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Now comes the difficult part - cutting a deal with 27 states; If Theresa May and her team are to negotiate a good Brexit deal, they will have to understand the needs and desires of the states that remain as EU members after we leave. David Williamson takes a closer look at the map.

THE biggest battles in the Brexit talks are about to begin as attention turns to the UK's future relationship with the European Union.

UK negotiators will need to understand the anxieties and aspirations in each of the 27 remaining member states if they are to build support across the EU for a deal that works for Britain.

The final deal will need to win the backing of the European Parliament and the European Council. Britain cannot afford to alienate potential allies in the months ahead.

The Institute for Government (IFG) has identified three distinct groups: | 1. The Visegrad Four The IFG states: "The Visegrad Four (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) have grown in influence in recent years. They all support a close trading relationship with the UK, particularly in goods where they all have an important surplus.

"Alongside some of the other Eastern member states, the group will want to maintain the rights of their citizens to work in the UK."

| 2. Britain's traditional allies "This group includes some of the Baltic member states, Ireland, the Netherlands and the Scandinavian member states. As liberal, open, trading economies, they are traditionally the UK's closest allies in the EU, and they will miss the UK's presence in the decision-making process."

| 3. The Integrationist Core "Led by France and Germany, but also including Belgium and Luxembourg, this group supports greater EU integration and is the closest to the European Commission... The German government in particular is prepared to take an economic hit in terms of loss of trade with the UK to ensure that other member states do not seek to follow the Brexit example."

Here are the states the UK needs to understand: | 1. Austria There are 8,431 UK citizens in Austria and 27,000 Austrian citizens in the UK. It has 18 of the 751 MEPs.

The IFG reports that 1.83% of Austrian GDP comes from exports to the UK.

| 2. Belgium Britain was Belgium's fourth biggest export destination in 2016, with exports to the UK accounting for 9.65% of its GDP. While 24,975 UK citizens live in Belgium, 29,000 Belgian citizens are in the UK.

Belgium has 21 MEPs. There is the potential that the final deal may need to be ratified by its regional governments; the EU's landmark deal with Canada was nearly derailed by concerns in Wallonia. | 3. Bulgaria There are 91,000 Bulgarians in the UK (compared with just 2,600 UK citizens in Bulgaria). Bulgaria has 17 MEPs and 2.5% of its GDP comes from exports to the UK.

| 4. Croatia has 11 MEPs and a referendum may be required for the country to back a deal. There are 4,000 Croatians in the UK.

| 5. Cyprus has just six of the 751 seats in the European Parliament. However, it is one of the rare EU states that has received more UK citizens (24,000) than it has sent to Britain (18,000).

The UK is its biggest trading partner and 13.2% of its GDP comes from exports to Britain.

| 6. Czech Republic There are 46,000 Czech citizens in the UK and exports to Britain account for 5.1% of its GDP. It has 21 MEPs.

| 7. Denmark The UK was Denmark's fourth biggest export destination in 2016, coming in behind the US. There are 29,000 Danes in the UK and 14,700 UK citizens in Denmark.

The country has 13 MEPs and a referendum may be required. The next election must take place no later than June 2019, meaning domestic politics will be highly politicised in the run-up to Brexit.

| 8. Estonia This Baltic state has six MEPs and 11,000 of its citizens live in the UK (though fewer than 1,000 British citizens are in Estonia).

Exports to Britain account for 2.63% of GDP. An election is due in 2019.

| 9. Finland While 3,000 British citizens live in Finland, 15,000 Finns are in the UK. The country has 13 MEPs and an election is coming in April next year. | 10. France is a giant of the EU with 74 MEPs. President Emmanuel Macron is a champion of further integration but France has a strong eurosceptic tradition; net trust in the EU stands at -23%.

There are 157,000 British citizens in France, and 174,000 French in the UK.

The UK is France's third biggest export destination (behind Germany and the US); these account for 2.51% of its GDP. A referendum on the deal may be required.

| 11. Germany Arguably the most powerful state in the EU, Germany has 96 MEPs. It is home to 96,000 UK citizens while 140,000 Germans are in Britain.

Exports to the UK generate 3.5% of Germany's GDP.

| 12. Greece Britain is Greece's second biggest export destination. Exports to the UK account for 2.87% of Greek GDP.

There are 64,000 Greek citizens in the UK, and Greece is home to 15,000 British citizens. It has 21 MEPs and is due to hold an election no later than October 2019.

| 13. Hungary The UK is home to 101,000 Hungarian citizens and 4.71% of Hungarian GDP comes from exports to Britain. It has 21 MEPs and an election is due in April 2018.

| 14. Republic of Ireland has much to lose from Brexit. Exports to the UK account for 13.55% of its GDP.

While 348,000 Irish citizens are in the UK, 112,000 British citizens live in Ireland.

It has 11 MEPs. The Irish Parliament must approve all EU agreements and a referendum may be required.

| 15. Italy A major player in the EU with 73 MEPs, Italy is home to 23,000 UK citizens while 267,000 Italians live in Britain.

There is strong euroscepticism - net trust in the EU is -18%. The UK is Italy's fourth biggest export destination; these generate only 1.78% of its GDP.

| 16. Latvia There are 112,000 Latvians in the UK. Exports to Britain account for 3.74% of its GDP.

It has just eight MEPs. An election must be held by October 2018.

| 17. Lithuania The UK is home to 212,000 Lithuanians and the country has 11 MEPs. Exports to the UK generate 3.4% of its GDP.

A presidential election is due in May 2019.

| 18. Luxembourg has just six MEPs but its economic ties with the UK are strong. Exports to Britain account for 25.47% of its GDP.

An election should take place by the end of this year.

| 19. Malta While 7,000 UK citizens live in Malta, an equal number of Maltese are in the UK.

It has six MEPs and Britain is its top export destinations, with sales to the UK generating 16.1% of Maltese GDP.

| 20. The Netherlands Holland is home to 41,000 UK citizens, with 92,000 Dutch people in the UK.

It has 26 MEPs and exports to Britain account for 9.85% of Dutch GDP. | 21. Poland There are just 2,000 UK citizens in Poland but one million Poles in the UK.

The country has a weighty 51 MEPs and a referendum on the final deal could be required if it is deemed in the national interest.

Parliamentary elections are due next year. The UK is Poland's second biggest export destination, although these generate only 3.59% of its GDP. | 22. Portugal There are 226,000 Portuguese citizens in the UK and just 16,000 British citizens in Portugal.

It has 21 MEPs and exports to the UK account for 4.04% of Portuguese GDP. The next election needs to take place by October 2019.

| 23. Romania has 32 MEPs and 358,000 of its citizens are in the UK (fewer than 1,000 British citizens have gone in the opposite direction).

Exports to the UK generate 2.22% of GDP.

| 24. Slovakia has 13 MEPs and 89,000 Slovak citizens are in the UK. Exports to Britain are responsible for 5.45% of GDP.

| 25. Slovenia The UK is not among the top 10 destinations for Slovania's exports and only 6,000 of its citizens live in the UK. Just 1.87% of its GDP comes from sales to the UK.

It has eight MEPs. | 26. Spain is home to 309,000 UK citizens, and 176,000 Spanish citizens are in Britain. It has 54 MEPs.

Exports to the UK account for 3.39% of GDP.

| 27. Sweden The country has 20 MEPs and 43,000 of its citizens are in the UK (18,000 British citizens live in Sweden).

Exports to the UK generate 2.81% of Swedish GDP.

| Brexit is not the only show in town.

The IFG makes it clear that Brexit is far from the only thing politicians across these states will have on their minds in the coming months.

It states: "They are more concerned with internal EU wrangles (over the budget, eurozone reform and migration), external pressures (from Russia on security to the US on trade) and domestic political debates. At the same time, they are getting used to the changing dynamics of an EU without the UK."

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 27, 2018
Words:1560
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