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.
William Taubman is Bertrand Snell Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Amherst College. His 2003 book, Khrushchev: The Man and his Era, won both the Pulitzer Prize for biography and the National Book Critics Circle Award for biography in 2004.
Chair: Vladislav Zubok is professor of international history at LSE, with expertise on the Cold War, the Soviet Union, Stalinism, and Russia’s intellectual history in the 20th century.