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Origins and Consequences of European Crises: Global Views on Brexit


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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The “Real” Costs of Brexit (Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly)


Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly

On 23 June 2016, Britain decided to leave the European Union (EU) in a referendum vote. Since then, the results have remained controversial for several reasons. First of all, the referendum revealed deep regional cleavages in opinions with regards to EU membership, as evidenced by the defeat of Brexit ideas in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Those were confirmed by the results of the last parliamentary elections in December 2019. Secondly, since the referendum, there is emerging evidence that several misleading claims were made by the Brexit campaign. As a result, many have asked for a second referendum or an election; a new election was held on 12 December 2019 and brought a large majority to the conservatives. Key misrepresentations of a number of important determining issues, including the cost of being in the EU and the cost of leaving the EU, remained under-explored. These form the core elements of this paper, which focuses on the costs of leaving the EU with a specific focus on the implementation of border infrastructures, staff, and necessary reforms across government offices necessary to implement UK custom borders.

Costs, obviously are varied and thus assessing costs is complex. Also, as discussed in this chapter polarized opinions on the overall Brexit costs led to toxic debates; There is however consensus among experts which guides our assessment; for instance at the end of 2019, it is important to acknowledge that all international financial institutions were predicting that Brexit will have (variable)...

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