Insight

Europe and Brexit

General Politics

As part of Global Counsel's collaboration with DLD in the inaugural DLDeurope event in Brussels, we have put together a note looking at some of the implications of Brexit on the wider EU.

The UK referendum result is a landmark event in the history of the European Union and will have important implications for the politics, policy and economy of the EU. It has established that the EU has an exit door and this fact alone could transform the ambition, priorities and performance of Eurosceptic forces across the EU. The way EU states respond to this will shape policy for years to come – not least in the terms they grant the UK on its way to life outside the EU.

That exit process brings risks of its own for EU states. British exit of the EU is arguably the most significant economic demerger between major economies since the Second World War. As this implies, it carries the risk of disruption for the movement of goods, services and people between the UK and the rest of the EU. This is happening against a backdrop of economic vulnerability.

The EU is also potentially losing one of the major architects of its policy for almost four decades. In areas such as trade, competition and product market reform, the UK has left a serious mark on EU policy. How the EU makes policy in its absence is unlikely to be unchanged, and this has important implications for business. The impact of this is likely to be immediately felt in flagship policy projects like the Digital Single Market. 

Much about the process of transitioning the UK out of the EU has no precedent and is unclear. But we know already that the UK will change the EU in deciding to leave and in the act of leaving; and it will leave behind a different EU.

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