Buffalo State professor on Brexit: In or Out? Implications for the EU, the UK, and the US


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Laurie Buonanno is a professor in the Department of Political Science at SUNY Buffalo State where she teaches graduate courses in immigration policy, research methods, and comparative public policy in the department’s MPA program.  She has co-authored and edited three books about the EU and EU-US relations (The Routledge Handbook of European Public Policy, The New and Changing Transatlanticism - Routledge, and Policies and Policy Processes of the European Union – Palgrave/Macmillan, second edition publishing in late 2019), co-authors the annual SUNY Guide to the Model European Union - Institute for European Union Studies at SUNY (IEUSS), and has published several journal articles and book chapters on a variety of EU topics, including European identity, the European migration crisis, European food safety policy, and transatlantic relations. Buonanno is currently conducting research for a book on immigration policy in postindustrial societies. Her work has been supported by grants from the EU and the US Department of Education. She serves on the boards of the American Society for Public Administration – Buffalo/Niagara Chapter and IEUSS. She holds a PhD in Political Science from The Johns Hopkins University.

The UK joined the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973 after initially refusing to sign the 1957 Treaty of Rome establishing the EEC, objecting to the founding treaty’s overall objective, “determined to lay the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe,” preferring instead a free trade area. After years of acrimony between pro-EU and anti-EU forces in the British electorate, Prime Minister David Cameron called for an “In/Out” referendum on June 23, 2016, in which a majority voted to “Leave.” With the clock ticking down on Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (which sets out the terms for an EU member state to leave the bloc), the UK has been expected to exit the EU on March 29, 2019. At the time of this writing, Prime Minister Theresa May’s agreement with the EU’s 27 member states for an “orderly” exit was soundly defeated by the House of Commons, she has survived a no-confidence vote, and must propose a new plan of action to the House on January 21, 2019. The immediate concern? A “hard Brexit,” complete with long lines at customs checkpoints and food and petrol shortages. Buonanno can provide insights into the UK’s history as the EU’s “awkward partner,” the different scenarios (free trade area, customs union, common market), and the implications of Brexit for EU and US political and economic security.

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