After the Brexit vote: a benchmark scenario for Europe (part 2)

French economist Jean Pisani-Ferry
French economist Jean Pisani-Ferry is one of five experts from the Bruegel think tank in Brussels who have proposed a broad new architecture for the EU (source: dpa)
  • With both sides digging in, Brexit talks seem primed to mutilate Europe’s economy
  • The damage can be limited by giving non-EU states access and a say in the single market
  • One such idea is the “Continental Partnership” proposal floated by the Bruegel think tank in Brussels

As described in part 1 of this series, there has been no shortage of big talk on the future of the European Union, but few plans to address the concerns of ordinary EU citizens. I have already outlined one such proposal (“Plan DC” for “David Cameron”) that has the merit of having already been approved by all 28 EU member states in February 2016. It would potentially make the EU more democratically accountable, economically competitive and politically flexible. It could also be implemented quickly, without the need to restructure EU institutions.

This report outlines a compromise scenario for the upcoming Brexit talks. Amid the various options up for discussion, it could serve as a benchmark for an economically sensible, “soft” Brexit, more or less equidistant from the “red lines” that have hardened the current negotiating positions of the UK and the EU. This scenario would also point to a possible structure for governing the relations between EU states and their closest, non-EU neighbors.

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