vEUws on Brexit: The Visegrád 4
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
Committee Room 2
House of Lords
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 the assumption that it will all boil down to the interests of France and Germany might yet again prove to be a major miscalculation.
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 first event of this series, vEUws on Brexit, we will examine attitudes, perceptions and interests of the Visegrád 4 group of countries (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) on the matter of shaping future EU-UK relations. Brexit will likely have a major impact on these nations: the ONS estimates that 1.2 million V4 nationals lived in the UK in 2015. Poland in particular (where many of these nationals are from) has an immediate interest in what Brexit means for the legal status and welfare rights of their citizens. Key points to be considered include:
- Despite the strenghtening of co-operation between the V4 countires, especially in the light of their shared view on responses to the refugee crisis, what important differences between them remain? These are notably on relations with Russia and on possible approaches to Brexit reflecting their individual preferences in the EU.
- What are the V4’s priorities on issues such as the position of nationals of these counties who live in the UK, and safeguarding trade with the UK in important sectors such as automotive manufacturing?
- Will the V4’s stance on Brexit be more pragmatic, given the relationship with the EU for these countires could be viewed as more ‘transactional’ than it is for a country like Germany, which has a greater interest in securing the integrity of the EU and single market?
- What are the V4’s attitudes on the budgetary aspects of Brexit, such as UK contributions on security and defence?