During the 2016 Bratislava Summit, European Union member states concluded that although the UK vote to leave the EU is a serious matter, the EU can survive a British exit. Nonetheless, the current political atmosphere is one of deep unease. Brexit has exacerbated a general European malaise, highlighting member states’ struggle in reaching agreement when dealing with EU matters. This will have a fundamental impact on future negotiations with Britain. To date, while countries are afraid that public opinion might support exit referenda at national levels – especially if EU institutions negotiate too “soft” a deal with the UK – their ideas regarding a British exit agreement are not always aligned. In an attempt to foresee the UK-EU negotiating pattern, this paper will map the member states’ views, which the EU should take into consideration while discussing the exit deal with the UK.
1. A post referendum UK and the path towards Brexit
2. Public opinion on Brexit
3. “Soft” or “hard” Brexit?
4. Mapping member countries’ stances within the Brexit deal