The article shows how the British ‘opting out position’ in the European Union has developed during time, ever since the country’s accession and how it influenced the its role in the EU decision making process. The present critical situation showing Britain’s discontent towards EU’s measures for a deeper integration of its member states, is not new considering Britain’s continuous negotiations for a larger freedom. The cost – a smaller influence in EU discussions – is a price that Britain is less and less willing to pay, especially now when the crises commits EU to important economic decisions. Britain’s opting out from EMU and the other agreed chapters, sets, again, its role as a watcher rather than a player. The paper offers the context under which the ‘opting outs’ were adopted and conducts to a clearer understanding of the causes that led to the present conflicts.
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