Our team produces a series of briefing papers in light of the ongoing debate about the future relationship between the UK and the EU. Starting from the UK Government's White Paper on Brexit and its ideas for a new partnership, each briefing paper discusses challenges and options for a bespoke deal for the UK and for continued cooperation with the EU.

Fighting Organised Crime and Terrorism after Brexit

‌Axel Klein, August 2017

A number of agencies and cooperation agreements are currently in place to share intelligence and to cooperate with the aim to fight crime and terrorism more effectively. Leaving the EU, the UK will have to negotiate new arrangements and protocols for information exchange in order to maintain the intelligence sharing partnerships. While the UK will likely lose its influence in shaping European security policy after Brexit, the remaining EU member states may also find it easier to integrate their policies without the UK. The briefing paper argues that while intelligence cooperation will not cease and the UK security may not suffer drastically in the immediate aftermath of Brexit, specific discontinuities may impact adversely on security capabilities.

Read the full paper hereSecuring the future-fighting organised crime - terrorism after Brexit

UK's post-Brexit Immigration Policy and Public Preferences

‌Ekaterina Kolpinskaya, August 2017

The UK Government's White Paper includes a new approach to immigration post-Brexit encouraging migration of high-skilled individuals, students and migration to cover shortages in the labour market. This largely economy centred and individualistic approach is in line with public preferences and contains an acknowledgement of the positive contribution migrants make to the British economy. At the same time, the UK Government aims at reducing the overall number of migrants. The briefing paper discusses the conflict between these two aims: First, the attraction of so-called guest workers has led to family reunification and an increase in number of migrants in the past. Secondly, without some provision to family life or student career progression post-study, the UK may lose its attractiveness as destination country for high-skilled migrants.

Read the full paper here: Post Brexit Immigration Scheme

Differentiated Integration and Options for a New Partnership

‌Bettina Petersohn, July 2017

The UK always enjoyed a range of permanent opt-outs as part of its relationship with the EU (e.g. Schengen, the Euro, parts of Justice and Home Affairs cooperation). The UK Government's White Paper envisions further differentiation to accommodate the UK's aims of securing frictionless trade, controlling immigration and forming new trade agreements with non-EU countries. The paper argues that these three aims are not reconcilable with the existing system of differentiation. As part of a transitionary period, innovative combinations are nevertheless possible and precedents for limiting free movement and granting access to the Single Market existed during the process of Eastern Enlargement.

Read the full paper here: Differentiated Integration

Ensuring the UK remains the best place for Science and Innovation

‌Enrico Andreoli, James Cronin, Dion Curry & Owen Williams, July 2017

Access to EU funding streams, research collaborations and programmes such as Horizon 2020 will be jeopardised with the UK exiting the EU creating the need for new research programmes that support academic and industrial collaboration within the UK and with third countries. While the White Paper recognises the UK's success in international collaboration and emphasises that it would welcome its continuation, it fails to provide any details on how this will be done or what form it will take. With the UK leaving the EU, there is scope for the UK Government to develop funding schemes that more accurately reflect the state of British research and the direction it should take. However, the paper argues that the UK Government needs to work closely with all stakeholders in academia, research and business to ensure that post-Brexit arrangements for science and research allow for the UK to maintain its strong position in research and innovation.

Read the full paper here: Policy Brief on Science and Innovation

Conflicting Goals? The UK, Ireland and Brexit

‌Matthew Wall, July 2017

The UK’s preferred position as outlined in the White Paper involves maintaining five key characteristics of UK-Ireland relations: 1) Open trade across the Irish border and between Ireland and the UK generally; 2) A common travel area without a ‘hard’ land border; 3) Reciprocal enhanced citizens’ rights; 4) Strong co-operation on policing and justice; 5) A shared commitment to the Northern Irish peace process. These goals conflict, however, with the overarching proposals to exert strong control over immigration and to leave the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union. The paper argues that a bilateral deal would form the best solution, but the scope for flexibility on both sides is limited – the UK government now relies on the support of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), while the Irish government remains firmly wedded to a pro-EU negotiating strategy.

Read the full paper here: UK-Ireland and Brexit