Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron has recently embarked upon the process of renegotiating the terms for Britain's EU membership. This process will be followed by a national referendum, by the end of 2017 at the latest, asking whether Britain should remain an EU member or leave the Union.
Why did Cameron and the Conservative party put the referendum question on the table in the first place? What reforms and opt-outs is Cameron seeking in his talks with the other EU member states, and what are the main obstacles to agreement? What are the likely consequences, for Britain and for the EU, should the British people vote to leave?
Julie Smith is a Fellow of Robinson College, where she is a Graduate Tutor and Director of Studies. An expert in European politics, she was Head of the European Programme at Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs) from 1999 until 2003. Smith is a member of the House of Lords.
Smith read PPE at Brasenose College, Oxford, and took both her MPhil and DPhil in Politics at St. Antony’s College, Oxford. She was a Hanseatic Scholar in Hamburg and prior to coming to the Centre in 1997, Julie taught in the International Relations and European Studies Department of the Central European University in Budapest.
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