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Should the UK have remained in the EU?
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We need more international cooperation, not less

In a time of international disintegration, it is important that the nations of Europe can develop common responses to global issues- the UK leaving the EU is counterproductive.


The UK has left the European Union on the 31st January 2020 as a result of the referendum in favour of Brexit in 2016. This decision has been controversial due to the slight percentual difference between the remain and leave camp. Additionally, the Leave campaign used false claims and has been involved with Cambridge Analytica as the scandal broke in 2018.

The Argument

The UK should have remained in the EU because the international tendency towards disintegration makes international governance and crisis response more difficult. Thus, it would have been better if the UK had stayed in the EU for the sake of cooperation. The EU offers a wholistic platform for supranational cooperation in different fields. Brexit brings the UK and the EU to redefine their relationship which means to renegotiate their cooperation with regards to diverse topics ranging from trade, the free circulation of people and goods, immigration and international politics. This process will consume unnecessary resources and will most definitely harm the UK economy as well as its influence in the European sphere. Another dimension in which cooperation that will make the UK suffer through Brexit is the international voice the EU has in conflicts. Even though the UK is still an important international power with a permanent seat in the UN- Security Council and an influence through the Commonwealth, the EU is an important platform to voice European concerns in a global fashion that wouldn’t be possible if the UK was alone. An example is for instance the 2018 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which ensures EU-wide standards that force big international corporations to comply with EU rules. Now that the UK is no longer part of the EU it is often forced to abide by EU-law in its interactions with member states without however having a say in it or being able to influence it. A lack of voting rights within the EU limits the power of the UK to have a voice in EU affairs and will make cooperation more difficult, in a time where it is needed more than ever.

Counter arguments

1) The UK will still be able to cooperate with other countries, especially those of the EU through non-institutional dialogue or through other institutions like NATO. In many fields, less cooperation may be more advantageous to the UK. With Brexit, the UK regains more decisional power on issues that were prior decided on by EU bodies.



Supranational institutions like the EU foster cooperation which is necessary today.


[P1] Cooperation is based on alliances within the same institution.

Rejecting the premises

[P1] Cooperation does not have to take place within an institutional framework.


This page was last edited on Wednesday, 24 Jun 2020 at 12:10 UTC

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