Brexit and the EU's Affiliated Non-members

John Erik Fossum reviews the impact of Brexit on the non-member states that are currently affiliated with the EU in The Routledge Handbook of the Politics of Brexit. 

About the book

The Routledge Handbook of the Politics of Brexit takes stock of what we know in the social science community about the Brexit phenomenon so far and looks to make sense of this remarkable process as it unfolds. The book asks simple questions across a range of areas and topics so as to frame the debate into a number of navigable "subdiscussions", providing structure and form to what is an evolving and potentially inchoate topic. As such, it provides a systematic account of the background for, the content of, and the possible implications of Brexit.

The handbook therefore does not examine in detail the minutiae of Brexit as it unfolds on a day-to-day basis but raises its sights to consider both the broad contextual factors that shape and are shaped by Brexit and the deeper sources and implications of the British exit from the European Union. Importantly, as interest in Brexit reaches far beyond the shores of the United Kingdom, so an international team of contributors examines and reveals the global implications and the external face of Brexit.

Chapter summary

The chapter’s main purpose is to explore the possible implications of Brexit for the EU’s affiliated non-members. It starts by outlining the types of affiliations that the EU has with its non-members: what distinguishes each affiliation, and how binding it is for each party to the agreement. The most Brexit-relevant EU association arrangements (pertaining to those states that qualify for EU membership but have decided not to become EU members) are assessed in terms of how they grapple with the trilemma pertaining to state sovereign control, democratic self-governing and market access. Further, the chapter seeks to shed light on the UK’s preferred mode of EU affiliation, including a brief assessment of how realistic that is. The UK government has explicitly stated that it wants assured market access without being included in the EU’s internal market or customs union. It seeks a new form of relationship. The question is whether the EU will accept that or whether the UK will end up having to choose among one of the off-the-shelf options that are available, or an arrangement that looks different but in practice works similarly. Of importance to the overall assessment is whether these will be permanent or temporary arrangements.

In the final part, the chapter presents and discusses several scenarios for the effects of Brexit on affiliated non-members. The assessment needs to take into consideration the nature and dynamics of the triangular relationship between the EU, the UK and the EU’s affiliated non-members.

Full info

Brexit and the EU's Affiliated Non-members
John Erik Fossum

In: The Routledge Handbook of the Politics of Brexit
Patrick Diamond, Peter Nedergaard and Ben Rosamond (eds)

Routledge, 2018
ISBN: 978113804936

Published May 28, 2018 1:46 PM - Last modified May 28, 2018 1:46 PM