Brexit and the future of EU military integration

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Within the process of European military cooperation, and in regard of its late developments, the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU plays a crucial role. The UK is not only a powerful economic and political actor, but also a military powerhouse in Europe and the world. Being so, the Brexit process, since its beginning, has proved to be a decisive element for the present and future of the EU and, as this paper will show, a particularly important element regarding the future of the EU military. In this paper, the relation between the Brexit process and EU military will be divided into 3 parts: in the first Brexit will be considered as a trigger for an acceleration towards a deeper EU military cooperation, paying attention especially to the PeSCo process. The second part will be a short analysis of the military aspects of the negotiation between UK and EU, aiming to assess what the EU the practical consequences in the military domain because of the withdrawal of the UK. Finally, the third part will deal with the evolution of the UK-EU military relations if and when the UK will be out of the EU, and which will be the future of the EU military without the UK.

Keywords: Brexit, EU military, PESCO

Stefano Loi | Centro de Estudos Internacionais, ISCTE-IUL, Portugal

Stefano Loi is a Junior researcher and Guest Lecturer in ISCTE-IUL. His main topic of research is military history and the military of the EU. Stefano Loi has taken part in conferences such as EGA, with a paper related to PeSCo, and the main subject of the courses he is lecturing is history of military institutions.