What kind of European future?

Simon Barrow


This paper takes a critical look at the debate occasioned by the UK referendum on European Union membership. Decrying the reactionary, pessimistic and xenophobic atmosphere of much of the campaign, Simon Barrow affirms the need to democratise political and economic power. The author looks at the positive case for staying in the EU to press for radical reform, highlights the perils of a progressive anti-EU position, and evidences the danger of sleepwalking towards Brexit. He also interrogates the way the churches have engaged with the EU question, offering an alternative Christian perspective. The debate about Europe’s future and that of our international institutions needs to continue beyond the shadow of the June 2016 referendum, and to be taken in a decisively better direction. (Updated 18 June 2016)


Abstract (page1)

1. Why we need a real debate about the EU (page 2)

2. Towards the possibility of ‘Another Europe’ (page 3)

3. The broad case for deep-rooted reform (page 5)

4. Making positive arguments for a renewed EU (page 8)

5. The peril in progressive anti-EU arguments (page 9)

6. Sleepwalking towards Brexit? (page 12)

7. Noting and interrogating Christian perspectives (page 13)

8. Revisioning Europe through engagement and practice (page 18)

End notes, references and further reading (page 21)

The author (page 25)

About Ekklesia (page 25) 

Copyright notice (page 26)

* Read and download the full paper (*.PDF Adobe Acrobat document) here:  http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/sites/ekklesia.co.uk/files/what_kind_of_european_future.pdf

Further resources from Ekklesia on the EU referendum: *What kind of European future? (Ekklesia, 13 June 2016) – http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/23160
* Assessing Christian contributions to the EU referendum debate (Ekklesia, 20 June 2016) – http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/23188* Ten principles to guide voting in the EU referendum and beyond (Ekklesia, 21 June 2016) - http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/23194
* Ekklesia’s EU referendum briefing and commentary: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/eureferendum