The UK’s departure from the European Union poses ongoing challenges to both polities. Lots of attention has, understandably, been paid to ways of facilitating continued free trade and allowing Britain and the EU to work together on issues of mutual importance. With the focus on these more practical, technical policy matters, little thought has been given to maintaining the strong diplomatic and political relations that are just as vital for pursuing shared goals.
This policy paper addresses this gap by making the case for an EU-UK joint parliamentary assembly. It notes the legal basis and political desire for such a body on both sides of the Channel. Specific recommendations for a joint parliamentary assembly – including its remit, membership, format, and establishment – are made, informed by an assessment of working precedents as well as interviews with parliamentarians. As such, the paper shows that this form of structured political engagement is both possible and desirable.
Finally, although it is ultimately for members of the two parliaments to decide amongst themselves how to engage with one another, it is essential that the UK government and leaders of the European institutions offer their unmitigated support for any such initiative, without delay, in the interests of all.