Brexit: Resources from CFR and Foreign Affairs

Ahead of the United Kingdom’s June 23 referendum on whether to leave or remain in the European Union, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and Foreign Affairs offer resources on "Brexit."

June 22, 2016

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The Debate Over Brexit

This CFR Backgrounder examines the history of UK membership in the EU, the motives behind Prime Minister David Cameron’s calls to remain, and the national and international risks and benefits of leaving the EU.

Brexit Will Shock the British Economy

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"Britons—and British businesses, especially—would confront a nightmare of legal uncertainty" if a Brexit happens, writes CFR Senior Fellow Sebastian Mallaby in an op-ed. In another op-ed, Mallaby argues that the referendum exposes Britain’s political decay. Follow Mallaby on Twitter @scmallaby.

What Does Brexit Mean for the United States?

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"A UK that left the EU would be less inclined to take on a substantial regional or global role," writes CFR President Richard N. Haass in a debate with the Hudson Institute’s John Fonte. "U.S. influence in Europe would also suffer if Brexit were to happen," he notes. In another op-ed, Haass argues that "the UK’s exit from Europe would be greeted with equal parts regret and concern by its closest ally, [the United States]." Follow Haass on Twitter @RichardHaass

Please Leave: Why Brexit Would Benefit Europe

"The benefit that is an opportunity of finally fulfilling the European dream of political union would far exceed the short-term disadvantages of a British secession," argues Camille Pecastaing of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in a Snapshot.

Brexit Would Have Consequences for Both UK and EU

A Council of Councils Global Memo discusses how a Brexit could reduce the UK’s EU market access, harm trade ties, and damage London’s position as a financial center. In turn, the EU could experience major changes.

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Brexit in Context

Brexit is primarily about "governance, not economics," writes CFR Distinguished Visiting Fellow A. Michael Spenceand should bring along a "major rethink of European governance structures and institutional arrangements."

Why Brexit Alarms Britain’s Baltic Allies

"The Balts are concerned—and so should we be—that a British vote for Brexit would play into Putin’s hands," writes CFR Senior Fellow Max Boot in an op-ed, "the last thing the West needs is to see Europe divided, allowing Putin’s Russia to use a divide-and-conquer strategy." Follow Boot on Twitter @MaxBoot.

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Weighing the Consequences of Brexit

Five experts consider the economic, labor, immigration, and foreign policy effects of a potential Brexit in this CFR expert roundup.

The Brexit Debate and What It Means for Europe

In a CFR event, experts discuss the political and economic implications of a Brexit, as well as the next steps after a "stay" or "leave" vote. CFR Senior Fellow Sebastian Mallaby warns that a potential exit could create "a massive array of uncertainty."

Is Britain Retreating From the World?

The vote to leave could undergird a major change for all political parties in the UK, explains Chatham House’s Richard G. Whitman in a CFR interview

America Fears Effect of Brexit Way Beyond Britain

"The referendum is not just a vote about Britain’s relationship with Europe but a vote about the very concept of Europe itself," writes CFR Senior Fellow Phil Gordon in an op-ed

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