This engaging and concise new edition offers the student and general reader a compact, readable treatment of British membership of the European Union (EU) from 1973 up until the present day and Brexit, with detailed analysis of the period 1945-1972 accounting for Britain's absence from the formation of the EU.

It provides a highly distilled and accessible analysis and overview of some of the parameters and recurring features of Britain’s membership of the European Union, touching on all the major facets of membership at this critical time in Britain’s relationship with Europe.

Key features of the new edition:

  • examines the constant and changing character of British membership of the EU;
  • discusses the problematical and often paradoxical features of EU membership;
  • familiarises the reader with both academic and public debates about the subject;
  • offers thematic treatment of all aspects of policy and attitudes towards the EU;
  • significantly restructured and updated to include the origins of the decision to hold a referendum on UK membership of the EU, the campaign, explanations for its outcome, and the course, substance and implications of the UK-EU Brexit negotiations.

This book will be of key interest to scholars, students and the generally interested reader in the areas of European Politics/Studies, British Politics, EU Politics/Studies, Area Studies and International Relations.

chapter |21 pages


chapter 1|24 pages

Europe and the European Union

chapter 2|35 pages

Back to the future

chapter 3|29 pages

Belonging without believing

chapter 4|40 pages

Leading from behind

Opt-outs, opt-ins, rebates and red lines

chapter 5|32 pages

Party games and politics

chapter 6|19 pages

Devolution and European Union membership

chapter 7|20 pages

The press and the European Union

chapter 8|30 pages

The pound, the euro and the City

Brief encounters and quick exits

chapter 10|25 pages

‘Banging on about Europe’

The Conservatives and the European Union 2010–15

chapter 11|12 pages

Hallmarks of British membership of the EU

chapter 12|28 pages

The Referendum of 2016

The campaign

chapter 13|31 pages

The Referendum of 2016

The result

chapter 14|28 pages

The May government and Brexit, 2016–19

Decline and fail

chapter 15|27 pages

The Brexiter government, 2019–20