Research & Press

Tory MPs' hard Brexit letter to May described as ransom note

20 February 2018
The Guardian
Sam Lowe, a trade expert at the Centre for European Reform, told the Guardian: “A standstill transition is in everyone’s interest and absolutely essential if the government is serious about negotiating a mutually beneficial ongoing relationship between the EU and UK. In trying to undermine that the ERG are asking the government to sacrifice the economy on the altar of ideology.”

The Tony Blair Institute for Global Change - Podcast: A Germany special - politics and defence

19 February 2018
Shashank Joshi and Simon Tilford of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change sit down with the Centre for European Reform's Sophia Besch to discuss the twists and turns of Germany's coalition talks, and the state of Germany's military. 

What defence policy for the next German government?

19 February 2018
E!Sharp
As they try to form a coalition government after last September’s inconclusive elections, Germany’s politicians are debating Germany's role in protecting Europe.

Of course we will strike a bespoke Brexit deal — but that's not the point

19 February 2018
Prospect
The government’s “Road to Brexit” series of speeches has kicked off, with Boris Johnson and the Prime Minister making contributions so far.

Theresa May wants new security treaty with EU next year

17 February 2018
The Guardian
“Theresa May is right to warn against letting ideology get in the way of security,” said Sophia Besch of the Centre for European Reform. “But her message should be directed not just at the EU, she needs to say the same to Brexiters at home who categorically oppose the ECJ on ideological grounds.”

Theresa May, in Munich, calls for swift security pact and offers concession

17 February 2018
The New York Times
Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, a pro-European think-tank based in London, called it “serious and detailed,” noting Mrs May’s expertise on the subject as former home secretary.

Brexit will damage UK services exports

15 February 2018
OMFIF
Distance and economy size are the most important factors determining the level of trade between two countries.

Boris Johnson struggles to woo remainers with Brexit lovebomb

14 February 2018
The Guardian
John Springford, deputy director of the Centre for European Reform, argued there was no evidence that British regulation was more effective than the EU’s. He pointed out that productivity was 20-25% lower in the UK than in France and Germany, and that the big technological developments were emerging from the US.

CER podcast: A briefing on Italy's election

14 February 2018
Sophia Besch asks Luigi Scazzieri about the political debate in Italy and which coalition might win the election on March 4th.

PESCO unlikely to deliver much in the short term

13 February 2018
The Progressive Post
PESCO, or permanent structured co-operation, is a political framework that aims to help EU countries develop military capabilities together and improve their ability to deploy them.

Brussels should not ‘humiliate’ Britain in the Brexit talks or the whole EU could collapse, key Macron ally warns Michel Barnier

13 February 2018
The Sun
Charles Grant, the director of the Centre for European Reform, said many EU countries were unhappy with the pair and the Commission “on the narrow scope of the deal that they appear to want to offer UK”.

The great 'Made in Britain' delusion

13 February 2018
Politico
Against this backdrop, Britain’s best hope is that it can agree with its trade partners (and Brussels) a system called “cumulated rules of origins,” said Samuel Lowe, a trade expert at the Centre for European Reform. ...“To allow cumulated rules of origins with, for example, South Korea, not only Britain but also the EU would need to negotiate with Seoul,” said Lowe. Every renegotiation comes with a cost, such as counter-demands from the other side, he warned. To reopen the EU’s numerous trade deals would be  lengthy and costly.

BBC Radio 4 - Today programme: Free ports

13 February 2018
Free ports could potentially bring some local benefits after Brexit, but they won’t outweigh the costs of leaving the European customs union said Sam Lowe, a reasearch fellow at the CER (from 1: 27 mins).

The Waugh Zone Monday February 12, 2018

12 February 2018
The Huffington Post
David Davis’s speech to business about Brexit (which won’t be this week) could be the real one to watch. And he may be cheered up by Charles Grant, of the Centre for European Reform, who tweeted yesterday that up to 12 EU states “have some concerns about the ‘hard’ line taken” on Brexit by France, Germany and the European Commission, “particularly on the narrow scope of the deal that they appear to want to offer UK”.

EU member-states at odds over "hard line" Brexit stance

12 February 2018
City A.M.
Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, tweeted last night that around 10-to-12 countries had "some concerns" about the approach being taken by the traditional core of the EU, "particularly on the narrow scope of the deal that they appear to want to offer UK". Grant added: "But that dozen have different priorities and no leader, so [France, Germany and the Commission] could win the argument."

EU rebellion: A dozen member states revolt against Barnier's 'hard line' Brexit stance

12 February 2018
The Express
Director of the Centre for European Reform, Charles Grant, tweeted: “About 10/12 EU states have some concerns about the ‘hard’ line taken by France, Germany and Commission, particularly on the narrow scope of the deal that they appear to want to offer the UK.” However, Mr Grant said these 12 countries “have different priorities and no leader” so France, Germany and the Commission could win the battle. 

Up to twelve European countries rebel against Barnier's plot to punish UK for Brexit by offering 'narrow' trade deal

12 February 2018
The Sun
Now a top EU expert has claimed there are up to 12 member states warning Mr Barnier not to be too tough - and calling for a wide-ranging trade deal. They fear the EU will end up hurting itself by cutting off trade with Britain, Charles Grant of the Centre for European Reform suggested. But he added that the rebel countries may be unable to take on Mr Barnier - because they can't agree on what they want him to do differently.

EU endgame is political unity not free trade, argues Boris Johnson

12 February 2018
The Guardian
Charles Grant, the director of the Centre for European Reform, said Johnson was right that the founding fathers of the EU wanted to create a united Europe through economic integration – but argued that the result was the world’s most open trading bloc. “That meant that the EU had to be a liberalising project, in the sense of removing barriers to the free flow of people, capital, goods and services,” he said, arguing that required mutual recognition of standards.

BBC Radio 4 - A very British battle

12 February 2018
Sophia Besch, a research fellow at the CER speaks to Caroline Wyatt about the UK’s future defence relationship with Europe after Brexit (from 12:40 mins).

Brexit: The impossible job? A guide to the roadblocks facing the PM

10 February 2018
The Guardian
Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, said: “There is a growing sense in Brussels that because the British are raising new difficulties on the transition, it will not be possible to agree it at the March summit.” Lack of clarity on what the UK wants for the long term, Grant added, creates a risk that the EU will just dictate the terms of discussions from now on. “The longer the British delay saying what they want in terms of a future relationship, the greater the danger that the EU imposes something very narrow like a Canada-style agreement.”

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