Brexit

The British exit of the European Union is the most significant economic demerger between major economies since the Second World War and much about the forthcoming process of transitioning out of the EU has no precedent. But we know already that both the UK and the EU will be significantly changed by what is about to unfold.

Global Counsel has been helping clients prepare for a possible Brexit over the past two years. Our team of former Whitehall and Brussels policymakers and sectoral specialists, based at our offices in Brussels and London, enable us to help clients navigate the politics, policy and commercial implications of Brexit. Contact us to find out how we can help your organisation.


Global Counsel Brexit dashboard Q1 2018

In the first issue of the Global Counsel's Brexit dashboard, 21 months on from the vote – and with just 12 months before the UK leaves the EU, we take the macro pulse of the economy, using a balanced set of 15 indicators, each quarter. We are not attempting to isolate the impact of Brexit from all the other factors affecting the economy, as that is near impossible. Instead, we are providing a health check, to see where the economy is faring better or worse, compared to the years before the vote. Full details of the data and findings across five indicators in the categories of Consumers, Industry, People, Investment and Services can be viewed and downloaded here


 

Analysis & Blogs

The UK’s Brexit security gambit

17 May 2018

The UK and the EU have been staking out their positions on the future security partnership over the past week. This pillar of the Brexit negotiation matters in its own right; but it also has the potential to set precedents that could be important for the future economic partnership.

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Mutual recognition – mutual incomprehension?

12 Mar 2018

The UK government has finally started to flesh out what sort of future trade and regulatory relationship it wants to negotiate with the EU. Central to this are a revised set of market access and product standard recognition rights in the EU single market based on what the UK often calls ‘mutual recognition’. This suggestion has been rebuffed in a number of places and ways by the EU. Why is this?

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Global Counsel Brexit dashboard Q1 2018

12 Mar 2018

This is the first issue of the Global Counsel Brexit dashboard. 21 months on from the vote – and with just 12 months before the UK leaves the EU – we can now take the macro pulse of the economy, using a balanced set of 15 indicators, each quarter. We are not attempting to isolate the impact of...

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The illusion of managed divergence

26 Feb 2018

The Institute for Government’s model of managed divergence for the UK and EU economies has been influential in shaping the UK government’s position. It’s an ingenious attempt to address some of the thorniest economic and political challenges presented by Brexit. But while it may provide a basis for the UK cabinet ministers to bridge their differences, it is unlikely to be acceptable to the EU, now or in the future.

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The political battle for consumers in the UK

5 Jan 2018

For some time now, the two main political parties in the UK have been battling for the same group of voters who feel disenfranchised, left behind and have faced what some have dubbed the ‘lost decade’ of stagnant wage increases. Since the general election, however, this battle has intensified, and it is now the case that more weight is being given by both parties to policies with a clear retail value.

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The £60 billion economic impact of Brexit (and counting)

29 Nov 2017

One of the most contested issues, before and since the referendum on UK membership of the EU, has been the potential impact of Brexit on the UK economy. The exercise is almost as difficult now as it was before the referendum, because we still don’t know what Brexit will mean for the UK’s trading relationships, or the regulatory environment in Britain, two issues that will have a significant bearing on the long-term economic consequences.

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What does no deal mean?

30 Oct 2017

The baseline for the trade relationship after a no-deal Brexit would be WTO rules. In practice – and depending on the political atmosphere – there would at least be some enhancements to this baseline in the form of bilateral agreements between the EU and the UK on specific issues that are...

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The UK's relationship with Euratom: What next?

25 Oct 2017

As Global Counsel and Herbert Smith Freehills convene a discussion on the UK’s future relationship with Euratom, this paper provides an overview of the legal and political background. The paper also identifies some of the potential options for mitigating the impact on the UK. Lastly, the paper...

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Australia’s European opportunity

20 Oct 2017

While in Australia at the start of this month, one question that came up repeatedly was how Australia should approach its trade relationship with Europe. Australia is on the verge of launching a formal trade negotiation with the EU. This comes just as the UK is negotiating its exit from the EU, which is why Australia is also ‘scoping’ a future deal with Britain. Australia must therefore decide how to balance its interests between the bit of the EU where the economic relationship is strongest - the UK - and the other 27 states.

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Anglo-German relations and the EU question

19 Oct 2017

Brexit was conspicuous by its absence in the German election campaign. Migration, Islam and relations with Turkey dominated the only TV debate in early September. Relations with the second largest European economy were not even mentioned once. The EU itself also hardly figured in the campaign, beyond the usual vague commitments to the union, and having more of it.

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The Irish border trilemma

13 Sep 2017

The Irish border is one of the few Brexit issues for which the positions of the parties to the negotiation are precise and clear. They are also irreconcilable, as things stand. For the Irish government, it is politically indispensable that there is no return to a hard border. This is not just a question of customs controls and the economic costs created by processing delays and charges; it is also about the social impact on communities that straddle border and political symbolism in a country where this is especially important.

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Can natural capital provide the framework for a ‘green’ Brexit?

23 Aug 2017

Putting a monetary value on nature provides a stronger economic case for ambitious environmental policy supported by public and private investment, but it also leaves that value, and the investment case, hanging on politics. As British Environment Secretary Michael Gove attempts to project a vision of a ‘green Brexit’, natural capital is the buzz word on which assertions are being built, and the Natural Capital Committee (NCC) will be key architects of a 25-year environmental plan promised within the Conservative Party manifesto.

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Policymaking by accident

18 Aug 2017

The British government papers on Brexit published this week leave you wondering if cabinet ministers really understand what the UK is proposing and the implications. The customs paper proposes an interim agreement that “could involve a new and time-limited customs union between the UK and the EU Customs Union, based on a shared external tariff and without customs processes and duties”.

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Brexit customs questions

16 Aug 2017

Yesterday, the UK floated a set of ideas for managing the future of the customs frontier between the EU and the UK. They were broadly divided between two proposals: a first, based around some very practical ideas for using technology to streamline the movement of goods across a future EU-UK customs border. The second was a much more radical idea that the UK would offer to implement the EU’s own external border protocols on its behalf as part of a wider approach that would remove any need to process goods moving between the two markets.

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Brexit path dependency

10 Jul 2017

Unless you’re fond of ambling, it’s the choice of the destination that usually determines the path you take. The Brexit negotiation is no stroll in the park, but it now looks like one of those cases where it is the path that will determine where we end up.

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Is Brussels starting to see the UK as a strategic competitor?

7 Jul 2017

Speaking before the European Economic and Social Committee this week, European Commission Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier painted a black picture of a post-Brexit world in which the UK failed to come to terms with the EU. A return to WTO rules for trade between the two markets; high customs duties, burdensome controls and higher transport costs.

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Single market vs single tariff?

3 Jul 2017

The setting before Parliament of the UK government’s legislative agenda for the two years leading up to the expected exit from the EU, has provided a further opportunity for ‘soft’ Brexiters in the UK to rekindle a debate about how detached from the EU the UK should aim to be. After the UK election, my colleague Jade Rickman and I examined the renewed debate over the possibility of customs union between the UK and the EU.

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Strong Currents: Navigating the post-Brexit energy market

28 Jun 2017

In collaboration with Herbert Smith Freehills and The Boston Consulting Group, Global Counsel has co-authored a paper looking at the impact of Brexit on the energy sector in the UK and the EU. The paper identifies key energy and climate change policy implications as well as highlighting the role...

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Could the UK join NAFTA?

27 Jun 2017

The question of UK membership of NAFTA seems to be doing the rounds again. This is not entirely surprising. Both Australian and Canadian trade officials – including Ottawa’s former chief NAFTA negotiator - have recently called for the UK to join existing trading blocks, such as NAFTA, as an easy fix to potential Brexit-related disruptions to UK trade and production. The idea in itself is not new – back in the early 1990s some members of Congress in the US hoped to convince London to swap the EU for NAFTA.

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Brexit Team

Stephen
Adams

Senior Director

Stephen is a Senior Director of Global Counsel. Stephen has more than 15 years of experience in European and British public policy and regulation, chiefly in the field of international economic policy, trade policy, cross-border financial services policy and European integration.

Gregor
Irwin

Chief Economist

Gregor leads on economic analysis at Global Counsel. Gregor has over 20 years of experience working on international economic and political issues in the public and private sectors and as an academic.

Leo
Ringer

Head of UK

Leo leads Global Counsel’s work in the UK from its office in London. Leo has spent most of the last decade advising corporates, investors and politicians on business-related public policy in the UK.

Tom
White

Head of Europe

Tom runs Global Counsel’s Europe team from its office in Brussels. Tom has overall responsibility for Global Counsel’s work with the EU institutions and governments in the EU27.

Daniel
Capparelli

Practice Lead

Daniel is Global Counsel’s trade policy Practice Lead. Daniel has worked on cross-border policy issues for over a decade in a wide range of sectors, including financial services, manufacturing and agriculture.

Matthew
Duhan

Practice Lead

Matthew is Global Counsel’s Practice Lead for energy. At Global Counsel, Matthew leads teams advising clients on understanding the impact of changing EU and UK energy and climate change policy and regulation on their businesses.

Thomas
Gratowski

Senior Associate

Thomas is a Senior Associate in Global Counsel’s macro team. He joined Global Counsel from the World Bank, where he was a consultant, focusing on country strategy in the Middle East and North Africa.

Roberto
Robles

Senior Associate

Roberto is a Senior Associate in Global Counsel’s Europe team. He has worked in the European Parliament in Brussels, as a researcher on climate and security policy for a European foreign policy think tank in Madrid, and in the EU delegation in Bangkok.

All specialists