Monthly political analysis on nations in
economic or political transition


The European Union & the UK

The Question of Withdrawal

Leaving immediate economic pressures aside, the major political problem confronting the UK is the question of continuing membership of the European Union. This slow-burning issue, whose time has come, has pushed the matter of a referendum to the head of the strategic queue of issues coalescing around the next British general election in 2015.

This article is the first of others we will publish on the future of UK membership of the 500 million population, 28 state European Union.

It is not only of central importance for the British, but also for all of the European Union member states, as it remains to be seen if others might take this opportunity to consult their citizens on their European future. At stake are the questions of withdrawal or of significant changes in EU rules. In essence this what the Conservatives, currently in coalition in the UK government, say they want to achieve, rather than withdrawal, although they have stated that if elected in the next General election, the “in or out” question will be put to a referendum.

The UK was a late joiner and could reasonably be described as ‘semi-detached’ in spirit throughout, partly because of the continuing hard-core opposition from certain right-wing nationalist newspapers. More recently UKIP, a nationalist party, many of whose supporters have been drawn from the Conservative Party’s traditional base, although not having a single MP nevertheless made an impact on local elections which in turn made huge waves in the UK political spectrum.

The core arguments, objective assessments of the advantages/ disadvantages of EU membership for the UK, admirably described here, are those of our contributor Bryan Gould, formerly a prominent UK Labour MP and Shadow Cabinet Economic spokesman, now an international political commentator. After withdrawing from UK politics, he accepted an invitation to take up the Vice-Chancellorship of Waikato University in New Zealand from which he has now retired.




The Question of Withdrawal

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The next NewNations Bulletin will be published on Monday 2nd September

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Newnations Bulletin, 22nd July 2013| New Nations - a not for profit company
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