M-RCBG Associate Working Paper No. 64
Europe after Brexit: A proposal for a continental partnership
Jean Pisani-Ferry, Norbert Rottgen, Andre Sapir, Paul Tucker, and Guntram B. Wolff
After the British decision to leave the EU, Europe’s trajectory, even its destiny, has again become a matter of choice. In an increasingly volatile world, neither the EU nor the UK have an interest in a divorce that diminishes their influence as the balance of economic power shifts away from the North-Atlantic world. We propose a new form of collaboration, a continental partnership. The UK will want to have some control over labour mobility, as well as leaving behind the EU’s supranational decision-making. The proposed continental partnership would consist in participating in goods, services, capital mobility and some temporary labour mobility as well as in a new system of inter-governmental decision making and enforcement of common rules to protect the homogeneity of the deeply integrated market. The UK would have a say on EU policies but ultimate formal authority would remain with the EU. This results in a Europe with an inner circle, the EU, with deep and political integration, and an outer circle with less integration. Over the long-run this could also serve as a vision for structuring relations with Turkey, Ukraine and other countries.