On 19 June negotiations over Brexit started between the British and EU delegations. In these negotiations both sides have to address many fields that need to be disentangled. Although the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) is not the most pressing or most eye-catching field, it certainly is of great political importance. The UK is one of Europe’s leading military powers and exiting the EU will most surely affect the future outlook of European defence.
This report discusses the implications of Brexit for European defence and the CSDP. Firstly it analyses the UK’s contribution to EU defence in general terms. What has Great Britain contributed to EU missions and operations, which capabilities does it bring to the table, and what is its share in research and development? Secondly this Report will look into the future relationship between the EU and the UK in terms of defence cooperation. What will this cooperation entail and which partnership models are possible? Finally, this Report will discuss how Brexit will affect the UK’s defence role in Europe. To what extent will Brexit result in a different role for the UK in NATO and how will it influence EU-NATO cooperation? Could Brexit lead to an intensification of smaller – but perhaps more committed – clusters of defence cooperation?
The Report concludes by listing a number of recommendations for the benefit of both negotiating sides, the EU-27 and the UK.