Research & Publications


To leave or not to leave? Contentious debates on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union


The issue of the UK’s membership of the EU has often been a highly charged one in British politics for decades. In January 2013, Prime Minister David Cameron promised an in/out referendum if his Conservative Party won the 2015 General Election. Now that the Conservatives have won a slim majority, David Cameron will push on for EU reform and hoping that British voters would choose to remain in the EU for the benefit of a stable UK economy.

What is really at stake for the UK, with regard to its membership of the EU? This background brief charts out the arguments for and against Brexit – the term coined for the potential exit of the UK from the EU. Various analyses from think tanks and observers across the political spectrum are presented here. While attempting to offer a balanced coverage of the debates on Brexit, this background brief nevertheless seeks to offer a fact-based assessment of the merits of the UK leaving the EU, or otherwise. Economic considerations, rather than ideological motivations, are therefore the key here.

A separate section charts out the economic relations between the UK and Singapore, a key political and economic partner of the UK in Asia, to discuss the potential international impact of Brexit.

Please click here for a free copy of the background brief.