Brexit and the US
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Brexit and the US


As it recedes into recent history, former UK economic official Edward Price looks at the relevance – current and future – of Brexit for the United States

Brexit, or British exit from the European Union, has been a very British affair. Indeed, the pandemic aside, it has dominated the last five or six years of national experience. Certainly, it has dominated mine. In the EU, however, Brexit was not received as a British event, but as a pan-European event. That a member state would elect to leave the union has thus prompted the EU to re-consider not just its internal composition, but its external relations too.

This report offers three things: a retrospective, a musing and some practical advice. To those ends, it inquires as to what Brexit might mean for North America in three parts. The first is a brief history. It treats the origins of Brexit as, ultimately, as much a legal and philosophical, as political or economic, event. The second is practical. It discusses how counsel might navigate the possible effects of Brexit on the US-EU relationship. Finally, the third section ponders, for a legal audience, some effects of Brexit on the UK constitutional system itself.

Brexit has not been without ironies. At heart, it at once affirms and challenges the world America has built. That is to say, Brexit has introduced a degree of market fragmentation into the European economy. On the face of things, this is somewhat at odds with Uncle Sam’s post-war vision of global trade. Concurrently, however, this Brexit has done while also promoting a free-market philosophy that prefers openness and trade in the wider world, including in Europe. This conforms to, even evangelises, the pax americana. To understand this conundrum, and its implications for the US, we must first study the origins of Brexit in not only the UK but the EU.

Please enjoy the report. 

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