IFG - The government needs to counter its loss of clout in Europe after Brexit
The UK needs to raise its game if it wants to remain influential in Europe, says a new report by the Institute for Government.
The UK and the EU will need to work together to deal with shared problems such as climate change and terrorism. The UK will also want to shape EU rules on data and health and safety standards that will affect it after Brexit.
Ministers will find it much harder to have real influence in the EU when they are no longer ‘in the room’, and will need to commit effort and resources to achieve their goals. Simply relying on the formal meetings set out in the Political Declaration will not be enough to give the UK the sway it needs.
This new report, based on more than 60 interviews with diplomats from other non-EU countries who have experience of the barriers the UK will face, as well as UK government officials and business representatives, argues that the government needs to:
- Work to shape those global trade, financial and climate rules that will become binding on the EU. The EU is a big player in many international organisations, like the World Trade Organization, but it is also increasingly influenced by them. The government must decide where it wants to work with the EU. It should also try to influence those global rules that will become binding on the UK and EU.
- Increase spending. Unless the Foreign Office can offer competitive salaries, it will struggle to attract top civil servants to EU postings. The government also needs to make sure British embassies have the resources they need to host delegations and put on events.
- Lobby the EU institutions. The UK will no longer be able to rely on votes and vetoes in Brussels. It will need to court diplomats from the EU and other countries and maintain relationships with all EU institutions.
- Work closely with business and NGOs to promote British interests. Business and civil society actively lobby the EU and can help build relations with EU governments where the UK government cannot.
- Take the devolved administrations into account when deciding the UK’s objectives. The government should also encourage the continued participation of the devolved administrations, Parliament, local authorities and cities in European initiatives.
Georgina Wright, senior researcher at the Institute for Government, said: “Brexit provides an opportunity for the UK and the EU to find new ways of working together. But getting the EU to listen to British ideas will be much harder once the UK is no longer in the room. Countries outside the EU show us that influencing the EU is possible but that the government will need to get better at targeting EU institutions, member states, and other missions in Brussels.”
Notes to editors
Latest News from
The West must avoid “politically dangerous” and “economically costly” confrontation with China, says new IEA briefing paper06/08/2020 12:35:00
The Institute of Economic Affairs has released a new briefing paper, authored by IEA Head of Education Dr Stephen Davies and Professor Syed Kamall, the IEA’s Academic and Research Director, who sat on the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee from 2005-2019.
Revealed: value of six big-tech firms has soared $1.9 trillion since Covid, as IPPR urges rethink on who owns our digital data06/08/2020 11:35:00
‘Covid effect’ shows why UK needs new digital regulator and action by local authorities to drive common ownership of data and open access
Planning reforms not the 'radical shake-up' some expected, says IEA expert06/08/2020 10:35:00
Dr Kristian Niemietz, Head of Political Economy at the Institute of Economic Affairs, responded to the government’s planning proposals
IEA - Business rates are a “poorly-designed” tax in need of reform, says Professor Len Shackleton06/08/2020 09:35:00
Professor Len Shackleton, IEA Editorial and Research Fellow, responded to reports that the Chancellor is considering an increase in business rates for the “most valuable properties”
Policy Exchange - Call for evidence: Building hospitals in the post-Covid era04/08/2020 12:35:00
In the context of the government’s plans to build 40 new hospitals, Policy Exchange is launching a call for evidence to inform a major piece of research into how we should build the next generation of hospitals.
Demos - British public support ban on targeted political ads online04/08/2020 11:35:00
New research has found that calls for greater regulation in political campaigns have a far greater consensus of support among the general public than arguments against regulation.
IFG - Public services were not fit to respond to the coronavirus crisis04/08/2020 10:35:00
Failures in planning and funding cuts meant public services were not well prepared to handle the coronavirus crisis, says a new report from the Institute for Government and the Chartered Institute for Public Finance and Accountancy.
IFS - Geographical inequality in incomes has been falling, but wealth inequalities are rising04/08/2020 09:35:00
The government pledges to ‘level up’ the country and, more recently, the unequal impacts of the COVID-19 crisis have led to an increased focus on inequalities between places as well as between people.