For many, the possibility of a European fighter jet replacing the RCAF's ageing fleet of CF-18 Hornets stands at zero chance - while others; like myself believe the Dassault Rafale provides the best options for the RCAF in operations in the Arctic and our responsibilities to both NORAD and NATO. This is especially true if Dassault agrees to built part of the fleet in Canada as previously announced.
That all sounds nice and good; then came last weeks BREXIT. With the 17+ million people of the United Kingdom voting to leave the European Union, Europe is left with one major anchor economy: Germany (sorry France; you don't qualify as a anchor economy). What does this mean for Canada's CF-18 Replacement? It could mean a lot - or absolutely nothing. We don't know yet.
With the BREXIT, similar sentiment in several other European nations might cause a domino effect, and see numerous countries leave the EU - which might mean a lower likely hood of not only military exports, but lower likely hood that nations will not send manufacturing jobs outside their borders; and this could mean no option to built Rafale's in Canada.
I have heard from some that Dassault will not establish a manufacturing chain in North America for 65 Aircraft. While that might be true - other companies have set up a base of operation in Canada for a lot smaller orders. Take a look a TEXTRON; who opened offices in Ottawa after receiving the contract for Tactican Armoured Patrol Vehicles (TAPV) for the Canadian Army; and that was only a a $1.2 Billion agreement. The CF-18 replacement will be above $15 Billion.
Why is this all a problem? This might make the F-35 or the F/A-18 Super Hornet Canada's only options (not that either would be built in Canada).