Welcome

Kevin O'Rourke

A Short History of Brexit

Kevin O’Rourke is professor of economic history at the University of Oxford. A member of the British Academy and the Royal Irish Academy, he is the author of works of reference on the history of globalization. From Ireland, living in France, and a councilman in St. Pierre d’Entremont in Chartreuse, he has been publicly outspoken in defense of Ireland’s position on Brexit.
This book is the story of a divorce, the one between the United Kingdom and Europe with the referendum of 23 June 2016. To understand what happened, Kevin O’Rourke retraces the episodes in a relationship that was never simple. Indeed, very quickly in the 1950s, the path to supra-nationality was chosen by the six founding countries of the European project. And it was around that path that later all the other countries would rally, coming up against a Great Britain that was jealously guarding its sovereignty and above all dreaming of the creation of a free trade zone…
From the birth in 1951 of the European Coal and Steel Community to Brexit, Kevin O’Rourke analyzes the various stages in the European construction, then of the challenges to it, highlighting the ambiguities of the British position: on the creation of a common market, on the issue of borders, on expansion. He recalls why Europe presented a unique opportunity for Ireland, on both the political and economic level. Finally, after putting Brexit in perspective within the context of a globalization under pressure, Kevin O’Rourke examines the scenarios for the U.K.’s exit, and their costs.