It's Complicated: Britain's Uneasy Relationship with Europe

On 23 June 2016, Britain voted to leave the European Union. The result shook Europe and sent tremors around the world as Brexit immediately became one of the biggest talking points in current affairs. Throughout this course, you will be provided with a snap-shot history of the uneasy and sometimes contradictory relationship that Britain has experienced with Europe. This is far from a complete narrative history but, instead, a closer look at several key events, periods, and themes in history which neatly illustrate the underlying factors, trends, and dynamics at play.

Featuring subject matter expert

Bruno Waterfield
Bruno Waterfield

Brussels correspondent at The Times

Bruno Waterfield is the Brussels correspondent for The Times. He has reported on European affairs for 15 years, first from Westminster and then from the capital of the European Union.

To what extent is Brexit an attempt to turn back the clock and return Britain to its former imperial glory as a free-trading global nation?

Most British voters were voting against an economic order that they don't see having benefitted them over the last 20 years.

Course Overview

  • Learn of the economic and geographic features that have led to the tumultuous nature of Britain's European relationship over the centuries.
  • Uncover the religious and political aspects which compelled Britain to both join and shrink away from alliances over the years.
  • Realise the true height of Britain’s power, lasting roughly a century between 1815-1914.
  • Expose the devastating impact of the World Wars, precipitating the collapse of the empire and now enshrined in our national cultural psyche.
Course content
  • 10 Full HD Video Lectures
  • Downloadable Course Handouts
  • Knowledge Assessment Quiz
  • Interactive Group Discussion Task
  • Q&A Session with a Subject Matter Expert
  • Certificate of Achievement





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