Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Hilary Appel

Rights Information

© 2020 Claudia M Chandra


The prospect of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union during the 2016 Brexit referendum was deeply troubling to French officials. As a historic leader of the European integration project, the French government and media worried that Brexit would embolden Eurosceptics in France. This threatened to undermine France’s identity as a pro-European nation. Also, due to France’s position as one of the UK’s main trading partners, French citizens and businesses feared that the end of freedom of movement between these countries would create burdensome legal and economic consequences. Nevertheless, more than three years have passed since the Brexit referendum and few of the French government’s initial fears have manifested. This leads to the question of whether French worries over Brexit were overstated. This thesis examines the impact of Brexit on France’s economy, security and attitudes toward the EU to argue that many of France’s Brexit concerns were indeed exaggerated. While the French government should remain cautious of the resurgence of Euroscepticism should populist forces like the Rassemblement National regain support, evidence shows that it has adequately prepared for the economic and security implications of Brexit. By demonstrating France’s current preparedness for the UK’s departure, the author hopes to eliminate the Brexit-related worries still held by many French citizens.