The EU tried to create an ‘ever closer union’ of peoples by integrating their markets in the belief that economic exchange creates a basis for social exchange and political convergence. However, the Brexit decision was triggered in part by a perception that EU trade arrangements now restrain member states from pursuing global trade and undermine their social cohesion through increased movement and scaled-down welfare states. The single European market has been condemned for expanding regulation while its single currency has been accused of constraining growth by removing monetary and fiscal freedom.
In today’s fourth session, Alan Shipman, Jonquil Lowe and Will Brown look at the role of business and economic policy in driving the EU policy, the commercial motives for Brexit and what remains of the EU’s original vision of economic integration as a route to social and political integration. It also looks at what is to become of the EU’s, and the UK’s, international development efforts post-Brexit.
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