Nicolai von Ondarza, Julia Becker

Negotiating with a Dis-United Kingdom

The EU’s Options Concerning Scotland and Northern Ireland in the Brexit Talks

SWP Comments 2017/C 07, March 2017, 8 Pages

As if the process or withdrawal from the European Union were not already complex enough in itself, the Brexit vote has also reopened constitutional questions for the United Kingdom. Scotland’s devolved government is calling for a new independence referendum and seeking a special arrangement with the EU. Northern Ireland has drawn less attention but is politically at least as significant: Brexit endangers its open border with the Republic of Ireland and consequently the stability of the peace process. These factors not only enormously complicate London’s negotiations with the European Union. Brussels and Berlin also need a strategy for their dealings with Scotland and Northern Ireland. Especially in order to protect the interests of its member state Ireland, the EU should demonstrate openness for flexible solutions. 

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