BREXIT: Why, How and What Now
Kimberly Lanegran, Joan and Abbott Lipsky Professor of Political Science
April 7, 14, 21, 28
In 2016, the British public voted in a referendum to withdraw the United Kingdom (U.K.) from the European Union (EU). This shocking development launched the beginning of the end of the U.K.’s contentious membership in that powerful body and touched off life-altering consequences for the British people. While the “Leave the EU” directive was clear, the path toward BREXIT was not. The fallout has destroyed political careers, strained international relations and triggered constitutional crises, snap-elections, last-minute deals and acrimonious public and Parliamentary debates. This series will explore what BREXIT is and why it matters to the world. We will begin by discussing how the EU works; the economic, social and political arguments for EU membership; and the U.K.’s shifting relationship with the EU. In week two, we will turn to the 2016 referendum, exploring its prelude under Prime Minister David Cameron as well as who voted for BREXIT and why. We then shift attention to Prime Minister Teresa May’s efforts to negotiate a BREXIT agreement with the EU and to get it passed by the British Parliament. The final session will discuss the BREXIT agreement negotiated by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the future of the relationship between the U.K. and EU. Throughout the series, we will examine the challenges of political negotiation, why BREXIT has inspired such passion and rancor within the U.K. and abroad and the impact of these stunning political developments on ordinary people across the U.K., Europe and beyond.