After the British decision to leave the EU, Europe’s trajectory, even its destiny, has again become a matter of choice. In an increasingly volatile world, neither the EU nor the UK have an interest in a divorce that diminishes their influence as the balance of economic power shifts away from the North-Atlantic world. We propose a new form of collaboration, a continental partnership. The UK will want to have some control over labour mobility, as well as leaving behind the EU’s supranational decision-making. The proposed continental partnership would consist in participating in goods, services, capital mobility and some temporary labour mobility as well as in a new system of inter-governmental decision making and enforcement of common rules to protect the homogeneity of the deeply integrated market. The UK would have a say on EU policies but ultimate formal authority would remain with the EU. This results in a Europe with an inner circle, the EU, with deep and political integration, and an outer circle with less integration. Over the long-run this could also serve as a vision for structuring relations with Turkey, Ukraine and other countries.
This paper is the outcome of a dialogue among the five authors during the summer. It is published simultaneously in several European capitals under the sole responsibility of the authors, who write in their personal capacities. The full paper can be downloaded as a pdf here.