Brexit pp 1-46 | Cite as

With Europe, But Not of Europe

  • Rudolf G. Adam


Arguments that dominated the 2016 referendum campaign have roots that go right back to the post-war years. Winston Churchill was the first to call for a United States of Europe—but without Britain. British reservations about European unification took on a sharper profile as six continental states moved closer to founding the EEC. Concerns about a loss of sovereignty, of national independence, and of a trade policy that offers optimum advantages were first voiced in 1961—together with an explicit refusal to subordinate the national polity to any foreign authority. That was the year in which the United Kingdom submitted its first application to join the EEC. An almost blind confidence in the wisdom of the people as opposed to elites and experts surfaces at the same time. It paved the way for subsequent referenda. When Britain finally joined, it did so under unfavourable auspices. The EEC had created facts that ran counter to fundamental British interests, and the United Kingdom was on the threshold of a major economic upheaval, reinforced by the first oil crisis.


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Further Reading

  1. Bogdanor, V. (2013/2014). Six Lectures on Britain and the Continent. Gresham College. Retrieved October 22, 2018, from
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  3. Farrell, J., & Goldsmith, P. (2017). How to Lose a Referendum. The Definitive Story of Why the UK Voted for Brexit. London: Biteback.Google Scholar
  4. O’Rourke, K. (2018). A Short History of Brexit: From Brentry to Backstop. London: Pelican.Google Scholar
  5. Rath, G. (2016). Brexitannia. Die Geschichte einer Entfremdung. Warum Großbritannien für den Brexit stimmte. Vienna: Braunmüller.Google Scholar
  6. Simms, B. (2017). Britain’s Europe. A Thousand Years of Conflict and Cooperation. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  7. Taylor, D. J. (2017). Who Do the British Think They Are? From the Anglo Saxons to Brexit. Stroud: The History Press.Google Scholar
  8. Wall, S. (2012). The Official History of Britain and the European Community, Vol. II: From Rejection to Referendum, 1963–1975. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rudolf G. Adam
    • 1
  1. 1.Prien, ChiemseeGermany

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