STA, 18 December 2018 - Jure Vidmar, a public international law professor at Maastricht University, said a no-deal Brexit would be the worst case scenario for Slovenia as he unveiled four scenarios he believes possible in UK's leaving the EU in Ljubljana on Tuesday.
Presenting the four possible scenarios, Vidmar said the British could change their mind and not leave the bloc, leave the EU based on the Brexit deal, leave without a deal or obtain a status similar to that of Switzerland.
Under the no-deal scenario the most would change for Slovenia, as the United Kingdom would have to make separate deals with each of the remaining 27 EU member states. "Slovenia is not likely to be a priority for the United Kingdom," the professor added.
A new regime for Slovenians travelling to the UK and vice-versa would have to be set up, the British living in Slovenia would have to get appropriate visas and Slovenia would have to ensure protection of the rights of its citizens living in the UK.
Problems would also abound in trade, as it would fall under the purview of the World Trade Organisation, whose rules are less favourable than those of the single market.
Although Slovenia does not export much to the UK, it could suffer directly and indirectly from Brexit, with pharmaceutical, electronics, nuclear and furniture industries likely suffering more than other industries.
Concerning indirect consequences, Vidmar pointed to the automotive industry suppliers, which could suffer if Germany failed to come to a favourable agreement with the UK.
If the UK endorses the Brexit deal with the EU, nothing will have changed by the end of the transition period, which expires at the end of 2020. Following that, Vidmar expects mostly political change, because the UK will no longer have its representatives in the EU institutions.
Similarly, the professor expects mostly political change in the case "a Switzerland +/- model", as he calls the third possibility, unfolds. But he believes this scenario unlikely.
As regards the UK, Vidmar said it was quite impossible to say what would happen, as the country could become "Norway, Switzerland, Singapore or potentially even North Korea".