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Shifts in Power and Influence: Franco-German-British Relations in a Post-Brexit EU.

Joachim Schild, Ulrich Krotz

This contribution scrutinizes the impact and consequences of Brexit on (a) the role and relevance of the bilateral Franco-German link within Europe; (b) France's and Germany's individual roles, standings, and power within the bilateral link and with the EU at large; and (c) the two countries' bilateral relationships with the post-Brexit UK. Brexit could imply significant shifts regarding the roles and influence of the Franco-German couple and the two states separately within EU affairs. Furthermore, it will change the preference configurations, strategic options, and coalition patterns among Member States in foreign, security, and defense policy, as well as on single market issues, trade policy, and budgetary politics. In particular, Brexit might even further accentuate the importance of the historically influential Franco-German relationship, now also in policy domains in which Britain hitherto has played a significant role. This is likely to be true for foreign, security, and defense policy, where Franco-German bilateralism could gain prominence and may become decisive for Europe's future and its overall role and place in the world. This tendency is further enhanced by Germany's growing willingness to assume more responsibility in international politics, including its commitment to security and defense.Conceptually and theoretically, we locate this article at the intersection of theorizing on disintegration (the UK's exit), reintegration (the EU's evolution during and after the "leave"-negotiations), and re-attachment (the UK's status after the Brexit).

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