TE History facts

A British perspective on Europe

British economic priority =
free trade:
with no tariffs for imported goods and services, a liberal economic policy favoured by the UK
& economic liberalism: with as little as possible state intervention & as free as possible trade.
British political priority =
to preserve state sovereignty:
the exclusive right to exert legitimate power within a state ;
& Parliamentary sovereignty: only Parliament has the right and power to make or repeal law.
due to a strong sense of national identity:
- based on a feeling of insularity: separated, different from Europe with a more global outlook (special relationship with the USA & the Commonwealth),
- with Europe resented as the source of Britain’s ills (WWII) in popular culture (tabloids)
- attached to British symbols: Queen and Parliament, the pound, the mile, driving on the wrong side of the road, etc…

the British preference for confederation: 2E def + intergovernmental cooperation.
the British reluctance for federation: 2E def, meaning member states surrender more sovereignty to what they call a superstate, that is to say supranational (above state, national authority) institutions (Brussells).
=> negotiated opt-outs: exemptions negotiated by a member state so as not to have to participate in some policy.
to avoid more integration: a closer, stronger union.

Europhile (little used): pro-European, more European
Eurosceptic: criticising European integration ; can be soft to reform Europe from within to achieve more democracy, less bureaucracy (a Remainer) or hard to leave Europe (a Leaver or a Brexiteer).
United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) and its leader Nigel Farage: populist party with one key policy - to leave the European Union, as the answer to a whole range of issues, notably immigration, to attract disenchanted voters.
populism: political program or movement that champions -or claims to, the people, by contrast with a real or perceived elite.

2E notions: federation, confederation 1E notions: Brexit, Commonwealth, UK political parties, general and snap elections