First Advisor

Birol A. Yesilada

Date of Publication

Summer 8-7-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Political Science


Political Science




European Union -- Great Britain -- Economic integration, Great Britain -- Politics and government -- 21st century, Great Britain -- Foreign relations -- European Union countries -- 21st century



Physical Description

1 online resource (ix, 84 pages)


Since 2009, the European Union has faced the worst economic crisis of its history. Due to the devastating impact of the Eurozone crisis on their economies, European countries realized the need to deepen the integration. Without a fiscal union, the Monetary Union would always be prone to economic crises. However, the efforts to reinforce the Union’s economy have been hampered by the UK due to its obsession with national sovereignty and lack of European ideals. In opposing further integration, the UK officials have started to speak out about the probability of leaving the EU.

The purpose of this paper is to present benefits and challenges of Britain’s EU membership and to assess the consequences of leaving the Union both for the UK and for the EU. This study utilizes Power Transition theory to analyze British impact on European integration. With the perspective of this theory, the UK is defined as a dissatisfied partner. By applying the conflict– cooperation model of Brian Efird, Jacek Kugler and Gaspare Genna, the effect of the UK’s dissatisfaction is empirically portrayed.

The empirical findings of the conflict– integration model clearly show that Britain’s dissatisfaction has a negative impact on European integration and jeopardizes the future of the Union. Power Transitions analysis indicates that the UK would become an insignificant actor in the international system and lose the opportunity for the Union’s leadership if it leaves the EU. On the other hand, although Britain’s departure would be a significant loss in terms of capability, economic coherence is more important for the EU. Without enough commitment for the Union, increasing the level of integration with the UK would raise the probability of conflict with the integration process in the future.


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