‘Brexit’ means ‘Brexit’, but where is the (un)United Kingdom heading? With special emphasis on the Northern Ireland question

Dagmar Schiek, Sara Clavero, Elena Basheska

Research output: Other contribution


This policy brief summarises the current stance of the UK; the relations between the UK in general -and Northern Ireland (NI) in particular- with neighbouring Ireland; and alternative models for a future UK/EU relationship. The paper is largely based on an experts’ discussion that took place at Queen’s University Belfast on 15 September 2016. It addresses the questionsin addition to providing experts’ opinion on each topic. This paper is divided in two parts. The first part
discusses the current stance of the UK and the possible impact of ‘Brexit’ on the constituent
parts of the country. In doing so, its primary focus is on the essential paradigms and post-
‘Brexit’ perspectives for Northern Ireland. In this part, the first experts’ comment considers
the possibility of a future (hard) border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, as well as the possible overall ‘Brexit’ impact on the CTA and the island of Ireland. The second experts’ comment looks at the possibility for a special status of the constituent parts of the UK that voted to stay in the EU, by analysing the The second part of the paper looks at the
possible alternative models of post-Brexit UK. The experts’ commentaries in this part hinge
on three different models as possible solutions for the uncertain future UK/EU relationship: a)
the ‘Liechtenstein model’ as a possible way of limiting immigration while participating in the
Single Market; b) the ‘Swiss model’ as a possible ‘Brexit’ solution and the possibility to
unilaterally restrict immigration;6 and the ‘Norway model’ as an option for the future of
UK/EU relationships. The third and last part of the paper draws the authors' conclusions based on the discussions surrounding the questions above as well as the experts’ commentaries.
Original languageEnglish
TypePolicy Brief
Media of outputon-line paper
PublisherJean Monnet Centre of Excellence "Tension at the Fringes of the European Union"
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


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