The withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) on January 31 was a seminal moment in post-war history, and one that presents challenges and opportunities for both key parties. Yet far from being a single, isolated event, the departure derives from a much broader process of well over a dozen negotiations (a catch-all term used here for formal diplomatic discussions and wider debates about Brexit) between and within the UK and EU about their futures.
With so many Brexit negotiations still underway, this paper underlines that the final form of the UK’s departure from the EU is not yet set in stone. Even with a withdrawal deal now ratified, there are multiple scenarios still possible: from a disorderly exit this year, through to the outside prospect of the transition being extended and a deep, comprehensive deal being concluded later in the 2020s. The stakes in play therefore remain huge and historic as both sides seek a new constructive partnership that can hopefully bring significant benefits for both at a time of global geopolitical turbulence.