2nd Edition

Britain and the European Union

By David Gowland Copyright 2022
    494 Pages
    by Routledge

    494 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.


    1. Europe and the European Union

    2. Back to the future

    3. Belonging without believing

    4. Leading from behind: Opt-outs, opt-ins and red lines

    5. Party games and politics

    6. Devolution and European Union membership

    7. The press and the European Union

    8. The pound, the euro and the City

    9. Britain, the European Union and the wider world

    10. ‘Banging on about Europe’ – The Conservatives and the European Union 2010-2015

    11. Hallmarks of British membership of the EU

    12. The Referendum of 2016 – The campaign

    13. The Referendum of 2016 – The result

    14. The May government and Brexit 2016-2019: Decline and Fail

    15. The Brexiter government, 2019-2020


    David Gowland was Founder and Director of the School of Contemporary European Studies and Head of the History Department at the University of Dundee, UK. He is
    the author of numerous successful books and articles including Longman’s "The European Mosaic” series and Britain and European Integration since 1945 (Routledge).

    "David Gowland presents a clear and very comprehensive account of Britain’s troubled relationship with European integration from the post-war period through decades of EU membership to the complexities of Brexit."
    Simon Bulmer, University of Sheffield, UK

    "This significantly-updated second edition of the book provides comprehensive coverage of Britain’s involvement with the European integration process. Engagingly-written, containing a wealth of detail, it offers many insights into the role of Britain in Europe and the European issue in British politics. A valuable resource for teaching and studying at undergraduate level."
    Ben Clements, University of Leicester, UK

    "Recent post-Brexit events make the second edition of Britain and the European Union an even more compelling and indispensable read than the first. It is an unrivalled source for comprehending Britain’s past and present relationship with the European Union and anticipating its likely future."
    Anthony M. Messina, Trinity College, USA