Is there an alternative to EU membership? What if Britain left the EU? Would it be a disastrous or liberating experience? What trade relationships could the UK forge outside the EU? How would economic and social policy be different? What are the implications for sovereignty and democracy?
This text seeks to answer these questions through exploring the future options for Britain regarding its relationship with the European Union (EU). To the British establishment it seemed obvious that joining the process towards greater European integration would reverse the UK’s post-war declining political influence and accelerate its rate of economic growth. Consequently, a recurrent theme is that UK participation in ever closer European integration is widely perceived as ‘inevitable’. In contrast, this book both addresses and challenges this presumption by illustrating that a variety of alternative forms of relationship are feasible, together with outlining possible policy options that may compliment and enhance the consequences arising from the fundamental decision of how the UK determines its future.