BREXIT, The EU, and relations with the GCC States

The United Kingdom (UK) formally left the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020.  This paper considers how relations between the EU, UK and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states are likely to be affected by this important geopolitical development.  It suggests that, while many aspects of this triangular relationship are unlikely to change substantially, there is likely to be increasing competition between the UK and EU in pursuit of economic and strategic relations with the Arab Gulf states.  Accordingly, the paper suggests that while the UK is likely to push for early and preferential trade relations across the region, this may provide fresh impetus for the EU and GCC to move forward with their long-delayed EU-GCC Free Trade Agreement.

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