What might the status of the United Kingdom be in relation to the European Union (EU) if after 40 years of European integration the terms of Brexit were confirmed by the Westminster parliament, the last stage in the secession process, the outcome of which is still unknown as this issue of Futuribles goes to press?
While this is the first time a country has declared a desire to leave the Union while retaining privileged relations with it, Jean-François Drevet reminds us here of the main modes of collaboration that have been established with those who were aspiring to join – or set up privileged cooperation with – the EU. This is the case with the countries of the EEA (European Economic Area), with Switzerland, which has multiple sectoral agreements with the EU, and with the customs union between the EU and Turkey. Drevet explains the circumstances in which the agreements were struck in each case, as well as their respective advantages and limitations. Lastly, he explores what model an agreement between the EU and the UK might possibly be based on.