Research & Press

Brexit talks set to get messy as unity hits high-water mark

15 December 2017
"It comes down to the fact that countries have different economic models, different sets of existing ties to the UK, different strategic interests," Agata Gostyńska-Jakubowska, senior research fellow at the London-based think-tank the Centre for European Reform, said in an interview. “The second phase of negotiations will be much more challenging for both the UK and the EU and it will be much more difficult for the EU to remain aligned.”

May's Brexit challenges multiply as Phase 2 begins

15 December 2017
Financial Times
Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, said: “The real question is whether Tory MPs who are willing to rebel on an issue of process are ready to rebel on an issue of substance like the customs union.”

Brexit won't destroy the EU, but it will make it less equal

14 December 2017
“Post-Brexit, the Eurozone will represent 85% of the EU’s GDP and 76% of the EU’s population,” says Agata Gostynska-Jakubowska, a research fellow at London-based think tank the Centre for European Reform and an expert on the European institutions.

At best we'll get Canada plus! EU expert says the UK will pay a price for Canada deal

13 December 2017
The Express
Charles Grant, Director of the Centre for European Reform, said the UK will “at best” get a “Canada plus” deal but the EU will make Britain pay a price for it. Speaking on BBC Newsnight, he said: “They say it’s Norway or Canada, the British are probably going to ask for something that is neither. “Based on regularity alignment, we’d be almost in the single market, we’d be aligned with EU rules.” Mr Grant warned that if the UK changed the rules the EU would “punish us a bit” by removing access to the single market.

The biggest Brexit boon for Germany? Migration

12 December 2017
Financial Times
"The biggest gain for Germany will come if European migrants choose to work there, mitigating its growing shortage of workers, instead of in Britain."(Christian Odendahl and John Springford, Centre for European Reform)

Germany's biggest Brexit boon: Immigrants

11 December 2017
The UK’s inward turn could fix Germany’s skilled labor shortage.

Polskie Radio: Kompromis ws. Brexitu. "Wymęczone porozumienie"

11 December 2017
Agata Gostyńska-Jakubowska speaks to Polskie Radio about the sufficient progress in the Brexit talks.

Brexit: UK to lose 10,500 City jobs as 30 per cent of firms flag plans to move staff

Michel Barnier
11 December 2017
The Independent
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier made it clear last month that, when the UK leaves the single market, financial services firms based in Britain will lose their “passporting” rights. “On financial services, UK voices suggest that Brexit does not mean Brexit. Brexit means Brexit, everywhere,” Mr Barnier told the Centre for European Reform last month.

When did we Brits become so thin-skinned?

Simon Tilford
11 December 2017
The New European
“I think there’s definitely a heightened sensitivity about this kind of coverage. There’s a strong thread of jingoism in the reaction which arises when (Brexiteers) are feeling insecure,” says economist Simon Tilford, deputy director of the Centre for European Reform think-tank. “But if Britain is so confident why react so strongly?”

Newsnight: Is the Brexit deal unravelling?

11 December 2017
Charles Grant spoke to Evan Davis about if the Brexit deal wasunravelling, and what a EU-UK trade deal might look like? (from 13.00 mins).

Following Theresa May's great escape, Brexiters plan their final battle for Britain

10 December 2017
The Guardian
Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, said: “It suits both the UK government and the EU to pretend that the transition will last only about two years. In fact – as officials on both sides will admit in their more candid moments – it will have to be much longer. Building the border infrastructure at Channel ports will take several years, as will the new IT systems required for customs and registering EU immigrants. Above all, the negotiation of the future relationship – covering trade, research, security, defence and foreign policy – will take at least five years. So any attempt to limit the transition to two years would lead to a cliff-edge – of Britain leaving the single market without new arrangements being in place.”

Polskie Radio: Pierwsza faza rozmów brexitowych zakończona porozumieniem

09 December 2017
Agata Gostyńska-Jakubowska speaks to Polskie Radio about the agreement in the first phase of Brexit talks.

Battles loom in UK over competing Brexit demands

09 December 2017
Agence France Presse
Ian Bond, director of foreign policy at the Centre for European Reform, agreed the full alignment reference was "radical"."It's almost inverted the logic of the no-deal outcome," he said. Brexiteers have long argued if Britain leaves the EU without agreeing terms it can fall back on World Trade Organisation rules. "There are a lot of imponderables. Whether this keeps the knives out of the prime minister's back is one of the most imponderable of all," Bond added.

Brexit breakthrough? Yes, but now the hard work begins

08 December 2017
CNN Money
"For the moment, the UK still does not know what it wants," said Agata Gostynska-Jakubowska, a research fellow at the Centre for European Reform. "The government hasn't made its position clear on what kind of future relationship it wants."

This Brexit deal is no 'breakthrough'. It is a complete capitulation

08 December 2017
The Telegraph
On November 29, Charles Grant, of the well-informed anti-Brexit think tank the Centre for European Reform, published his 10 predictions for the whole Brexit process. Within eight days, his first four – on Ireland, money, citizens’ rights and transition – have been proved correct.On citizens’ rights, for example, he foretold that: “May will accept that the Withdrawal Treaty, enshrining the rights of EU citizens, has greater legal force than any subsequent UK legislation. And she will agree that UK courts may refer cases on rights to the ECJ.”
CER podcast: Will there be reforms for the eurozone?

CER podcast: Will there be reforms for the eurozone?

08 December 2017
Agata Gostyńska-Jakubowska and Sophia Besch review the Commission's new proposals for eurozone reform, and look at what EU leaders should discuss at the euro summit next week in Brussels.

Brexit negotiations will only get harder

08 December 2017
The Atlantic
“You could imagine that if she had won that election with a very big majority, that the right of the Conservative party would not be in the kind of position to dictate terms that it’s in now,” John Springford, the director of research at the London-based Centre for European Reform, told me in reference May’s failed election gambit in June. Though she called elections expecting to expand her majority in Parliament, her Conservative party instead lost the majority it had. “She would have much more authority and freedom for maneuver in the negotiations.”

May's Brexit deal wins her some peace at home

08 December 2017
The Daily Mail
"It means that 'no deal' overall is less likely," said Charles Grant, Director of the Centre for European Reform think-tank. But the toughest part of the negotiations could be yet to come, with Britain looking to agree a huge free trade deal before March 2019 - a tight timetable seen as unrealistic by Brussels. "In phase two it will emerge that the EU is going to give us a pretty bad deal in terms of what's in our economic interests," Grant said.

This Brexit shortcut looks like a dead end

08 December 2017
The Times
In its report on Canada-plus, the Centre for European Reform says Canada’s businesses “are aligning to European standards in many sectors like food, chemicals and electrical equipment. In contrast, the EU has not changed a single technical regulation in response to the agreement.” “Align” means for Canada, as it will for us, “fall into line”.

Phase one of the Brexit talks is proving hard. Just wait for phase two

07 December 2017
The Economist
Charles Grant of the Centre for European Reform, a London-based think-tank, argues that phase two will be much tougher to negotiate than phase one. The clock is ticking towards March 29th 2019, when Brexit is due to happen. It will be hard to agree on a legally watertight, time-limited transition, not least because few experts think a new trade deal can be wrapped up (and ratified) within two years. And when it comes to the trade deal on offer, the EU will say that, if Britain insists on leaving the single market and customs union and retaining the option of regulatory divergence, it can only have a deal similar to Canada’s, which covers most goods but barely any services.