Exit negotiations

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    ‘You’ll hate it’: why the Norway option amounts to self-inflicted subservience to the EU

‘You’ll hate it’: why the Norway option amounts to self-inflicted subservience to the EU

Why did David Cameron decline ‘the Norway option’, and why did the Norwegian prime minister warn Britain against Brexit, saying ‘You’ll hate it’? Erik O Eriksen (University of Oslo) argues that for the UK, the so-called Norway option of EEA membership would amount to self-inflicted subservience to the EU. Norwegians have traded any say in EU rules for all-important access to the Single […]

Article 50 does allow Britain to negotiate a transitional period

The PM intends to negotiate a transitional period after March 2019, during which people, businesses and services would have time to adapt to Brexit while the current regulatory framework is maintained. But it is still unclear how Britain will do this. Federico Ortino and Holger Hestermeyer (King’s College London) argue that Article 50 allows the UK to postpone the beginning of the withdrawal […]

‘Swallow the lot, and swallow it now’: Britain is, and was, deluded about its negotiating power with the EU

Britain is making the same mistake about the EU now as Harold Macmillan did about the European Community in the 1960s, writes Piers Ludlow (LSE). Personal appeals to Général de Gaulle proved fruitless. The EU27 are unbending – not because they bear ill-will towards the British for voting to leave, but because the nature of the EU demands internal […]

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    The internal contradictions of the Brexit project are unbridgeable

The internal contradictions of the Brexit project are unbridgeable

In his recent testimony to the House of Lords, Sir Ivan Rogers criticised as premature and ill-prepared the Prime Minister’s triggering last March of Article 50. This is unfair to Theresa May. No different date for the beginning of the Brexit negotiations could or would have rendered them any less painful for the British participants. No amount of extra […]

Although Britain won’t rejoin EFTA, it can learn a great deal from its experience

Although Theresa May wants a bespoke deal with the EU that will be outside the European Free Trade Association, EFTA’s own relationship with the Union is instructive, write Sieglinde Gstöhl (College of Europe) and Christian Frommelt (Liechtenstein Institute). It sheds light on the challenges of an ‘arm’s-length’ relationship with the EU, in particular for trade policy.

In her Florence speech in September, Theresa […]

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    The language of ‘flexible and imaginative’ solutions is unique to the Irish dimension of Brexit

The language of ‘flexible and imaginative’ solutions is unique to the Irish dimension of Brexit

The language of ‘flexible and imaginative’ solutions is unique to the Irish dimension of Brexit, writes David Phinnemore (Queen’s University Belfast). Furthermore, he argues that at the heart of the commitment of all parties involved in the exit negotiations is the desire to ensure that Brexit does not in any way undermine the Northern Ireland peace process. He outlines what a range of […]

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    The gaffe that keeps on taking: How to break the deadlock over Britain’s EU divorce bill

The gaffe that keeps on taking: How to break the deadlock over Britain’s EU divorce bill

The size of the ‘divorce bill’ the UK will pay following its exit from the EU remains one of the key sticking points in the Brexit negotiations. Iain Begg writes that despite the apparent deadlock over the issue, it would not take much to reach a compromise. He suggests that extending the idea of an implementation phase to the […]

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    Europeans support the EU’s hard line in the Brexit negotiations

Europeans support the EU’s hard line in the Brexit negotiations

The British government has been frustrated by the hard negotiating line pursued by the EU under the lead of Michel Barnier, and the unusual degree of unity in supporting the EU’s Brexit negotiation strategy has surprised quite a few observers. Stefanie Walter (University of Zurich) reflects on the Brexit process through EU-27 eyes, and concludes that by and large Europeans support EU’s […]

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    The Irish border is not a technical issue but a political one

The Irish border is not a technical issue but a political one

At this stage of the exit negotiations, the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic is not a technical issue but a political one, argues Katy Hayward (Queen’s University Belfast). She explains exactly why the Northern Irish/Irish issue is a block preventing the Brexit talks from progressing, and provides suggestions on how to shift it.

It is quite clear from communications from the EU […]

Brussels may have agreed to accelerate Brexit negotiations – but Merkel’s priorities are elsewhere

At her meetings in Brussels this week, Theresa May and the European Commission agreed to ‘accelerate’ the stalled Brexit negotiations. But, as John Ryan (LSE) writes, after a bruising election result Angela Merkel will be preoccupied with coalition talks until Christmas. The UK should not expect major concessions from Germany, which knows its principal interest is in preserving the Single Market.

The […]