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Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit

UK's Membership of the EU: Brexit and the Gains, Losses and Dilemmas for Social Policy Introduction


The United Kingdom has a long history of a fraught relationship with the European Union, a discomfort demonstrated in the 23 June 2016 referendum on the membership of the EU, in which the UK voted to leave with nearly 52 per cent majority vote. Among the key concerns underlying UK's unease with EU are the interrelated areas of the economy, polity, and society. However, public debate surrounding the event focused on a relatively narrow range of issues. The two official campaigns representing the choice in the referendum, ‘Vote Leave, take control’ and ‘Britain Stronger in Europe’, were marshalled either to support Eurosceptic feelings or to emphasise the benefits of access to the Single Market. Commonplace convictions that the EU is responsible for that which is negative, inconvenient, or difficult to explain circulated alongside (though less frequently than) the recognition of the economic privileges and opportunities that come from EU membership. The political, economic and social concerns were encapsulated in themes of taking power back from Brussels, redirecting resources from the UK's contributions to the EU budget towards nationally determined projects (most famously allocating £350 million a week for the National Health Service), and effective border control to significantly curb migration. Contradictory claims about the EU and the UK's affiliation with it were further complicated by the fact that divisions over the support for or opposition to Britain's withdrawal spanned the whole political spectrum.

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Social Policy and Society


Ania Plomien (United Kingdom)

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