit, this publication develops two original perspectives. On the one hand, it has taken a pluridisciplinary approach comparing the point of views of sociologists, political scientists, legal experts and historians. On the other hand, it has adopted a global approach by comparing the analyses of Japanese, Canadian, American and European researchers. These "Global Views on Brexit" regroup the contributions to an international Conference on "The Consequences of Brexit" organised on 6-7 December 2018 in Strasbourg, in the framework of the Jean Monnet project on Crises in European Border Regions supported by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union (EU) for the period from 2018-2020.

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Effects of Brexit on UK Nationals Living in France (Noriko Suzuki)

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Noriko Suzuki

Nationals of the Member States of the European Union (EU) fear an increase in migrants coming from other EU Member States (EU migrants) or non-European refugees. Others complain about the EU because the State loses powers over the EU’s decisions, especially in the EU’s policy of controlling borders. This dissatisfaction appears everywhere in Europe with anti-EU movements or anti-EU votes that are often picked up by left-wing or right-wing extremists or “populism” movements. This phenomenon has recently happened in the United Kingdom (UK). The British people, well known as Eurosceptic among EU countries for a long time, according to the Eurobarometer polls, decided to exit the EU by referendum in June 2016.

The 2016 referendum was not the first referendum in the UK that asked its citizens whether or not to remain in the European Community (EC). In 1975, the British people chose to stay in the EC. However, during the recent referendum in 2016, a majority of the British voted for the exit of the EU in order to regain their sovereignty from the EU, especially so as to control migration flows. Moreover, supporters of Brexit wanted to take back control by saving the money that the UK feeds into the EU budget and to use it instead for internal policies such as the National Health Services (NHS). This Brexiter opinion shows that there is a perceived link between internal EU migration and the degradation ←121 | 122→of the NHS, because EU migrants...

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