chapter  22
12 Pages

Brexit and Small States in Europe

Hedging, hiding or seeking shelter?
ByAnders Wivel, Baldur Thorhallsson

This chapter explains how Brexit influences small states in Europe. It discusses the shared challenges and opportunities of small European states following from Brexit. The chapter then focuses on the variations in consequences of Brexit for different clusters of small states. To the majority of small European Union (EU) member states, Brexit will lead to few new policy initiatives, as they will seek shelter from Germany and France in the negotiations with the United Kingdom and the institutional reforms that follow. A group of North European Atlanticist, free trade small states with a predominantly intergovernmentalist approach to EU integration will see their strongest political and economic ally leave the EU. Without the United Kingdom, these states have started to hedge their diplomatic bets by creating new coalitions, while continuing to signal their support for EU integration and avoiding direct opposition to Germany and France.