The attempt by the media and the political elites of the three major political parties in the United Kingdom to heap contempt on Euroskepticism no longer possesses the same power. With the victory of the United Kingdom Independence Party in local and European Parliamentary elections, the prospect of the UK leaving the European Union is a live one. Indeed, Prime Minister David Cameron has agreed to a public referendum on this question in 2017 should the Conservatives be returned to power in 2015. I recently discussed the case for a UK exit with David Conway, a frequent contributor to this space, and author of the recent book With Friends Like These… Why Britain should leave the EU–and how.
This interview explores the major aspects of how an exit would impact the UK’s economy through potentially lost trade opportunities on the continent, but also what the country might gain by once again having control of its borders, its laws and regulatory apparatus, and no longer needing to align its defense forces with the EU. In general, Conway notes, the UK is coming to the proverbial fork in the road on a number of issues, that will force it to become either a full-fledged member of the EU or its own country. One thing is for sure, the time for straddling the fence on EU membership is coming to an end.