JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images
British Prime Minister David Cameron gives a press conference at the EU Headquarters, on November 23, 2012 in Brussels, after a two-day European Union leaders summit called to agree a hotly-contested trillion-euro budget through 2020. EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy said today that an EU budget deal was within reach early next year, after a two-day summit collapsed without agreement.
The European Union (EU) was established to unite the continent of Europe, but now the EU may be losing membership from one of the region’s most influential nations, The United Kingdom of Great Britain (UK).
Hostility toward the EU among the British is on the rise and some government officials, including UK Independence Party councilor Peter Reeve, are calling for the country to cut ties with the EU before the alliance transforms into a Soviet Union type regime. European leaders have recently proposed increasing the EU budget, which is funded by member states, but UK Prime Minister David Cameron of the Conservative Party has pushed back against this proposal, saying it would be “picking the pockets” of British taxpayers.
Moreover, with member state Greece still bogged down in economic turmoil, some insist that the EU is dragging the UK’s economy down with it. Others in the UK are concerned about the limits of the EU’s legal, judicial and health-and-safety regulations that trump British laws.
What is the underlying cause of tension between the EU and the UK? Is British policy different enough from the rest of Europe to warrant a withdrawal from the EU? How would British withdrawal from the EU impact the United States?
Nicholas Cull, professor of Public Diplomacy and Director of the Masters Program in Public Diplomacy, USC
Andrew Gumbel, is an LA-based British journalist who writes regularly for The Guardian and other publications; author, most recently, of “Oklahoma City: What The Investigation Missed -- And Why It Still Matters” (William Morrow)