European security cooperation after Brexit


This briefing from the UK think tank Open Europe looks at unanswered questions for the UK and the EU in terms of security cooperation after Brexit.

Since the UK triggered Article 50 to start the process of withdrawal from the EU, the debate in Parliament and in the media has largely focused on the impact of Brexit on trade and economic issues. However, the UK’s exit could also have significant implications for future relations in the spheres of security and foreign policy. This aspect of Brexit merits greater attention by policymakers in the UK and the EU.

The briefing overviews the landscape for future UK-EU relations in the spheres of police and law enforcement cooperation as well as foreign policy and external security. It outlines the positions taken by the UK and the EU with regards to these areas, sets out what has been agreed in the current Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration, addresses the implications of a No Deal scenario, and points out the issues and questions that both sides will have to address in any Brexit outcome. Acknowledging that the impacts of Brexit for security are wide-ranging, the briefing begins by looking at the formal implications of the UK withdrawing from EU internal security measures. It then moves on to the bigger picture questions concerning cooperation on sanctions, space programmes, overseas development aid, external migration, and defence capabilities.

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