Brexit: Why Did It Happen and What Does It Mean for Britain and the EU?

May 3

6:00am - 7:30am


Audience: Current Student,  Faculty,  Staff

The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020 – a major rupture after almost a half century of British membership. In this discussion and debate, Martin Rhodes and Martin Westlake (former European official and author of Slipping Loose: the UK’s Long Drift Away from the European Union and editor of Outside the EU: Options for Britain, both 2020) consider the inevitability of Brexit. Was Brexit preordained by Britain’s history as ‘an awkward partner’ of the EU, seeking over many decades to carve out a special dispensation from its fellow member states, or was it driven principally by the emergence of a peculiarly English form of ethno-populism in the 2000s? And what are its consequences? Is Britain better off outside the EU; and is the EU better off without Britain?