Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-2012

Publication Title

Geopolitics, history and international relations

Volume

4

Issue

1

First Page

107

Last Page

127

Keywords

Euroskepticism, political parties, Europe, Britain

Abstract

This article examines the causes and consequences of Euroskepticism through a study of the United Kingdom Independence Party. Based on an analysis of UKIP's election campaigns, policies and performance, the article examines the roots of UKIP and its, potential, consequences for the British political system. The article argues that UKIP provides an example of Euroskepticism as the 'politics of opposition.' The party remains at the fringes of the political system and its leadership is prepared to use misrepresentation and populist rhetoric in an attempt to secure support. The party, nevertheless, cannot be completely dismissed as a marginal force. Its roots lie in the general popular and elite antipathy towards the European Union and it has shown itself capable of attracting considerable electoral support in European Parliament elections. It also has the potential to influence the policies of the major political parties.

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