2019 will – most likely – bring a seismic shift in the European landscape. Unless there is a shock reversal, the 28 will become the 27 and the UK will be seeking to forge a new path for itself. What will be the ramifications for the European Union? What should the EU's vision for its future be in these new circumstances? And how can the UK be a supportive partner from outside the EU?
The Ditchley Foundation is convening a conference to study these, and a raft of more detailed questions, such as the following:
What is the future of Europe after Brexit? What will the departure of the UK mean for the balance of interests and political philosophies in Europe? What will be the impact on the German and French roles and on their relationship? Is Germany ready to take on a more expansive defence and security role and is that actually what we should want? Is greater economic integration around the Euro essential and desirable? What does the departure of the UK mean for Europe's Eastern flank? How should Europe respond to resurgent authoritarian nationalism in Russia? What should Europe's policy be towards Turkey and how essential is Turkey's role in moderating mass migration? If mass migration and/or terrorism gets out of control in Europe, what are the prospects for the extreme right? What will happen to Europe if the rise of the extreme right continues? How can Europe weather the coming terrorist campaign from ISIS remnants?
From the British perspective, questions to address include: How can the UK play a positive role from outside Europe? How can we ensure continued coordination on defence and national security interests? What must the UK not do? How can we build a positive economic relationship for the future?
From the Transatlantic perspective, what does the fracturing of the EU mean for future coordinated western policies? How will European and NATO structures work together? What can stay the same and what will have to change? How can the US help the EU and the UK to play as a team on global issues after Brexit?