In the Press - British Prime Minister May suffers another loss in Parliament over Brexit

14 February 2019
The Washington Post
“There is a tradition in the E.U. of things being settled at the last minute,” said Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform. He noted that the Maastricht summit in 1991, for instance, came together at the last minute, and that the seven-year EU budget seems to be settled right before the deadline.

In the Press - Beware the Brexit monster: Dutch businesses get a furry blue warning

14 February 2019
The New York Times
“In terms of the countries exposed to Brexit, the Netherlands is one of the biggest,” John Springford, deputy director of the Centre for European Reform in London, said on Thursday by phone.“No-deal Brexit would be the largest hit, but all of the different scenarios are going to entail some sort of economic cost,” he added.

In the Press - Franco-Italian friction

13 February 2019
The Financial Times
Franco-Italian friction From migration to the euro, Luigi Scazzieri at the Centre for European Reform charts the deterioration in Franco-Italian relations in the last year and why Rome will ultimately be the big loser: “Less frequent dialogue means relations are already damaged: in 2018, Italy and France did not hold an annual bilateral summit, as they usually do. And a planned ‘Quirinale Treaty’, an Italian-French pact modelled on the Élysée Treaty and designed to provide bilateral relations with more structure, is now frozen.”

In the Press - How the economic cost of Brexit is being hidden from Leave voters

12 February 2019
The New Statesman
That is the exercise that John Springford at the Centre for European Reform is regularly performing and he calculates that GDP was 2.3 per cent lower in September 2018 as a result of the Brexit vote. That roughly translates into the average household losing almost £2,000 worth of resources (mainly lower private consumption, but also lost public spending and investment). This number is broadly consistent with estimates the governor of the Bank of England gave in May, using a different method.

In the Press - 'Ostpolitik' breathes its last in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline controversy

12 February 2019
The Financial Times
As well as being trapped by the ghosts of Ostpolitik, Nord Stream 2 is also beset by another German character trait: reverence for the letter of the law (or treaty), reckons Sophia Besch of the Centre for European Reform.

In the Press - World security tensions take centre stage in Munich

12 February 2019
The Financial Times
“Donald Trump is less restrained in his foreign policy now than he was,” said Sophia Besch, a defence and security specialist at the Centre for European Reform think-tank. “The situation is particularly difficult for Germany. Berlin is Trump’s favourite target — but the mood between Paris and Berlin is also at a low point.”

In the Press - EU expert reveals what Emmanuel Macron REALLY hopes to ACHIEVE with his EU ARMY

12 February 2019
The Express
European army expert and researcher for the Centre for European Reform Sophia Besch explained that French President Emmanuel Macron wishes to create a more unified Europe that does not rely so heavily on the US. During an interview with, the researcher revealed Mr Macron wants Europe to be better prepared for European military threats and believes an EU army would allow him to achieve that. The EU army expert said: “I think for Emmanuel Macron the idea is meant to inspire, it is part of his pro-EU platform.

In the Press - Europe turns on spending taps as austerity comes to an end

09 February 2019
Financial Times
Christian Odendahl, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform think-tank, called for a comprehensive rewrite of the budgetary rules, which he argued amplified the booms and busts of the eurozone economy.“Europe’s fiscal rules do not allow enough stimulus in a recession, and allow too much spending during a boom,” he said. “An overhaul of the fiscal rules to protect investment spending and prescribe strongly counter-cyclical policies would help to counter the current slowdown.”

In the Press - On Brexit, the EU isn't strong enough to be weak right now

08 February 2019
"Populists won't take over the new parliament, just smaller parties across the political spectrum will do better," Agata Gostyńska-Jakubowska, a senior research fellow at the Centre for European Reform think-tank told me. "But the European elections will create space for a populist movement to create pressure and gain more influence within the EU."

In the Press - This leaked report reveals the “Technological solutions” explored by Liam Fox to keep the border in Ireland open after Brexit

06 February 2019
BuzzFeed News
Sam Lowe, a senior research fellow at the Centre for European Reform, told BuzzFeed News: “As with most technical/technological solutions to the Irish border, this proposal stumbles over the same issue: how do you differentiate between those people who play by the rules, those who don’t and those who simply decide not play whatsoever?