Skip to main content

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated Cookie policy, Privacy policy and Terms & Conditions

fischer164_Peter DazeleyGetty Images_uschinatradewarmeeting Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

Toward a Privileged EU-UK Partnership

After the United Kingdom's general election this month, the Brexit debate is over. The country will leave the European Union on January 31, 2020, which means that now is the time to start drafting a blueprint for the future relationship, particularly regarding security policy.

BERLIN – Following Boris Johnson’s landslide victory in the United Kingdom’s general election this month, Britain is now on track to leave the European Union on January 31, 2020. Johnson has a clear parliamentary majority with which to secure a deal for an orderly exit from the bloc. Although the UK and the EU now face long and difficult negotiations to establish a mutually beneficial trade arrangement, Brexit itself is now a certainty.

What will this mean for Europe? The UK is the EU’s second-largest national economy, one of only two European nuclear powers, and a permanent, veto-wielding member of the United Nations Security Council (alongside France). The country has always been vitally important to Europe, both culturally and historically. Whenever Europe’s liberty and security have been at stake, Britain has reliably come to its defense.

What Brexit will mean for the UK remains to be seen. Much will depend not on the exit agreement, but on how the country navigates the changing conditions of the twenty-first century. As for the EU, the UK’s withdrawal obviously will not leave the bloc stronger. A geopolitical and military heavyweight is departing, and it is doing so at a time when US President Donald Trump has cast doubt on America’s longstanding security guarantee.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.


Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.;
  1. op_twliu1_XinhuaXiao Yijiu via Getty Images_wuhancoronavirushospitaldoctor Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu via Getty Images
    Free to read

    Witnessing Wuhan

    Tracy Wen Liu

    While Chinese authorities have been projecting an image of national triumph over the COVID-19 outbreak there, the doctors and nurses on the front lines tell a different story. Having lived through hell, they see little to celebrate, much to mourn, and reason to remain fearful.


Edit Newsletter Preferences