However, it is worth remembering that the United Kingdom was a forceful advocate of liberalising economic relations in the internal market and enlarging the European Union. Following their departure, the British are now free to negotiate trade agreements with the rest of the world, which they see as a promising route to economic prosperity. Indeed, even before Brexit, British foreign trade was moving away from the EU and towards third countries. Yet continental Europe is still the island nation’s most important trading partner and both sides must therefore seek a meaningful framework for future economic cooperation. The manuscript of this Analysis was completed in early March 2020.
The British go it alone in Europe
On 31 January 2020 the United Kingdom formally separated from the European Union. Having abandoned its role as an outsider in (western) European integration to join the then European Economic Community (EEC) in the early 1970s, the country proved to be a difficult member that was ultimately no longer prepared to support the further deepening of European integration.
- Berthold Busch ·
- IW-Analyse No. 137 ·
- 28 July 2020