The United Kingdom will leave the European Union on March 29, 2019. But as the date approaches, important aspects of the withdrawal agreement as well as the future relationship between the U.K. and EU, particularly on trade, remain unresolved. Nowhere are the stakes higher than in Northern Ireland, where the re-imposition of a hard border with Ireland could threaten a hard-fought peace. Scotland, which voted resoundingly against Brexit, has raised questions about the future of devolved governance arrangements in the U.K., while the independence question remains alive. As Robert Bosch Senior Fellow Amanda Sloat writes in her recent report “Divided kingdom: How Brexit is remaking the UK’s constitutional order,” “Brexit will alter not one but two unions: the European Union and the United Kingdom.”
On October 23, 2018, the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings hosted a panel discussion on the Brexit endgame. It examined what the decisions of the coming weeks could mean for the U.K., Ireland and Northern Ireland, Scotland, the European Union, and the United States. Sloat was joined on the panel by Douglas Alexander, former U.K. Secretary of State for Scotland and Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Lucinda Creighton, former Irish Minister for European Affairs; and Sir Kim Darroch, British Ambassador to the United States. Edward Luce of the Financial Times moderated the discussion.
This discussion is part of the Brookings – Robert Bosch Foundation Transatlantic Initiative, which aims to build up and expand resilient networks and trans-Atlantic activities to analyze and work on issues concerning trans-Atlantic relations and social cohesion in Europe and the United States.
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Strengthening US foreign policy through subnational diplomacy
[On U.S. subnational climate action] For all of the great things that are going on in these cities, it's only a small fraction of national emissions, and so it's really important that those cities that are pioneers, if you like, be much more focused on getting their pioneering to spread, and not just be thrilled with themselves about their pioneering status.