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Dirk Peters: Brexit: The Perils of Dissociation by Negotiation. [Abstract]

Withdrawing from an organization through an orderly negotiation process would appear as a particularly unproblematic form of leaving international institutions. However, the example of Brexit shows that negotiated dissociations have significant potential to adversely affect relations between exiting and remaining states. This study, which contributes to a forum on the impact of dissociation processes on post-withdrawal relations, argues that the management of conflict during the Brexit process had profound implications for relations between the United Kingdom and European Union member states. The negotiations on the Northern Ireland Protocol were marked by increasingly fundamental accusations against each other regarding (non)compliance with basic norms of international conduct. This led to a deterioration of relations and eventually – despite the avoidance of full escalation – to deadlock when implementation problems arose. To demonstrate this and explore the particular features of negotiated dissociations, the study examines three episodes of conflict: the disputes over ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement, over the Internal Market Bill, and over implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

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