Britain’s exit from the European Union and the controversy surrounding the referendum have dominated news headlines in recent months. Often associated with the decision and its implications, is a confusing cloud of myths and conjecture surrounding the EU itself. The Update had the pleasure of interviewing Chris Bickerton, a professor at Cambridge University and the author of the best-selling book, ‘The European Union: A Citizen’s Guide’. Bickerton voted for Brexit from a left-wing perspective, in a bid to open the United Kingdom to more internationalism which he believes can not be achieved from an obsolete institution like the EU, that he believes also impeaches democratic grounds.
An engaging and accessible book, A Citizen’s Guide argues against Europe being the monolithic super-power many paint it to be. It shows that at its core, the EU is fundamentally controlled by national governments while at the same time, giving those governments the opportunity to avoid good governance through their scapegoating of the EU.
An Oxford PhD with tenures at prestigious universities across Europe, the POLIS professor argued many of the points presented in his book, while also clarifying the current political and economic situation. His emphasis was on how the right in British politics is not correct to claim ownership of Brexit, and that taking the ‘Leave’ vote as an anti-immigration vote is something that they can not be allowed to do.
Bickerton’s interview tackles the common stereotype of all Leave voters being foreigner haters. With over 50% of the population voting for Brexit, this interview proves to be an insight into the minds of numerous people that voted against the status quo, believing a better UK to be one outside the European Union.