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Centre for Geopolitics

Providing historically-grounded solutions to enduring geopolitical problems

Our very own Professor Brendan Simms made it onto the Prime Minister’s reading list this summer, as the question of the UK’s relationship with the European Union once again looms large against the backdrop of trade deal negotiations.

First published in April 2016 just prior to the vote to Leave, Britain’s Europe is a masterful book that provides timely historical perspective on the debate about Britain’s relationship with the continent. Britain, Brendan argues, has never existed in any meaningful isolation, and its interests have always been inescapably tied up with what goes on in Europe. Nonetheless- and as the title suggests- Britain’s relationship with European states runs far deeper than its relatively recent engagement with the institutions of the European Union. Britain’s EU membership, and the decision to revoke it, is merely the latest chapter in a very long story.

Britain’s Europe is also a determined appeal to take geopolitics seriously. Throughout the book, Brendan argues that, to understand how European history has unfolded since the Middle Ages, we need to put the “international” rather than the “domestic” first. Indeed, Britain’s Europe offers a convincing case for why it is imprudent to think that the domestic realm can be truly insulated from the international.

Britain’s Europe is available in paperback from Penguin Books at the following link: