NEWS ANALYSIS: Brexit to further delay Turkey’s EU process

NEWS ANALYSIS: Brexit to further delay Turkey’s EU process

Serkan Demirtaş
NEWS ANALYSIS: Brexit to further delay Turkey’s EU process

AFP photo

It’s too early to make sound and comprehensive forecasts on how Brexit will affect the Turkey-EU relationship, but it appears likely that Turkey’s accession will be delayed amid the processes associated with Britain’s departure.

As stated by Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, EU leaders will come together in an informal meeting on June 28 to discuss the Brexit vote, marking the beginning of a very long process for the finalization of the United Kingdom’s departure on the basis of the Lisbon Treaty. 

It’s hard to say how long the negotiations between London and Brussels will take to craft the divorce deal, but diplomats believe they will take at least two years. In the meantime, the EU has to find ways to stop other member countries from going to a referendum as expressed by many of the leaders of prominent members. The only way to ensure this is to reform the EU. 

Both processes will sure require long-term efforts which will surely postpone the EU’s ongoing enlargement plans.

However, the most important problem is whether the EU will be able to keep its unity and existing model.

The U.K.’s departure will surely introduce a new model of a relationship between the EU and non-member countries and there will be new ideas to produce a special relationship between Turkey and the EU as well.  
Second, Turkey-EU ties are marked by the migrant deal that includes granting visa liberalization to Turkish nationals in return for the implementation of a Readmission Agreement. 

Although the EU will be deeply involved with Brexit, the negotiations between Ankara and Brussels on this particular issue will likely continue, as stopping the flow of irregular migrants into the EU remains one of the most important issues for Brussels. 

In this very critical process, Turkey should better underline that its strategic goal is to join the EU to avoid giving ammunition to Turkey-skeptics in the EU that have used every single opportunity to agitate against Turkish membership in the bloc.