Texas Tech University

European Union Expert Can Discuss British Relations With U.S. After Brexit

Glenys Young

July 12, 2016

Political Science professor can discuss how Brexit may exchange international relations.


British Prime Minister David Cameron is scheduled to resign Wednesday (July 13), at which time he will be replaced by Home Secretary Theresa May, who on Monday (July 11), was officially named the Conservative Party leader and Cameron's successor.

Cameron announced his intention to resign following the United Kingdom's June 23 vote to leave the European Union. May's only rival for Cameron's position, Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom, pulled out of the race Monday after making controversial comments about motherhood and leadership.

Stephen Meserve, an assistant professor of political science at Texas Tech University, can discuss how the United States' relationship with Britain and other members of the United Kingdom may change in the wake of Brexit and the change in leadership. Meserve specializes in European Union and Western European politics, with research interests in comparative political economy and comparative legislative studies. His works have been published in journals including Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Politics, Political Analysis and Political Science Research and Methods. He teaches undergraduate courses in historical political economy, introduction to comparative politics, Western European politics and American public policy, and graduate courses in comparative distributive politics, comparative political economy and European politics.


Stephen Meserve, assistant professor of political science, (806) 834-4048 or stephen.meserve@ttu.edu

Talking points

  • Theresa May is a Conservative party veteran, previously a cabinet member holding the Home Secretary portfolio.
  • In the short term, Brexit means harmful economic dislocation for the UK.
  • In the longer term, a great deal depends on when May triggers the British exit and what the treaties that replace the EU arrangements ultimately look like.
  • Brexit probably means very little change in the relationship between the United States and the UK.


  • “Theresa May supported the ‘Remain' camp during the referendum but has publicly said she will honor the referendum result of ‘Leave' when she takes office. She also said the exit will not be triggered in 2016 in order to give the UK more time to prepare. Labour and the Liberal Democrats are demanding new elections, but I believe they are unlikely to receive them.”
  • “The pound has already lost a huge amount of value in the wake of the referendum and there is a substantial fear among economically vital migrants living in the UK. In general, economic actors shy away from political uncertainty and investors may reconsider investments in the UK and instead seek to invest in EU member states like Germany or France where they can be absolutely certain of their access to EU member state markets.”
  • “On one hand, the UK could emerge with almost identical agreements with EU countries that they had before – the ‘Norway' solution, which may minimize long-term economic changes. On the other hand, they could emerge with radically different agreements than they had under the EU, which would mean major long-term economic readjustment that could initiate a recession. The outcome the ‘Leave' campaigners promised during the referendum campaign – an ‘EU-like' agreement where the UK receives the same trade/capital integration treaties while rejecting some regulations and the right of EU citizens to move freely – is an unrealistic pipe dream the remaining 27 EU members will not agree to.”
  • “Some of the UK's treaties with the U.S. remain in place as they were, for example security-related treaties (e.g. NATO). But for many agreements, especially on economy and trade, the EU acted on behalf of the UK in all agreements with the United States. So Brexit means the United States will need to negotiate new agreements with the UK once it has separated from the EU. My first reaction is this will be relatively easy given that both the UK and U.S. will want business as usual to continue as soon as possible, but it is an outside possibility that U.S. presidential politics will interfere and demand significantly altered agreements. We will not know more until the UK starts to negotiate its exit from the EU and the U.S. presidential election is resolved.”

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