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Brexit and its Implications for European Integration

  • Chih-Mei Luo (a1)

Abstract

On the eve of 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, the UK voted to withdraw from the EU (so-called Brexit). The implications for European integration and EU policies are far from clear and require further investigation. This paper aims to answer: what does Brexit imply for European integration? What messages were sent to the EU from the UK referendum? Did EU leaders interpret these messages and implications correctly and did they respond with the right policy? After examining the competing interpretations, this paper argues that the sharp divisions between different socio-economic classes shown in voting behaviour highlight the imperative of addressing economic inequality and distributive injustice, which are rooted in the structural flaws of EU governance and have been aggravated by the mismanagement of the Euro crisis. To move European integration forward and to keep a ‘political Europe’ sustainable, a ‘social Europe’ making an ‘economic Europe’ more inclusive and fair is required.

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