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Contemporary Europe Study Group and European Union Study Group

Brexit's Prehistories


October 6, 2017
2:15pm - 4:00pm
Goldman Room, Adolphus Busch Hall
October 6, 2017
2:15pm - 4:00pm
Goldman Room, Adolphus Busch Hall

Although the United Kingdom is the first fully-fledged member state ever to decide to withdraw from the European Union, it is not the first to do so. Only five years after the Treaty of Rome, in 1962, Algeria took the same step as part of its assertion of independence from France and in 1985 Greenland, an autonomous part of Denmark, left the European Community (EC). This presentation discusses the lessons that can be learned for Brexit from the ‘Algexit’ of 1962 and the ‘Greenxit’ of 1985, despite the obvious differences from today’s situation with the United Kingdom. Most importantly, it highlights the complex relationship between processes of integration and disintegration as a more permanent feature of the European integration process than existing research suggests.

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