The Progressive Post

The Consequence of the EU Referendum


Brexit would be bad for Britain and it would be bad for Europe. Those in favour of Britain’s membership of the EU have long assumed that the merits of economic integration, the appeal to the head over the heart, would win any vote. This no longer seems true. One thing we can learn from the Scottish referendum is: do not let one side own the emotional argument. This is the background of what is going on in the UK at present– the migrant and refugee are being waved about like trophies by the euro-sceptics. The NO to Europe campaign has just kicked off, alongside ambiguity from the Prime
Minister, the wannabe leaders of the Tories using Europe as a football for political goal scoring, and the tone on immigration reaching a new low in recent weeks: all this makes it near impossible to have an honest debate. But one thing is clear – emotions will matter. An EU referendum would open up complex situations beyond England. First, in Ireland, exiting Europe would bring many uncertainties. One is the future sustainability of the Northern Ireland peace process, as both Northern Irish Unionists and Republicans could use an EU referendum for their own ends. In Scotland, a referendum was just won by the ‘no to independence’ campaign – however, the Scottish National Party (SNP) hope to use the EU referendum as a wedge to trigger a second Scottish plebiscite.
They argue that it would amount to a constitutional crisis if Scotland and England were to vote for opposing results. The reality is that the EU referendum would trigger uncertainty and inflame independentism everywhere across Europe, too. But – to win the referendum and for Britain to stay in – a cold and transactional sell is not going to work. It’ll need emotions to get a YES REMAIN in Europe vote out, which will be tricky in a country where passion
for Europe has often been lukewarm.

Find all related publications

The transformation of the mainstream right in Western Europe

Implications for social democracy

Next Left Vol.15

Progressive Ambition: How to shape Europe in the next decade

Progressive ideas to make international trade successful for all


Women CSO leaders for systemic change

How to support feminist leadership in Europe
Find all related news

FEPS mission to Brazil


Spanish Minister Teresa Ribera awarded FEPS ‘Progressive Person of the Year’


Call for tender – FFP Research and network coordinator

This call for tender is now closed.

FEPS President at Euronews talk-show ‘Brussels, my love?’

Find all related in the media
In the media

Teresa Ribera, premiada por su labor en política internacional

by El Plural 26/01/2024
Teresa Ribera has been recognized by FEPS with the 'Progressive Person of the Year' award during the launch of the 'Progressive Yearbook.' Article by El Plural

Teresa Ribera, premio ‘Pregressive person of the year’ por su labor en política internacional

by Europa Press 26/01/2024
Teresa Ribera has been recognized by FEPS with the 'Progressive Person of the Year' award during the launch of the 'Progressive Yearbook.' Article by Europa Press

Teresa Ribera, galardonada como “progresista” del año por la Fundación FEPS

by Agencia EFE 26/01/2024
Article by Spanish news agency Agencia EFE, republished by other media via newswire

»Der er tale om en markant udvikling«: Det vrimler med Wolt-bude

by Politiken 19/01/2024
'"This is a significant development": Wolt workers are everywhere' Politiken's article about the Digital Programme's first policy study: 'Employment terms of platform workers'