Research & Press

Lord Mandelson secretly approached 'deeply committed' EU offering Brexit help

Peter Mandelson
22 January 2018
The Express
Speaking last year at a Centre for European Reform event in Brussels shortly after the EU’s chief negotiator, Lord Mandelson said many Brexiteers wanted to move out of Europe’s sphere of influence and would be “very happy for Britain to become a regulatory satellite of the US” in the future. He said: “There is a political stand-off in the Cabinet between soft leavers and clean breakers and as a result, Mrs May is unable to get agreement to the negotiating guidelines that she needs for any future trade deal.

Macron sets out UK's Brexit options as businesses lean on May

22 January 2018
“I think he [Macron] has - unwittingly or not - softened France’s position on future relationship,” Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, said on Twitter. “UK can have a deal that is between full access to single market and a trade accord and this can include financial services.”

More calls to stay in the customs union

22 January 2018
Financial Times
As Charles Grant of the Centre for European Reform tweeted at the weekend: “The chances of UK staying in the CU are growing — and not just because of movement in the CBI and Labour Party. Several cabinet ministers remain keen and one Leaver cabinet minister told me recently that he could live with staying in CU, though that wouldn’t be his preference.”

CBI boss Carolyn Fairbairn calls for UK to stay in customs union

21 January 2018
The Telegraph
Sam Lowe, trade expert at the Centre for European Reform think-tank added the idea was one of the few “half-way house models” to have gained serious consideration on the European side. “Not only does it bind the UK to EU’s regulatory model in areas such as product standards and food safety, it also has the added benefit of resolving the Irish border conundrum.

EU need not fear new Russian gas pipeline

19 January 2018
Europe's continuing need for Russian gas – for reasons of proximity and price – is a reality, but it need not leave the EU over a barrel.

Of transition and trade deals

19 January 2018
The Financial Times
“This could easily result in a scenario in which UK exporters are no longer able to take advantage of the EU’s existing free trade agreements, but exporters located in countries with EU FTAs would continue to benefit from preferential access to the UK market on the same terms as now,” wrote Sam Lowe of the Centre for European Reform.

Europe survives Donald Trump's first year in office

19 January 2018
Deutsche Welle
"In the sense that we haven't yet had a nuclear holocaust I guess we have exceeded the worst expectations," quipped Ian Bond, director of foreign policy for the Centre for European Reform, pointing out more seriously that the tension around the Korean peninsula raises valid questions about the possibility of nuclear warfare. "People are still kind of shocked and horrified by what's going on in the US... but we've been having to get on with life and with Brexit and other things," Bond told DW, adding "there is still plenty of grounds for being extremely concerned about the situation."

France, Britain strike security pacts as Brexit tensions persist

19 January 2018
Voice of America
Britain is offering helicopters to help transport French troops deployed in the Sahel to fight Islamist terror networks — a welcome addition for France's military, which is undergoing spending cuts, said analyst Sophia Besch of the CER. "France is very keen to get other European partners on board to support it in its operations in Africa, in the Sahel," she said. "You can hear sometimes French officials say that, yes there is an EU army, and it's French.' So, there is this sense that the other Europeans need to step up, that all this responsibility can't just be on France. And if the UK is willing to do it, then that's great."

UE alarga para os Balcãs. Sérvia e Montenegro são os primeiros

19 January 2018
"O alargamento para os Balcãs Ocidentais é importante para os países da região porque irão ganhar economicamente por serem incluídos no mercado interno da UE e porque irá assinalar o ponto final do longo processo de transição que começou com o colapso da Jugoslávia e as guerras civis dos anos 90", explicou ao DN Ian Bond, diretor de Política Externa do Centro para a Reforma Europeia.

Brexit 'transition' agreement talks will not be for faint-hearted

18 January 2018
The Irish Times
British ministers, will need to seek “authorisation” from Brussels to continue benefiting from EU trade deals the UK would otherwise fall out of on Brexit day. This could be a real difficulty, Sam Lowe writes in a report for the CER. When it leaves the EU in 2019, even though entering a period of transition, the UK will no longer be a signatory to some 40 free trade deals that the EU has negotiated. These FTAs are with states receiving 11-15 per cent of UK total exports.

BBC News at 1: Macron's visit to the UK

18 January 2018
Charles Grant, director of the CER spoke to the BBC News at 1 about Emmanuel Macron's relationship with Theresa May (from 4:16 mins).

CER podcast: A briefing on Nordstream 2

17 January 2018
Noah Gordon talks to Sophia Besch about the controversial Nordstream 2 pipeline – who is in favour of the project and who stands to lose out, what the EU is doing and what it should do, and whether Nordstream 2 is about business, geopolitics, or EU solidarity.

Guardian podcast: What does Poland want from Brexit? Brexit means...

17 January 2018
What does Poland want from Brexit and how will it affect Polish-British relations? Jon Henley discusses this delicate balancing act are three experts – we like experts on this show – Jakub Krupa, the UK correspondent of the Polish Press Agency; Agata Gostyńska-Jakubowska of the Centre for European Reform think-tank; and the Guardian’s Brussels correspondent, Jennifer Rankin.

Tory MP slams EU plot for United States of Europe in brutal attack on Brussels

16 January 2018
The Express
But think-tank boss Charles Grant said that Germany will not let Juncker get away with his “delusional” EU vision, which includes allowing the richer northern Europe to pay for the poorer areas of southern Europe. Mr Grant, who is the Director of the Centre for European Reform, told BBC Radio 4: “[Juncker] believes that the Eurozone, in order to survive, needs to federalise. “That you need to have more integrated policy making system so that the richer countries, mainly Germany, transfer money to help the poorer countries like Italy and Greece and help them to flourish inside the eurozone.” 

The UK wants to remain in the EU's trade deals during the transition phase after Brexit

16 January 2018
BuzzFeed News
Trade experts believe this path is more feasible than trying to replicate the agreements over the next 14 months. “This is a sensible approach. The idea that we would have all 40 or so agreements replicated and ready to go in time for March 30 was always little more than a Ministerial pipe-dream,” Sam Lowe, Research Fellow at the Centre for European Reform, told BuzzFeed News.

Because of Thatcherism, we can't get a good Brexit trade deal – here's why

15 January 2018
The Independent
The UK's approach to deregulation led to a bout of economic restructuring that now makes it difficult for Britain to impose its will on the rest of the world, let alone Europe.

Sturgeon publishes Brexit impact report saying staying in single market best option - Politics live

15 January 2018
The Guardian
Samuel Lowe from the Centre for European Reform think-tank has posted an interesting thread on the single market on Twitter. It starts here.
Samuel Lowe: A truck crosses a border carrying meat without need for customs or safety checks. The driver doesn't need a visa. The truck company is allowed to operate in both countries. There's a reason the single market and customs union exist and look the way they do.

Margrethe Vestager: The EU commissioner who's taming the tech giants

15 January 2018
The New Statesman
Charles Grant, the director of the Centre for European Reform in London, said that he supported the EU’s tax crackdown and the way that Vestager is standing up to the technology companies. “On the other hand, it’s also true that Germany sees the commission as a vehicle to protect its own digital industries. So how much of this is principle, and how much is to protect local industries?”

Brussels raises prospect of longer Brexit transition

12 January 2018
Financial Times
“Many EU governments recognise that the transition will need to last beyond December 2020. But it suits the EU, like the UK, not to talk about that now,” said Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, a think-tank. “The UK would have to pay for single market access, which would require a new and difficult negotiation.”

UK could be locked to EU for longer as diplomats discuss extended transition period

12 January 2018
The Express
Charles Grant, director of the Center for European Reform, said: “Many EU governments recognise that the transition will need to last beyond December 2020. “But it suits the EU, like the UK, not to talk about that now. “The UK would have to pay for single market access, which would require a new and difficult negotiation.”