Towards a Belgian position on Brexit

The prospect of seeing the United Kingdom (UK) leave the European Union (EU) presents Belgium with its most significant foreign policy challenge in decades. Caught between its traditional support for advancing European integration and its longstanding links to the Anglo-Saxon world, Belgium finds itself at a crossroads at which its two deepest foreign policy instincts conflict with one another. Yet like any other EU member state it has no choice but to engage in the debate on what Brexit will look like. As this process unfolds, Alexander Mattelaer seeks to explain what is at stake for Belgium and contribute to understanding the delicate balancing act that will be required. For every member state it will be essential to reconcile its own national interests with the broader European interest. While it may not be possible to predict how the EU-UK negotiations will unfold in the coming months, one thing is clear: all Belgian citizens can and should expect their diplomatic apparatus to actively seek to
deliver the best possible outcome.

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