Brexit—the United Kingdom (UK)’s exit from the European Union (EU)—has been hailed as one of the defining events of contemporary European politics, offering tangible evidence of the damaged character of the European integration process (Leruth et al., 2019). Yet, the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and the urgency with which governments and the media have responded to the global health crisis have made it difficult to pinpoint the genuine implications of Brexit for both the UK and the EU, and this is especially true with regard to the role of citizens and issues of citizenship—the main themes addressed in this essay. Brexit has set a potentially dangerous precedent, while highlighting what can happen to international political and trade deals, economic structural stability and domestic political and societal orders when citizens are given an overly simplified choice between two diametrically opposed options that, in fact, relate to extremely complex political issues. For now then, Brexit may be understood as a cautionary tale of the intrinsic risks of allowing citizens ‘too much’ say in politics.
|Name||The European Union Encyclopedia and Directory|