vEUws on Brexit: The Franco-German agenda

What does Britain's EU withdrawal mean for Europe's two main powers?

Event Details
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

St Matthew's Conference Centre
20 Great Peter Street

Image credit: Alexandros Michailidis /


If there is one thing British politicians can agree on it is that the process of leaving the European Union is no picnic. The negotiations with Brussels are proving slow and the cabinet is split over the question of future trade relations with Europe and the delivery of Brexit.

Whether the EU and UK will avoid a no deal scenario in 2019 is dependent in large on the positions most important EU member states and the European parliament hold on the withdrawal agreement. They will get a final say at the end of the process and two key players in this process are France and Germany, which are traditionally closely aligned on shaping the future of the bloc.

What is exceptional to the Brexit debate in Britain is that it mostly focuses on the positions and infighting within the Conservative party and the opposition. But not often enough do politicians, experts and news-writers balance political demands made by British politicians with interests of EU leaders abroad and the opposition they face in their home countries.

In the second event of this series, vEUws on Brexit, we will examine attitudes, perceptions and interests of France and Germany on the matter of shaping future EU-UK relations. Historically, Franco-British relations have been difficult but indispensable at the same time. Britain’s departure from the EU marks a new chapter putting a question mark behind future bilateral economic and political ties. Germany is the UK’s biggest overall trading partner and therefore both have an immediate interest in future trading relations.

Key points to be considered include:

  1. Are France and Germany willing to prioritise political stability at home and in the EU over economic costs if trade negotiations were to draw close to a no deal scenario?
  2. What are the chances of continuing free trade in goods and a ‘special deal’ for the UK outside the single market and customs union?
  3. In which policy areas can we expect persistent cooperation between the EU and UK beyond Brexit? And how can Germany, France and the UK ensure that cultural relations between them continue to thrive?
  4. How do Macron’s ambitious reform plans on the eurozone and new EU budget affect Brexit negotiations?
  5. What are the dividing lines within Berlin’s grand coalition on Brexit and EU reforms, of which only the latter featured prominently in the coalition agreement?





This series of events is held in partnership with the Aston Centre for Europeand on this occasion the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.

vEUws on Brexit is a series of events seeking to inform the public debate on viewpoints and perceptions of European member states on the UK’s departure from the EU, and how bilateral ties between Britain and EU members can be strengthened. Convening experts and policymakers from the UK and abroad, the main objective of the events is to develop an understanding of interests key member states have in crucial policy debates (trade, security, agriculture, labour rights, environment, science and education, etc.) Furthermore, we seek to discuss practical political scenarios for how the process can be best shaped to keep Britain as close possible to Europe and vice versa and the implications the departure has for the future of the EU.