European Policy Centre (EPC), Belgium

European Policy Centre, Jacques Delors Institute, Centre for European Reform, Centre for International Information and Documentation in Barcelona

The UK’s departure from the EU, now scheduled for 31 January 2020 at the latest, marks an unprecedented twist in the history of European integration. After decades of expansion, this is the first time that a country has opted to leave the Union. The uncertainty surrounding future prospects and the absence of a precedent make this Work Package all the more important in the context of this project for three main reasons. First, there will be a need to work out a partnership framework between the EU and a former Member State. Second, the prospect of one of the largest countries in Europe leaving the EU may have ripple effects in various direction, whether fostering unity or encouraging fragmentation, not least depending on the shape of the UK-EU deal. Third, this process might carry broader repercussions for differentiated cooperation between the EU and non-Member States, including the elaboration of new formats of association or affiliation short of full membership.

This Work Package aims to bring added value by monitoring and assessing the Brexit process and output with a focus on the potential economic, political, institutional and social implications, challenges and opportunities for differentiated integration and cooperation. This overarching aim translates in three objectives.

  • First, we will scrutinise the process leading to the definition of the future relationship between the EU and the UK.
  • Second, we will address in depth the impact of Brexit in terms of differentiated cooperation between the EU and the UK in three broad policy areas.
  • Third, based on the above and on developments at the political and policy level in the coming years, we will deliver an overarching assessment of the eventual shape of the partnership between the EU and the UK, and of implications for the EU Member States and for the relationship of the EU with other third countries. This will, in turn, inform the activities of WP9 on scenarios and strategies for the future of differentiation.