EU–UK Cooperation in CSDP After Brexit: Living apart together?

With increasing tensions between Russia and the West, uncertainty in the transatlantic relationship, rising terrorism in Europe, and contestation over migration policies, the UK’s vote in June 2016 to exit the EU could not have come at a less convenient time. While this challenging international context has heightened the need for a more unified European security policy, Brexit has instead unleashed forces of disintegration.

This seeming divergence need not mean that there is no scope for close cooperation in the post-Brexit era. On the contrary, Brexit may, paradoxically, reinforce the need for closer EU–UK security and defence cooperation.

In this policy brief, An Jacobs and Sophie Vanhoonacker look at the reasons why it is in the interest of both the EU and the UK to continue collaborating through the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).

Download the policy brief here.

Dr An Jacobs is a Senior Lecturer in the Defence and International Affairs Department of the Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst. Her research interests include CSDP, Security Sector Reform in post-conflict environments, and military education.

Prof Sophie Vanhoonacker is Jean Monnet professor and has a chair in European Administrative Governance at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University. Since January 2016, she is also dean of faculty. She participates in the Dahrendorf Forum as a member of the working group ‘Governance, Institutions and Policy’.