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GREAT insights Magazine

Beyond Brexit

Volume 7, Issue 3 (Summer 2018)


ECDPM. Thematic focus: Beyond Brexit. Great Insights Magazine - Volume 7, Issue 3. Summer 2018.

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Beyond Brexit – Editorial
Andrew Sherriff, head of programme, and Emmanuel De Groof, policy officer, European External Affairs programme, ECDPM
Brexit leaves no field untouched. This includes Europe’s and the UK’s position in the world. Under the title ‘Beyond Brexit’, this edition of Great Insights looks at what Brexit means in the long term, and beyond Europe. Often presented as a EU-UK story, Brexit is much more than that. Elements of its breeding ground are observed throughout the world, and its impact will be felt far beyond Europe.

The Brexit Box
Andrew Sherriff, head of programme, and Emmanuel De Groof, policy officer, European External Affairs programme, ECDPM
The ‘Brexit box’, on the cover of this special issue likened to Pandora’s box of Greek mythology, represents a less fatalistic and hopefully more constructive outlook on the future. As yet, that future is masked by a smokescreen in the form of a question mark. In spite of the uncertainty, we can anticipate that Brexit may have positive, neutral and negative effects.


Africa, Europe, and Britain after Brexit
Philippe Darmuzey, honorary director of the European Commission
The UK’s withdrawal from the EU, set for 29 March 2019, confronts the EU with its first separation since the launch of the European project in the 1950s. In today’s global world, Brexit is certain to bring adjustment costs: for Britain, for the EU, and for the world economy. EU external relations will be particularly affected. Interaction between Europe and Africa will gradually have to be thought up anew.

Will UK leaders engage more with Africa?
Tom Cargill, executive director, British Foreign Policy Group
UK foreign and defence interest in Africa has grown, but is challenged by capacity constraints and political inertia heightened by Brexit. There are signs despite this there is a UK generational and strategic renewal under way in relation to foreign policy issues including Africa, especially around soft power. But it is far from clear if this will emerge post-Brexit and lead to a resurgence of influence for the UK in Africa.

Breaking away? The developing world and the future of multilateralism
Nicholas Westcott, director of the Royal African Society
Brexit will have unpredictable consequences. The short term may bring little change for developing countries in general and Africa in particular. But in the long term, serious economic and relational changes could weaken them, the UK, and the EU.

Africa’s relations with the UK: Negotiating a post-Brexit landscape
Philani Mthembu, executive director at the Institute for Global Dialogue
While it is important to understand how the EU and the UK move forward in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum, it is equally important for African stakeholders to understand whether the uncertainty created poses an opportunity or a threat to their interests.

Choice matrix: Future EU-UK collaboration on international cooperation
Andrew Sherriff, head of programme, and Emmanuel De Groof, policy officer, European External Affairs programme, ECDPM


Time to close a deal is running out
Linda McAvan, member of the European Parliament
There are real benefits to continued EU-UK cooperation on development policy after Brexit, but the window of opportunity to close a deal is tight and closing fast. With the clock ticking towards the Brexit date of 29 March 2019, many questions remain about how Brexit may affect EU development policy.

To the point: UK-EU coordination for the poor
Tamsyn Barton, former chief executive of Bond – the UK network for organisations working in international development
If they coordinate, the EU and UK could do more to benefit poor people in developing countries after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, even if they opt to operate their development programmes and policies separately. However, given path-dependencies and current pressures, the best post-Brexit outcome would arise from a form of collaboration where domestic objectives are moderated by acting multilaterally.

The impact of Brexit on aid: Divorce or marriage of convenience?
Iliana Olivié, senior analyst at the Real Instituto Elcano and Aitor Pérez, senior research fellow at the Real Instituto Elcano
Brexit will certainly impact EU development cooperation and humanitarian assistance policies. A main question is whether these two parties will continue to collaborate in development cooperation post-Brexit. The UK is a ‘development superpower’ in its own right, as well as the third contributor (after Germany and France) to the EU’s aid budget. As for the EU, it channels more than half of the world’s ODA annually, something that constitutes a key political asset of the Union in its external relations.

EU and UK Positions

European Commission slides related to Brexit choices
Presented by Chief Negotiator European Commission Michel Barnier

The Brexit negotiations: Who thinks what? A selective analysis of UK and EU positions
Emmanuel De Groof, policy officer European External Affairs programme ECDPM
Brexit is of course a negotiation, and while there are many stakeholders there are only two negotiating parties, the UK and the EU. To understand the political process in play, it is useful to see the official statements made by the parties on their negotiating positions and interests.


Increased uncertainty for a changing Caribbean
David Jessop, Consultant for the Caribbean Council
Brexit comes at a time when the Caribbean is facing many economic and political challenges. This makes it essential to achieve a rapid rollover of economic partnership agreement (EPA) equivalence in trade and to reach new understandings on UK development assistance.

How ‘to trade or not to trade’ is the question for third countries after Brexit
San Bilal, Head of Programme Trade, Investment and Finance, ECDPM and Sean Woolfrey, Policy Officer Economic and Agricultural Transformation Programme, ECDPM
What does Brexit mean for trade relations between third countries and the current 28 member states of EU? And how will Brexit affect future trade with the UK and EU 27?

Developing countries’ agri-food trade after Brexit
Alan Matthews, professor emeritus, Trinity College Dublin
The UK’s withdrawal from the EU will impact the food and agriculture sector of developing countries in various ways. The potential impact on agri-food trade flows will be significant. Brexit could also affect overall development assistance flows and foreign direct investment possibilities.

Migration, gender and security

Brexit could make UK migration control in the Mediterranean even harder
Giacomo Orsini, postdoctoral researcher, Université Catholique de Louvain
Brexit was presented as the solution for Britain to take back control of its national borders. However, a closer look at a Mediterranean British border shows that Brexit could weaken the ability of UK authorities to manage and reduce unauthorised migration to the country.

Europe’s gender action beyond Brexit
Gill Allwood, professor in the School of Arts and Humanities of Nottingham Trent University
The UK has played an influential role in EU gender and development policy, including the second Gender Action Plan on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GAP II). Is the institutional cultural shift promised by GAP II strong enough to keep gender high on the EU development agenda post-Brexit? There is a growing sense that GAP II has gained enough institutional momentum to continue regardless.

High stakes: Brexit, security, and defence
Simon Duke, professor, European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA), Maastricht, and senior research fellow at Maastricht University
Brexit comes at a critical moment for the UK, with its global aspirations, and for the EU, as it seeks to revive enthusiasm for the European project through a series of security initiatives. Failure to reach agreement will damage all concerned in the short term, but may leave the EU more focused and capable in the longer term.

EU foreign and development policyEconomic recovery and transformationBrexit