Following the agreement made by Prime Minister David Cameron with the EU on 18-19 February 2016, the day for the referendum for the UK to remain in or leave the EU is set for 23 June 2016. This will be the most important decision taken by the British people in half a century, and whose consequences will live on for another half century.
The first edition of this book, published in March 2015, laid the foundations for any objective assessment of the workings of the EU and the UK’s place in it. It was widely acclaimed and rated as “a myth-breaking exercise of the best kind”.
This second edition adds a substantial new chapter following Cameron’s agreement with the EU and announcement of the referendum. It reviews both the ‘Plan A’, namely the status quo for the UK in the EU as amended by the new agreement, and three variants of a ‘Plan B’ for secession. The key point is that the ‘leave’ camp have not done their homework or ‘due diligence’ to specify the post-secession scenario, or how the British government would face up to the challenges that this would bring. The authors therefore do the ‘leave’ camp’s homework for them, setting out three Plan Bs more concretely and in more depth than the ‘leave’ camp have been able or wanted to do, or any other source has done.
The book is therefore unique and essential reading for anyone concerned with the fateful choice that lies soon ahead.
Glossary / About the authors / Preface / Executive Summary – Common sense and noble idea / Part I - Questions / 1. What is the Balance of Competences Review? / 2. What are the EU’s competences? / 3. What are the underlying issues? / Part II - Evidence / 1. Core single market policies / 2. Sectoral policies / 3. Economic, monetary and social policies / 4. Justice and home affairs / 5. Education, research and culture / 6. External relations / 7. General issues / Part III – Conclusions / 1. By groups of policies / 2. By reform, renegotiation, or repatriation / 3. Contemplating secession / Appendix A. Balance of Competences Review – Schedule of the British governments’ work / Index / List of Boxes and Figure
Contributors: Graham Avery / Miroslav Beblavý / Arno Behrens / Steven Blockmans / Hugo Brady / Michael Emerson / Daniel Gros / Alzbeta Hájková / Karel Lannoo / Adam Łazowski / Jorge Núñez Ferrer / Steve Peers / Michael Wriglesworth
Michael Emerson holds honorary doctorates from the universities of Kent and Keele. He began his career as an economist at the OECD, Paris, and subsequently worked for the European Commission, Brussels, from 1973 to 1996, where his posts included advising Roy Jenkins (1977-78) and the Ambassador to the USSR/Russia (1991-95). Since 1996, he has been Senior Research Fellow successively at the LSE and the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). He has authored and edited many books on a wide range of topics including European integration and foreign policy.
Emerson and his fellow authors deserve congratulations for producing a book that uses hard evidence to set out the arguments with clarity and common sense.
An absolutely invaluable resource for anyone concerned with Britain’s evolving relationship with the European Union.
In the finest tradition of British pragmatism: a much needed injection of common sense and seriousness into the British debate on Europe.
This is a comprehensive and cogent analysis of the British government’s review of EU competences. While the government was reluctant to draw conclusions from its own review, the CEPS researchers are bolder.
This extraordinarily fair-minded and balanced book is a myth-busting exercise of the best kind. Meticulously boiling down every single European policy field to its very essence, the authors (one of Europe's leading think tank teams) are replacing misperception and misrepresentation with sober facts and sound assessments.