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Unit publishes new briefing paper on Brexit and its Consequences for the EU’s Political System

18 May 2016

Briefing Paper 2

On 5 May, the Constitution Unit hosted its second Brexit seminar. Our panellists - Kenneth Armstrong, Professor of European Law (Cambridge), Simon Hix, Professor of Political Science (LSE) and Sir Stephen Wall, former UK Permanent Representative to the European Union - discussed the impact that Brexit would have on the EU and its political system.

This briefing paper, written by Oliver Patel and Christine Reh, explores this topic in further depth. Drawing on the seminar, it outlines the UK's contribution to the EU and argues that Brexit would have a significant impact on the EU's political system. In the short-term, British disengagement could undermine initiatives such as TTIP and the Capital Markets Union. In the long-term, Brexit would change the EU’s balance of power.  It is particularly likely to strengthen protectionist forces and social democrats. However, Germany’s position could also be strengthened. It is also likely to undermine the EU's foreign policy ambitions.

The paper is part of a wider project on the UK and the EU. The project consists of a series of seminars, with each seminar followed by a briefing paper and video on the same topic. There are two more seminars and briefing papers, as well as a major debate, prior to the referendum, details of which can be found here.

Read briefing paper

This project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council’s The UK in a Changing Europe initiative