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Brexit: Reasons and challenges

Miklós Somai () and Zsuzsánna Biedermann ()
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Miklós Somai: Institute of World Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary
Zsuzsánna Biedermann: Institute of World Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary

Acta Oeconomica, 2016, vol. 66, issue supplement1, 137-156

Abstract: This paper reviews the deeper societal and economic reasons behind the British choice of leaving the European Union. We address the detailed results of the referendum and the long-standing sceptical British attitude towards European integration; next, we analyse the net budgetary contribution that changed enormously after the Eastern Enlargement. It is argued that the rise in the immigrant-native ratio had a significant impact on employee’s pay level in certain areas, therefore pro-Brexit campaigners highlighted migration as one of the major problems arising from EU membership. Increasing income and wealth inequalities and a growing anti-elite sentiment in British society, coupled with the negative image of Brussels bureaucrats and a British approach to the rule of law that is fundamentally different from the continental one, also contributed to the final result of the referendum. Our analysis ends with a glimpse into the close future, emphasising that the future of British-EU relations depends wholly on the pragmatism and wisdom of the negotiating parties.

Keywords: Brexit; UK; European integration; EU budget; immigration (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F15 F36 J61 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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