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Brexit Will Curtail UK’s Engagement in Balkans

14 July 2016
Brexit Will Curtail UKs Engagement in Balkans
Britain’s all-but-inevitable exit from the EU is likely to lead to a drastic curtailment of its influence and engagement with the Balkans - where it has been an active diplomatic force in favour of enlargement - a panel of experts told an audience at the London School of Economics, LSE, on Tuesday. James Ker-Lindsay, Senior Research Fellow on South East Europe at LSE, said Britain had been an active, benign force in the Western Balkans, especially in Bosnia and Kosovo, even though the level of its engagement had noticeably declined in recent years. Earlier, however, it had been “extremely important” in the context of Kosovo’s recognition as a state as well as “instrumental” in taking Serbia-Kosovo relations forward. In a post-exit UK, the future stability and integration of the Balkans will become “a very secondary issue” for Britain, however, as “the entire machinery of government” is reoriented towards managing highly complex negotiations on withdrawal from the EU, he warned. As Britain recedes from the Balkan scene, Germany’s role in the region will become ever more important. http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/brexit-will-curtail-uk-s-engagement-in-balkans-experts-07-13-2016#sthash.qoorxGvo.dpuf