On 9-11 November 2017, Dr. Pauli Järvenpää, Senior Research Fellow at the ICDS, participated and contributed as a panelist to a seminar held in Edinburgh, Scotland, on the theme of “Scotch on the Rocks – Life after Brexit?”.
The event was co-arranged by the Brussels-based Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies and the Toivo Think Tank located in Helsinki, Finland.
Scotland is a useful case study on how different parts of the UK voted in the Brexit referendum. While the total vote in the UK was 52 per cent out, 48 per cent in, in Scotland it was 38 per cent out and 62 per cent for staying in. In Edinburgh the vote was even stronger for staying in: 75 per cent for staying in and just 25 per cent for leaving the EU. To explain the differences, the seminar aimed to better understand the position of Scotland in the UK and the EU, the pressure of Brexit and the challenges of increasing separatism in Europe, with parallel growing need for integration in a number of policy areas.
In his remarks, Dr. Järvenpää pointed out how well in defence issues the UK and the northern European countries had in the past cooperated and how readily they had worked together in several concrete issues like, for example, the EU Battle Groups and defence procurement policies. He strongly emphasized how important it would be for European security that similar practical and concrete ways of cooperation could be found even when the UK will be outside of the European Union.