Member States Perspectives

Literature Review and the Hypothesis

Currently, there is an ongoing discussion on the future of the EU-UK relations among scholars and how it will impact the parties involved. Brexit does not only draw Britain’s disunity but also exposes the different priorities and positions of members of the European Union regarding the Brexit negotiations. For instance, White (2016) wondered if immediately after the referendum, either the EU or the UK will fall. Additionally, little focus has been put on the other member states’ dynamic regarding Brexit. The member states positions have become neglected in the Brexit discussions. Considerable attention has however been put on topical issues which are specific to specific member states like the Irish backstop and the border issue (White, 2016).

These debates, however, do not try to determine the general mechanisms or approaches towards the member states’ behaviours on Brexit. Gwythian (2018) claim that the EU is like a big empire with 27 countries which agreed to operate as a unit. Gwythian (2018) say that it is apparent that the EU is past saving with the current level of activity. He says that there has been qualified uninterests demonstrated in the European parliament with falling election participation rates and increasing anti-EU disobliging fractions. Robert (2018) reported using the example of Germany which has been a member of the EU.

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He says most EU member economies have become diverged instead of converged. Robert (2018) reported that ‘’’as was hoped for and expected, with advantage accruing to Germany and pain throbbing south of the Alps, it has spectacularly back-fired.’ The Daily Telegraph (2018) pointed out that whoever takes up the responsibility of governing Italy might damage the Euro from inside. Despite Italy being a member of the EU, it has been rampant with unemployment for youth and some economic crisis issues (The Daily Telegraph, 2018). Sampson (2017) also reported on the consequences of Brexit on the EU’s future as well as on globalisation.

Sampson (2017) says that even after 60 years of forming the EU community, it still struggles with geopolitical instability, the financial crisis on a global basis, especially on the southern and eastern borders. Sampson (2017) says that Brexit only worsens these bad situations for the EU. Moreover, Luo (2017) claim that the division seen between the socio-economic classes as demonstrated by the voting behaviours show distributive justice and inequality rooted within EU’s structural flaws concerning governance. The Euro crisis mismanagement escalated these problems. Luo (2017) says that thus, the EU will only survive when a fair and inclusive EU strategy is established.

Dhingra et al. (2016) said that the EU’s current deplorable condition emerges from itself particularly from its botched policies. Therefore, Brexit needs to be considered a consequence of the many bad policies. Dhingra et al. (2016) says that for the survival of the EU, proper management must be established.

With these arguments, it can be hypothesised that:
Brexit will lead to the collapse of the EU.

In this regard, this proposal looks at the nature and scope of the Brexit problems, the significance or importance of Brexit and why this is an appropriate topic to study at this time. It will also analyse the academic research that has been undertaken in this area so far. Additionally, it discusses the authors and models that have been most influential in this area. The significance of Brexit and its consequences will also be discussed.

The nature and scope of the problem

Alan (2016) claim that the EU referendum promotion was because the campaigners easily pinned the influx of workers into the United Kingdom, an influx which became reinforced because of the economic crisis. Further, the Eurozone did not deliver the promised growth to its 19 members, and the debtor nation’s economy sharply contracted with more people arriving from Ireland and southern Europe (Alan, 2016). Additionally, the economy of Britain quickly righted after the financial crisis where the UK could not take control of its debt and currency as well as use fiscal stabilisers which are useful. According to Alan (2016) the volume of individuals going into the UK from the south of Europe had a significant impact in driving the nation to exit EU.

Parts of the nation which has recently experienced a surge of foreign workers voted heavily to exit the union. These voters feared that the immigration would soon catch up with their neighborhoods. It is apparent that the Eurozone did not manage to reform itself and could not manage debts and offer fiscal stabilisers to run one currency zone. Therefore, the move was not only to evade bank debts but also the endless policies of fiscal contractions. The EU also failed to recognise China’s reluctance to follow the World Trade Organisation standards but instead put up strong trade defence mechanisms. This move had damaging impacts on Europe’s industrial employment (Alan, 2016).

This abandonment played a significant role in persuading the working class across the United Kingdom to vote against staying in the EU. Further, German’s unilateral nature shown when they stopped accepting immigrants called for greater hostility from the rest of the world and also undermined the UK’s EU support (Alan, 2016). This bullying demonstrated by Germany on the EU states as well as the fear that the EU immigrants would find their way into Europe convinced people to vote out of the EU.

Why Brexit is Significant

Micallef (2017) says that there will be significant and immediate effects both around the world and in Britain from Brexit. For instance, overnight after the referendum, the British currency plunged by 10% against the United States’ dollar. Micallef (2017) notes that this fall was a very significant change in the sterling pound since 45 years ago. The referendum on Brexit also began a period of the British currency weakness regarding exchange rates. Brexit would also raise the pound’s interest rates because of the era of economic weakness or because of recessions which can emerge because of Brexit.

Other parties who are Euro-sceptic might become emboldened by Brexit, and since they are following on the proceedings of this move carefully, it is possible that they will leave as well. There is also a possibility that the United States is following on the economic consequences of the move. The US might raise their interest rates which might have adverse effects on the developing world economy. This potential strain in the developing world economy might eventually put more pressure on the Mediterranean EU members’ economy (Micallef, 2017)

Why this topic is appropriate to study

The contemporary scholars have some international relations and European integration models in the quest to examine European enlargement from their point of views. Many researchers have attempted to unravel the gradual disintegration of the European Union, as the United Kingdom gears to exit. Some of such interested scholars have resolved that the existing European integration theories cannot be overturned upside down to exemplify the trend. However, the literature in place has lacked a plethora of relevance in explaining the position of member countries’ views and perceptions concerning the issue at hand (Vollaard, 2014).

Brexit thus is a bad case lacking an in-depth analysis of the member state' perceptions. For these reasons, it is essential that further research is conducted in this area.

The academic research that has been undertaken in this domain field

There are some empirical studies referring to the fate of the United Kingdom after existing from the union. In some literature, scholars have articulated on the possibility that there will be an economic persuasion to induce the formation of another union. Attention is equally rendered to significantly increase the cooperation in particular fields, including Permanent Structured Cooperation (Homan, 2018). The established studies insinuate some repercussions on the future of Europe without the United Kingdom in the European Union. For instance, it is observed that the exit will induce regional political groups in the broader world context (Homan, 2018).

Additionally, Cooper (2017) came up with national priorities of member countries that would inform the stance on Brexit. Cooper (2017) outlines particular national priorities including the Irish priorities in safeguarding the Northern Ireland and the conservation of the Common Travel Area and the overall concerns surrounding Scotland and Gibraltar. However, the national priorities outlined are shared by various countries with the most commonly shared priorities being security and defence, trade, the European budget and source of fund, and citizens’ rights. Contrary, the recent publication by the European Reform reflected on the premise that Brexit will impact on the diversification of national interests of the EU.

Springford, Lowe and Oppenheim (2018) talk of interests which are aligned almost perfectly thereby making the countries not to focus on their differences. Few academicians strived to indicate the member states’ stance on Brexit. Some researchers from the Economist Intelligence Unit (2017) observed that some impacts characterise the rationales for comparing individual states' view on the Brexit.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (2017) reflected on four parameters of the European Union deal Cameroon struck in. Eleonora Poli (2016) in her paper points out that Brexit will induce greater impact along the United Kingdom’s social, economic and defence domains. She also observed that ‘’to date, while countries are afraid that public opinion might support exit referenda at national levels – especially if EU institutions negotiate too “soft” a deal with the UK – their ideas regarding a British exit agreement are not always aligned ‘’ (Poli, 2016, p. 1).

The authors and models have been most influential in this area

Two models; namely the neo-functional s and inter-governmentalism models have been induced forth to support the study or explain the process of European integration. Neo-functionalism model focuses its attention to the institutions which are supranational particularly to certain institutional dynamics as well as to the spillovers concept that occurs where the integration in one area results in integration in the other domain (Orbie, 2009). Neo-functionalists are of the view that the spill-overs automatically occur leading to more supranational construction because of integration into the EU. According to Orbie (2009), the major spill-over categories that are different include the political, technical or functional spill-overs.

Orbie (2009) says there is also the cultivated spillover. The technical or functional spill-over properly fits functionalism. Orbie (2009) explains that this technical spill-over results in European integration problems which can only be resolved through integration into other domains as well.

Scheller and Eppler (2014) also claim that the neo-functionalists view loyalty transfers towards EU supranational institutions as a ‘government consequence’ and not as a condition which is necessary. Scheller and Eppler (2014) identified a spill-back in the 70s where the spill-backs were on national interests which stagnated the process of integration.

There is also the liberal intergovernmentalism model constructed by Moravcsik (1991). Moravcsik (1991) built this theory through three unique steps. Each step had a different perspective on the formation of national preference (liberal theories), realistic approaches, interstate bargaining and the European institution’s integration. In his previous work on intergovernmentalist institutionalsist, Moravcsik (1991) highlighted the member state’s importance, claiming that the integration is constructed by the discussions of the member state’s interests. Furthermore, this researcher discovered that the main choices favouring Europe demonstrated its preferences as a national government, not the supranational organisation’s preferences (Moravcsik, 1991)

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Conclusion

It is likely that Brexit might result in the collapse of the European Union. The many problems caused by being a member are such as an influx of foreign immigrants and botched policies. The other issues include failure of the Chinese government to open up their market for Europe as expected, stopping of immigrants to enter into German while it’s also a member and the likelihood of other states leaving the European Union are some of the supporting evidence on why it is likely that the EU might collapse because of Brexit.

References

  • Alan Riley, 2016. CIDOB - Brexit: Causes and Consequences. Available at:
  • auses_and_consequences [Accessed 7 Dec. 2018]. Cooper, C. 2017. What the EU27 wants from Brexit.
  • Daily Telegraph, 2018. Tech.biz, Wednesday 7th of March 2018. Available at:
  • Dhingra, S., Ottaviano, G.I., Sampson, T. and Reenen, J.V., 2016. The consequences of Brexit for UK trade and living standards.
  • Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). 2017. The Brexit negotiations: hard or soft Europe?
  • amp;topic=Poli tics& subtopic=Forecast amp; sub subtopic=International relations# [Accessed 7th Dec 2018] Homan, K. 2018. PESCO: Genoeg solidariteit voor EU-defensie? [Accessed 7th Dec 2018] Gwythian Prins, 2018. The EU is at clear risk of collapse – and the ‘remainiacs’ just don’t see it. Gwythian
  • Joseph V. Micallef, 2017. Brexit: Consequences and Significance. Available at:
  • Luo, C.M., 2017. Brexit and its Implications for European Integration. European Review, 25(4), pp.519-531. Robert Lee, 2018. The Euro Crisis: Forgotten but not gone. Available at:
  • Sampson, T., 2017. Brexit: the economics of international disintegration. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31 Springford J., Lowe. S. & Oppenheim, B. 2018. Will the unity of the 27 crack? [Pdf document]
  • [CER policy brief]. [Accessed 7th Dec 2018]
  • The Daily Telegraph, 2018. Italy Could Leave EU. Senior Government Advisor Says[Accessed 7th Dec 2018].
  • Michael White, 2016. UK referendum: who can keep the post-Brexit landscape from falling apart?
  • nion-nato [Accessed 7th Dec 2018] Moravcsik, A., 1991. Negotiating the Single European Act: national interests and conventional statecraft in the European Community. International organization, 45(1), pp.19-56. Orbie, J., 2009. Theorie van de Europese integratie: Ideeën, belangen en instellingen. Acco. Poli, E. (2016). Mapping member states’ stances in a post-Brexit European Union. [IAI working papers 16-31 November 2016.

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