In the Press - Brexit Bulletin: The EU Plays Even Harder Ball

25 April 2017
In a new report, John Springford of the Centre for European Reform argued “Britain’s best hope” is to secure a Swiss-style trade deal focused on goods. That would represent the most the EU would be willing to offer without insisting on the supremacy of European courts and freedom of labor movement that May wants to avoid, he says.

In the Press - Jobs hold fast in shadow of Brexit…for now

25 April 2017
John Springford, director of research at the Centre for European Reform, explained that the economic slowdown and job losses have been less dramatic than predicted, as British consumers have kept spending on the back of their savings. In addition, he noted that Britain’s labour market has proven to be “extremely flexible”, pointing to an unemployment rate that remained under 8% during the 2007-2008 financial crisis.

In the Press - Macron's rise could prove a mixed blessing for Brexit Britain

24 April 2017
Financial Times
Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, said he would expect Mr Macron to continue with President François Hollande’s tough approach to Brexit. “He doesn’t want the nationalists to be able to argue that coming out of the EU pays off, so Britain must be seen to suffer a bit,” he said. “Macron is also a true believer in a federalist sense.”

In the Press - Britain's best option for Brexit would be a Swiss-style deal keeping trade barriers with EU as low as possible, says new report

24 April 2017
The Sun
CER director of research John Springford said: “Something similar to the Swiss deal, but without free movement, would be the very best that Britain can hope for. “The EU might not be prepared to offer the UK such a deal, since the Swiss have accepted free movement as the price of single market participation in goods, and the EU want the Swiss to download EU law more rapidly.

In the Press - Le Pen and Macron: Candidates vying to be France's next president

23 April 2017
USA Today
"A Macron victory would break the political mould of the Fifth Republic. Since 1958 France has been ruled by presidents who hail from the mainstream parties of left or right," said Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, a think-tank.

In the Press - Europe's populist wave stalls as Macron storms into French runoff

23 April 2017
The Daily Mail
Others are sceptical about whether Macron can convince the Germans to do a deal. Christian Odendahl of the Centre for European Reform points to a lack of "intellectual convergence" between Berlin and Paris on what Europe really needs. "In Berlin, there isn't a great sense of urgency. They see this as a marathon, not a sprint. There is a preference for incremental improvements in Europe rather than bold new projects," he said.

In the Press - General election fever and Theresa May's Brexit travails

22 April 2017
The Irish Times
Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, believes the election may have a limited impact on the course of the negotiations. “I think it will strengthen her hand domestically. She says it’s to strengthen her hand with the EU. It doesn’t make any difference to the EU, because the EU has the whip hand. The EU is in a strong position, and Britain is in a weak position, and the fact that she has a strong majority behind her doesn’t really change the fundamentals of the power relationship between the EU and the UK,” he says.

In the Press - French candidates pledge to fight terrorism in cliffhanger election

21 April 2017
Still, the element of fear can’t be underestimated in the voters’ decision, said Simon Tilford, deputy-director at the London-based Centre for European Reform. “Of all the candidates, Le Pen is the one most likely to benefit,” he said. “The fear is this will heighten concern about Islamic terrorism and enable Le Pen to tap into fears over migration and refugees.”

In the Press - EU hopeful UK vote will smooth Brexit path

21 April 2017
Simon Tilford of the Centre for European Reform predicted that, despite the divisive nature of the Brexit referendum, May would win a massive majority of 130-150 seats because of the opposition Labour party's weakness. If so the "positive scenario is that she wants that (a majority) so she's not vulnerable to attacks from the eurosceptic right," Tilford told AFP.

In the Press - Brexit briefing: German lessons for Brexiters

20 March 2017
Financial Times
 Two publications will help readers to form an idea of Germany's attitude to Brexit. One is “Berlin to the Rescue?”, a paper written by Sophia Besch and Christian Odendahl for the Centre for European Reform think-tank. The other is “Berlin Rules”, a book by Sir Paul Lever, Britain’s ambassador to Germany from 1997 to 2003. ...Ms Besch and Mr Odendahl make the point: “Germany will be neither a hardliner nor particularly accommodating in the Brexit talks ...Berlin wants to preserve the EU and make sure that the EU-27 stick to a unified position; it considers disintegration of the EU the biggest Brexit risk.