In February 2020, the German Head of the Foreign Affairs Committee Norbert Roettgen and his counter part Thomas Tugendhat, call for a post Brexit ’treaty of friendship’ between Britain and Germany. The treaty, they say ’would deepen the bonds between the two countries’ and‚ complement what the UK agreed with the 27 member states’.

As a consequence of Brexit, parliamentarians and officials will no longer meet regularly in Brussels. Britain’s diplomatic mission in Brussels faces the risk of being downgraded. As Brexit is changing the relationship with the EU, such bilateral contract would enhance cooperation and strengthen shared values. A bilateral Anglo-German pact could enshrine joint security and foreign policy goals, foster exchanges between schools and universities and include bilateral research grants, when joint projects are no longer eligible for EU funding.

It reflects that this year’s though trade negotiations may ’toxify the atmosphere’ between Britain and the EU, therefore the idea of an early ’bilaterisation’ of ties with the two governments. Since Britain has left the EU, European countries have more freedom to pursue their joint interests without contravening EU policy. After 47 years of integration, Brexit requires a rethink of relations between individual members states and Britain.

Dr. Norbert Roettgen is a member of the Christian Democratic Union and served in the cabinet as Environment Minister from 2009 to 2012. He is chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the German Bundestag.

Thomas Tugendhat is a British Conservative MP. He has been a Member of Parliament since 2015. Since 2017 he has served as chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Dr. Roettgen and Mr. Tugendhat published their proposal in The Times and the Frankfurter Allgemeine.