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NEXTEUK Policy Briefs

Issue 1 - Negotiating Brexit: What Implications for the EU and Future EU-UK Relations? Policy Roundtable Held at the Centre for European Research on 9 December 2019 (January 2020)

By Antonio Astolfi


The UK’s popular vote to exit the European Union (EU) after more than 40 years since its accession stands out as a major juncture for the EU, both for its integration process and future enlargement, as much as for its internal power-balance and external global strategy (Whitman, 2019). Although the UK has always acted as the ‘awkward partner’ in European integration, some of the EU’s landmark achievements, such as the establishment of the Single European Market (SM) and the “A 10” eastward enlargement, would have been far-fetched had the UK not exercised its decisive brokering power. In the wake of another snap general election in the UK on the 12th of December, 2019 - whose outcome is as much uncertain as definitive for the future of the country and its relations with the EU – this NEXTEUK Policy Brief aims to offer both a retrospective account of the way in which EU member states (EU27) negotiated Brexit and also provide a forward-looking analysis of their underlying importance for the political future of the EU.

>>Continue reading NEXTEUK Policy paper series - Issue 1 [PDF 2,199KB]


Issue 2 - EU-UK negotiations: is the UK heading for disaster? (April 2020)

By Roger Liddle


The negotiations on Britain’s future relationship with the EU are on a collision course for failure. To avoid this will require mutual give and take. Principally, the British government needs to climb down from its self-imagined pedestal of Brexit triumph. Economically for the UK, there are huge risks in piling on top of the grave Covid emergency, the negative impacts of ‘no deal’, or a very ‘barebones’ trade deal, which is probably where we are heading. Equally, the success is imperilled of Britain’s future relationship with our European friends and allies beyond Brexit. There has to be a dramatic rethink. It has to start in London, in the office of Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, now.

>> Continue reading NEXTEUK Policy paper series - Issue 2 [PDF 1,400KB]


Issue 3 - The (damaging) consequences of a No-Deal Brexit for Ireland and the future UK-US trade deal (July 2020)

By Professor John Ryan 


The paper examines what may happen if No Deal Brexit becomes a reality. It may not only be a sore awakening for Boris Johnson and his government, but also for the United Kingdom as a whole and its relations with key trading partners. The paper highlights how a No Deal Brexit scenario will complicate the economic and political consequences for Ireland. Having left the EU, the UK is now in the transition period that will last until the end of 2020 and negotiations on a trade agreement with the EU-27 show few signs of progress. Without compromise No Deal is still the most likely outcome. With the global economy in recession and the COVID-19 crisis still not resolved this is bad economic news for both the EU and especially the UK.

This paper outlines how the complex situation around the border on the island of Ireland and concerns among the Irish-American congressional lobby that is worried about the integrity of the Good Friday Agreement would block a UK-US trade deal. Finally, the paper argues nothing will happen quickly on a UK-US trade deal as the US is in the midst of the 2020 US election campaign. So in a hard Brexit/No Deal scenario, Brexiteers who claim that a US-UK trade deal will be the solution or compensation for strained economic relations with the EU are not being realistic, while the UK would find itself isolated from not only one but two of its key allies.

 >> Continue reading NEXTEUK Policy paper series - Issue 3 [PDF 2,597KB]


Issue 4 - The EU-UK future police cooperation: The difficult balancing between operational needs and legal frameworks (November 2020)

By Dr Agathe Piquet


The paper explores why, in spite of shared mutual operational interests, the EU and the UK have not achieved any major success in the negotiations on police cooperation. It argues that the UK and the EU have diverging views on how to balance those operational interests with legal constraints and frameworks. After introducing the existing mechanisms for police cooperation and the British part in it, the paper analyses the respective positions of the UK then of the EU. This assessment is necessary to identify the stumbling blocks of the EU-UK talks and to discuss the future law enforcement cooperation. Therefore, the future of their security partnership remains very uncertain. It will depend not only on the capacity of both sides to agree on other dimensions of their relationship, but also on the security situation given that exogenous shocks could create some solidarity and facilitate a compromise.

>> Continue reading NEXTEUK Policy Paper Series - Issue 4 [PDF 1,557KB]