Never mind the Brexit? Britain, Europe, the world and Brexit


Britain’s vote to withdraw from the EU came as an unexpected shock to many in the UK, the rest of the EU and around the world. The UK and the remaining EU now face a fraught and potentially lengthy period of negotiations to settle Brexit. How might this change Europe? And how might it change the rest of the world’s views of Europe? This article looks at how Brexit could shape worldviews of Europe. It does so firstly by looking at the international and European roles Britain sees for itself and how the rest of Europe views those roles. The article then turns to views of both the UK and the EU from the USA, Russia and China. It argues that neither the UK nor the EU should overlook how external perceptions of Europe, the UK and Brexit matter because they will determine the strategic context in which the Brexit negotiations unfold.

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    Figures calculated from NATO (2016).

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    Figures calculated from NATO (2012).


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Correspondence to Tim Oliver.

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Oliver, T. Never mind the Brexit? Britain, Europe, the world and Brexit. Int Polit 54, 519–532 (2017).

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  • Europe
  • UK
  • Negotiations
  • USA
  • Russia
  • China