Press

UK trade deals should prioritise economic growth over environmental protections - leaked govt document

14 September 2021
Sky News
Sam Lowe, trade expert from the Centre for European Reform, added: "While there have been increased calls for the UK to make its foreign trade agreements (FTAs) conditional on partner countries meeting stringent environmental and climate targets, this confirms that such an approach has been deemed too tricky by DIT.
"It also clarifies that the UK is willing to liberalise trade in environmentally questionable goods if necessary to get an FTA over the line.

Tensions over Afghan refugees will lead to ever more transactional EU-Turkey ties

14 September 2021
LSE blog
The fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban has raised fears in both the EU and Turkey of a new refugee crisis emerging. 

There’s a chance German SPD only needs Greens to rule: Odendahl

14 September 2021
Bloomberg
Germany’s Social Democrats may not need a three-way coalition to oust Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc from power in the Sept. 26 federal election, according to Christian Odendahl, chief economist at independent think-tank Centre for European Reform.

An era ends: How will Germany and the world remember the Merkel years?

13 September 2021
The Local
For Christian Odendahl, the Berlin-based chief economist at the Centre for European Reform, Covid-19 also showed how Merkel’s crisis management evolved over time, learning from past mistakes. “She misunderstood the euro crisis as a debt crisis when it was so much more than that,” he says. “The difference in how she reacted to the euro crisis and how she reacted to the pandemic is, I think, quite telling.”

Merkel "falhou" em preparar Europa para desafios do século XXI, diz Christian Odendahl

12 September 2021
Observdaor
Christian Odendahl, economista-chefe do “Centre for European Reform” (CER), acredita que Angela Merkel, vai “deixar um vazio”, mas admite que a chanceler falhou na preparação da Europa para “algumas das principais questões do século XXI”.

UK to delay imminent new Brexit border checks on food amid shortages

10 September 2021
The Independent
“At a time of serious supply chain disruption, it would make sense if the UK decided to further delay the imposition of new controls on food and products entering the UK from Europe,” said Sam Lowe, senior research fellow at the Centre for Europe Reform, a think-tank. “But this is becoming a recurring theme, with deadlines being pushed back late in the day.”

CER podcast: German foreign and security policy after the election

10 September 2021
Luigi Scazzieri speaks to Claudia Major and Sophia Besch about the implications of the forthcoming election for German foreign, security and defence policy.

Ministers bowed to pressure to drop key climate commitments for UK trade deal with Australia

08 September 2021
Sky News
Sam Lowe, trade expert at the Centre for European Reform, told Sky News he was surprised ministers appeared ready to drop commitments to the Paris Agreement to get the deal over the line."Australia doesn't want the trade deal to be made conditional to their membership of Paris Agreement, so essentially it doesn't want to be held to account in the event it doesn't do what it says it does in relation to the agreement," he said.

Tory ministers give in to Australian pressure over Brexit climate demands

08 September 2021
The National
Sam Lowe, trade expert at the Centre for European Reform, told Sky News he was surprised at UK ministers bowing to pressure from Australia."Australia doesn't want the trade deal to be made conditional to their membership of Paris Agreement, so essentially it doesn't want to be held to account in the event it doesn't do what it says it does in relation to the agreement," he said.

Boris Johnson engulfed in pre-Cop26 summit row after climate goals dropped for Australia trade deal

08 September 2021
The Independent
One trade expert, Sam Lowe, of the Centre for European Reform, said the UK could still insist on the climate goals, but added: “However, this means negotiations would take longer and the UK might need to give up more in return.”

TRT World: Will Russia fill the power vacuum in Afghanistan?

07 September 2021
Who is going to be courting the Taliban now that they have control of Afghanistan and the West has cut and run? Two major players Russia and China, both know how important the country can be for influence in Central Asia. Guests: Kirill Krivosheev Correspondent at Kommersant newspaper, Ian Bond...

Regions scrap for a share of the freeport funding pot

05 September 2021
The Sunday Times
Sam Lowe at the Centre for European Reform said freeports merely shift economic activity round the country. Their usefulness was also in question when it emerged that post-Brexit trade agreements with 23 countries contained clauses meaning firms in freeports would be liable for tariffs when exporting to those countries.

Germany prepares for a less frugal future after Merkel

05 September 2021
The Telegraph
“With his absolute calm and wealth of experience, he’s [Olaf Scholz] easily the most experienced, sober and Merkel-like candidate,” says Christian Odendahl, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform (CER), a think-tank.

La crisis de Afganistán reabre las heridas migratorias de la UE

05 September 2021
El Pais
No son solo los socios del Este con declaraciones populistas: es una cicatriz más profunda, que afecta a los socialdemócratas daneses o al Gobierno conservador de Austria, con los verdes en coalición”, reflexiona Camino Mortera, del laboratorio de ideas Centre for European Reform.

New Statesman Podcast: What the SPD surge means for Germany

02 September 2021
From Berlin, the New Statesman's international editor Jeremy Cliffe presents a special series from World Review focusing on the German federal election – the runners and riders, the issues and what it means for Germany and beyond.

Brexit: What next for the Northern Ireland Protocol?

31 August 2021
BBC News
Sam Lowe, from the Centre for European Reform, said the EU would not be happy at the prospect of further extensions but would not be surprised."The question is whether the grace period extensions can be agreed together, as part of a joint exercise designed to work through the issues surrounding the implementation of the protocol, or whether the UK extends them unilaterally," he said.

UK-New Zealand trade deal close but will only have a ‘minuscule’ impact in British shops, experts say

31 August 2021
iNews
Sam Lowe, of the Centre for European Reform, said: “I don’t think there will be much noticeable impact whatsoever. We’re talking about a country that’s quite small and on the other side of the world. “At best we’re talking about perhaps some additional variety in supermarkets. You could see New Zealand wine stocked more frequently, or it being half a pence cheaper or something like that, but we’re not talking about anything major and you wouldn’t expect there to be.”

The Afghanistan debacle has weakened ties between Britain and America

27 August 2021
The Economist
Ian Bond of the Centre for European Reform, a think-tank, notes that support for the peace process is unusually bipartisan in America. If Mr Johnson is seen as threatening it, the reaction in Washington will be fierce.

‘Bonkers’ fight over product standards shows old Brexit battles persist

25 August 2021
Financial Times
Instead of pursuing what Sam Lowe from the Centre for European Reform calls “performative divergence”, the government accepts that this is a change that comes at significant cost and with little real benefit. 

UK manufacturers win big concession on post-Brexit quality mark

24 August 2021
Financial Times
Sam Lowe, trade expert at the Centre for European Reform, a think-tank, said that since the UK was unlikely to diverge from EU goods rules in practice in most areas, it made sense to continue to allow CE-marked goods to be sold in the UK, both now and far into the future.