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Getting Brexit Started: prospects for a new EU-UK partnership into the 2020s

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.

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Getting Brexit Started

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Getting Brexit Started

About the authors

Andrew Hammond was formerly employed as a Government Special Adviser when the UK last held the Presidency of the EU. He has since worked for consultancy firms advising organisations in the public, private, and third sectors on strategy and performance, including navigating complex political and economic landscapes that impact operations, reputation, policy and investments.  He is an Associate at LSE IDEAS at the London School of Economics, and a Visiting Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick.

Tim Oliver is Director of Studies at Loughborough University London, and Senior Lecturer at the University's Institute for Diplomacy and International Governance.  He is an Associate at LSE IDEAS, and was formerly a Dahrendorf Fellow at LSE, and spent several years as a lecturer in defence and international affairs at the British Army’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He has taught at LSE and UCL and been a visiting scholar at New York University. He has worked at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, the Center for Transatlantic Relations in John Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, and the RAND Corporation. His political experience includes several years working in the European Parliament and the House of Lords.