Why the British Conception of Sovereignty Was the Main Reason for Brexit – And Why the British ‘Leave-Vote’ May End Up Saving rather than Undermining the EU
CSF-SSSUP Working Paper No 3/2017
Doomsdays preachers suggested that Brexit and Trump would mean the end of the liberal world order as we know it and thus the end of the EU. The research presented here suggests the opposite. Not only have Europeans turned their back to populism by voting yes to reforms and pro-EU-parties and governments in different member states over the past months, but Brexit and Trump also seems to have given a complete new momentum to the European project. This article demonstrates why Brexit cannot be generalized to the rest of the continent but is the result of a complicated and special British conception of what it means to be a sovereign state in the 21st century. Moreover and paradoxically, surveys show that the greatest fear among Europeans today is not more European integration but right wing populism and European Disunion.
Keywords: Brexit, Sovereignty, UK, EU, Euroscepticism, Populism