Conference Agenda

Panel 802: Brexit and EU foreign policy
Wednesday, 08/Sept/2021:
11:30am - 1:00pm

Session Chair: Maria Garcia, University of Bath


Gibraltar and Brexit:a Different Approach for the Other Border

Arantza Gomez Arana

University of Northumbria, United Kingdom

The negotiations between the UK and Spain in relation to Gibraltar within the context of Brexit, have created controversy in different areas, including the financial sector, the customs union, and the control of the border from an internal security point of view. These negotiations will have long-term consequences not just for the UK and Spain, but for the future of Gibraltar as well as for other regions with a strong discourse on sovereignty. These negotiations show also a different approach to the one in relation to the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. This paper argues that thew negotiations about Gibraltar took place during the last stages using a pragmatic approach and leaving aside discussions around co- sovereignty over Gibraltar. However, the implementation of these negotiations is likely to bring unintended consequences in relation to the degree of interdependence for Gibraltar in relation to both Spain and the European Union.

Evaluating "Global Britain": Comparing the UK's and EU's Performance in Trade Negotiations post-Brexit

Joris Larik

Leiden University

"Global Britain" is now "unshackled from the corpse" of the EU – or “out in the cold” on its own, depending on one's perspective. While both sides are now operationalizing their future relationship, Brexit also reveals a distinctly global dimension. The ability to conclude its own trade agreement under the banner of "Global Britain" was a prominent argument in the campaign to leave the EU. For the past years, the UK government has already been negotiating “continuity agreements” with countries around the world to replace agreements concluded by the EU, while also striving to strike new agreements where the EU has failed to do so thus far. At the same time, the EU as a global treaty-maker is not standing still either, being in negotiations with partners around the world and having recently adopted a new trade strategy. This setting provides fertile ground for a comparative analysis of the performance of both the UK and EU as international treaty negotiators, especially in the area of trade. The stakes are high, as this represents an unprecedented opportunity for testing some of the core assumptions of both Eurosceptics and proponents of European integration. The assumptions can be grouped under two opposing narratives designated here as “Global Britain” and “Market Power Europe”, respectively. While the former suggests that the UK will be better off “liberated” from the EU by becoming a more agile and effective international actor, the latter argues that the benefits of being able to rely on the collective economic power of the EU outweigh the costs of heterogeneity of interests and more burdensome decision-making. Comparing the ability of both the EU and UK to conclude trade agreements with partners around the world, and comparing the respective terms accorded to them, will enable researchers to gain insights into the costs and benefits of “non-Europe” on the international stage. To produce meaningful findings, however, a number of methodological challenges have to be overcome by using a new interdisciplinary approach that combines legal analysis with empirical-legal, qualitative, and economic methods. As part of my new project as a fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, this paper presents such a tailored methodology and applies it to a selection of case studies involving prominent trade partners from both the Global North and South.

Revisiting the EU’s Formal Security Arrangements with Third Countries

Margherita Matera

University of Melbourne, Australia

The European Union (EU) has developed numerous avenues for increased security and defence cooperation with non-EU states (third countries). These avenues allow third countries to participate in the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) civilian and military crisis management missions and operations; the sharing of classified information; and opening the Permanent Structured Cooperation to the possible limited involvement of third countries on a case-by-case basis. The withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the EU, and the initial indications that the government was keen to develop a deeper security relationship with the EU than current third country partnerships, along with the Global Strategy calling on the EU to work with like-minded and strategic partners to share in the security burden have generated renewed interest in the nature of the EU’s security relationship with third countries. Although the EU made it clear that there would be no ‘special’ third country arrangement with the UK, the idea that the EU could privilege certain security relationships has raised a number of questions that warrant further exploration. Firstly, to what extent is there a hierarchy, whether formal or informal, within the current third-country arrangements? Secondly, to what extent is the current third country framework fit for purpose from both an EU and third country perspective? Thirdly, how effective has the EU been in working with its partners on security and defence matters. Focusing on the crisis management participation agreements, this paper will analyse and critically assess the significance of such formal third country agreements to the EU’s status as a security actor. Its finding will contribute to what remains a relatively underexplored area within the security and CSDP literature and will seek to provide some important practical insight for policy makers both within the EU and third countries.