Staying in – A reform plan for Britain and Europe

Policy Study


Britain’s relationship with the EU is at crisis point. This timely report published by FEPS and IPPR (Institute for Public Policy Research), in the UK examines British public opinion on Europe and illustrates many reasons why Britain is clearly better off “staying in”.

This report provides very a relevant contribution to the debates currently taking place concerning Britain’s membership to the EU.

Public opinion in the UK concerning the EU is reaching new lows. Many people believe a referendum is necessary. The report gives clear geopolitical, economic and cultural reasons for staying in the EU. Nevertheless it also argues that if a referendum were to be held it should be a clear in/out question.

The report is in the frame of the results from a research project carried out in the UK which included gathering public opinion to understand where public opinion lies in relation to the European economy, social Europe, and European democracy.

Chapter 1 of the report examines British public opinion on Europe by examining time-series data, recent polling and the outcomes of two deliberative workshops in order to outline the mainly negative, but sometimes nuanced, views of citizens. Chapter 2 makes the case for an in/out referendum and argues that on geopolitical, economic and cultural grounds, Britain would be better off staying in. Chapter 3 sets out the case for, and means of creating, growth in Europe, with particular reference to the forthcoming debate on the EU’s next seven-year budget. Chapter 4 looks at the democratic reforms that Britain should push for in Europe, including in relation to its institutions, regulatory agenda and external role. The conclusion summarises the main recommendations.

Also linked to this debate Ernst Stetter, Secretary General of FEPS blog post concerning the EU budget – click here.

The report is available online below. Some hard copies are available, please contact us if you would like to receive a hard copy.

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