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An Accidental Brexit: Destabilization of Europe and Weakening Multilateralism

Organized by the EU Program, co-sponsored by the Program in Contemporary European Politics and Society, the Julis-Rabinowitz Center for Public Policy and Finance and The Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, with the support of The Paul Sarbanes '54 Fund for Hellenism and Public Service

Prof. Dr. Paul J.J. Welfens is Jean Monnet Professor for European Economic Integration; chair for Macroeconomics; president of the European Institute for International Economic Relations at the University of Wuppertal.

The book An Accidental BREXIT (Palgrave, London 2017) by Paul Welfens shows that the 2016 EU referendum in the UK in was in fact a disorderly one and that the ‘Global Britain’ strategy of the current government cannot work – largely because the key partners envisaged by the UK, with the exception of the US, are either rather small players economically speaking or are not willing to offer easy free trade agreements to London. Moreover, the undermining of Multilateralism by the Trump Administration makes it almost impossible for Global Britain to deliver the benefits promised by the May government. The economic cost of BREXIT for the UK could be about 16% of real income in the case of a No-Deal Brexit, assuming an EU-UK Free Trade Agreement on goods is reached the economic cost would still be around 10%; the latter would reduce EU27 income by 1.5%. With or without BREXIT, the EU is on a path towards destabilization since a wave of anti-EU populism in many EU countries and endogenous destabilization impulses from European elections overlap. Only comprehensive reforms could stabilize the EU where the Commission, however, seems to have no clear intentions to push for such adequate reforms. With the US no longer supporting EU integration, regional integration schemes in many parts of the world are undermined; this could lead to regional and global instability, higher refugee numbers and a weakening of the West. The public debate in Britain on BREXIT is rather poor in the sense that not only leading politicians give wrong information to the electorate – even coverage by the BBC, a media outlet often heralded as a leading example of journalistic integrity, is clearly frequently misleading.

Location: Robertson 023

Date/Time: 03/07/18 at 12:15 pm - 03/07/18 at 1:20 pm

Paul Welfens (University of Wuppertal)

Category: Speaker

Department: European Union Program