Research

Germany, Russia and Ukraine: From 'Turning Point' to missing the point

27 January 2023
Germany’s slowness in authorising the supply of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine was bad news for Ukraine, European security and Germany itself. But other Western leaders should not be too smug.

Brexit isn't going away

26 January 2023
Encompass
It’s frustrating and boring, but economists must endlessly repeat themselves about Brexit. That’s because Brexiters continue to deny its obvious economic costs.

Early impacts of the post-Brexit immigration system on the UK labour market

John Springford, Jonathan Portes
17 January 2023
The end of the free movement has led to a shortfall of around 330,000 workers in Britain. Most are in less-skilled sectors of the economy. 

Is European defence missing its moment?

16 January 2023
European defence budgets are increasing in the wake of Russia’s war on Ukraine. But if member-states don’t co-ordinate their spending better, fragmentation will persist and Europe’s defence industry could weaken.

Can UK science and technology recover from Brexit?

09 January 2023
Encompass
When Boris Johnson agreed the Brexit divorce package with the EU, he promised it would unleash innovation, turning Britain into an agile “science superpower”. But rather than boost UK science and technology, Brexit has – so far – damaged it.

Comienza una nueva era de política exterior finlandesa

23 December 2022
ES Global
La invasión rusa de Ucrania ha provocado unos cambios sin precedentes en la política exterior finlandesa. La solicitud de ingreso en la OTAN no debe ser más que el principio.

The cost of Brexit to June 2022

21 December 2022
My latest update estimates Brexit reduced Britain's GDP by 5.5 per cent by the second quarter of 2022. My model avoids the cherry-picking of data, and performs better than its critics’ methods.

En wéér is de eurozone niet voorbereid op een crisis

Sander Tordoir, Jasper van Dijk
20 December 2022
Het Financieele Dagblad
De crisisbestendigheid van de eurozone wordt keer op keer op de proef gesteld. Dit brengt ook risico's voor de Nederlandse economie met zich mee.

Europe's central bankers should cherish their disagreements

Sander Tordoir, Shahin Vallée
20 December 2022
Promoting an open debate instead of forging consensus behind closed doors could make the European Central Bank’s decision-making culture more effective.

A new era of Finnish foreign policy begins

19 December 2022
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to unprecedented changes to Finnish foreign policy. Applying for NATO membership should only be the beginning. 

China and Russia: Are there limits to 'no limits' friendship?

15 December 2022
China has mostly offered Russia rhetorical support in its war against Ukraine. Beijing seems uncomfortable with Putin’s nuclear sabre-rattling. But China is unlikely to allow Russia to be decisively defeated.

Feel free to talk to China about Ukraine, but don't expect miracles

15 December 2022
Encompass
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President of the European Council Charles Michel have both taken the long flight to Beijing to meet Xi Jinping recently.

Europe may not find energy efficiency sexy — but it’s crucial

13 December 2022
Financial Times
EU leaders are right to try to protect consumers and keep business costs down, yet they have to do more.

Judy Asks: Are France and Germany wavering on Russia?

08 December 2022
Carnegie Europe
It would be wrong to say that France and Germany are wavering on Russia; the problem is that while they condemn Russian aggression and offer support to Ukraine, they struggle to see Putin’s regime as it really is.

Press

The real Brexit challenge is to avoid the situation getting even worse

26 January 2023
The Times
The end of free movement led to a shortfall of 330,000 workers, contributing to a severe labour shortage, particularly in sectors such as retail and hospitality, according to a new study by the Centre for European Reform. That is fuelling inflationary pressures. Investment has flatlined since the 2016 referendum.

Brexodus: Where have all the workers gone?

26 January 2023
The New European
The latest analysis conducted jointly by two UK-based thinktanks, the Centre for European Reform and The UK in a Changing Europe, brings into sharp focus Brexit’s effect on the UK workforce. The research, led by John Springford at the London School of Economics and Jonathan Portes, professor of economics and public policy at King’s College London, finds that Brexit has reduced the UK’s workforce by 330,000 people, the equivalent of 1% of the total.

‘Messy’ German tank saga highlights Berlin as ‘soft underbelly’ of Europe

25 January 2023
iNews
Others agreed that it reflects badly on Berlin. “Germany currently lacks a strategic culture and failing to see the bigger picture,” says Ian Bond director of foreign policy at the Centre for European Reform. “This episode delayed the moment that Ukraine gets weapons. It is bad for European cooperation, as it says you might have to think twice about working with Germany. And it is bad for Germany security as it will encourage Putin to think Berlin is the soft underbelly.”

Rasmus Paludan kaster Sverige ud i hidtil største krise med Tyrkiet

24 January 2023
Politiken
Det er en udlægning, som den britiske sikkerhedsekspert Ian Bond er enig i. Han er tidligere topdiplomat og nu direktør ved tænketanken Centre for European Reform. »Når Erdogan kan vise, at han er hård mod de kurdiskforsvarende skandinaver med deres foragtelige liberale ideer om ytringsfrihed og alt det der, så appellerer det til hans nationalistiske vælgere«, siger han. »Og den her ekstremt tåbelige og provokerende afbrænding af en koran her i weekenden betyder, at Erdogan kan vise sine islamiske støtter, at han forsvarer islam ved at stoppe de gudløse skandinavers forsøg på at komme ind i Nato«, fortsætter sikkerhedseksperten.

For British farmers, the effects of Brexit have become clearer

23 January 2023
The New York Times
Two years after Britain left the European Union’s economic area, ending the ability of the bloc’s citizens to automatically work in Britain, the effects of Brexit are unfolding across the economy. One of the clearest is a shortfall of around 330,000 workers, mostly in less-skilled jobs, including transportation, retail and hospitality, according to the Centre for European Reform and UK in a Changing Europe, two research institutes.

How the Franco-German axis still needs care and attention 60 years on

22 January 2023
The Sunday Times
Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, says [Franco-German relations] have not been so bad since 1998, when Gerhard Schröder, newly elected as German chancellor, ruffled French feathers by paying his first visit not to Paris to meet Jacques Chirac but to London, to see Tony Blair.

Can robots really plug the workforce shortage left by Brexit?

22 January 2023
The Observer
Migration was quite a big deal, Brexit-wise, but six years on, and two after the end of free movement, what has been the impact? The level of net migration certainly hasn’t fallen, but a new report from Jonathan Portes and John Springford argues that if you focus on workers, the end of freedom of movement has left about 330,000 fewer in Britain (460,000 fewer Europeans, but 130,000 more from elsewhere). That’s a reduction of roughly 1% of the labour force, prompting many to say that a lack of migration drove recent economy-wide labour shortages.

To go or not to go? Von der Leyen’s Covid committee dilemma

20 January 2023
Politico
“I think this [Qatargate] will make it less likely for von der Leyen to co-operate with the Parliament,” said Camino Mortera-Martinez, head of the Brussels office at the think-tank the Centre for European Reform. She said the Commission president is riding high after weathering a pandemic, and now the war in Ukraine.

The post-Brexit labour shortfall

John Springford, Jonathan Portes
19 January 2023
Financial Times
This week Jonathan Portes and John Springford published a joint paper for the UK in a Changing Europe and the Centre for European Reform that assessed the shortfall in the UK labour market caused by Brexit. The number they came up with was 330,000 — about 1 per cent of the total UK workforce — but the shortfalls for workers from the EU landed more heavily on the lower-wage sectors that relied previously on flexible EU labour, like logistics (128,000 or 8 per cent of the sectoral workforce); hotels and restaurants (67,000 or 4 per cent), shops (103,000 or 3 per cent), building sites (46,000 or 2 per cent).

Fraught departure from EU shrinks workforce

John Springford, Jonathan Portes
19 January 2023
China Daily
For many years, freedom of movement gave the British economy a supply of cheap EU labor. But with the Brexit agreement having ended that, the labor market is now feeling the pinch, with around 330,000 fewer workers available.A study by the independent think tank Centre for European Reform highlighted the fluctuating numbers and changing face of the British labor market, which has been transformed and depleted.By June, there had been a rise of 130,000 non-EU workers compared to a situation where post-Brexit immigration controls were unaltered, but this was offset by 460,000 fewer EU workers.

Podcasts

CER podcast: Brexit and the labour market

John Springford, Jonathan Portes
25 January 2023
In this week’s episode of the CER podcast Jonathan Portes and John Springford discuss their recent post-Brexit labour market analysis.

CER podcast: The cost of Brexit

11 January 2023
In this week’s episode of the CER podcast Helmi Pillai interviews John Springford about his most recent cost of Brexit analysis.

CER podcast: The implications of Russia's war against Ukraine

15 December 2022
In this year’s final episode of the CER podcast, our researchers unpack the most significant event of the past year, Russia’s war on Ukraine.

CER podcast: Will the EU unblock Hungary's funds?

30 November 2022
Camino Mortera-Martínez and Sander Tordoir discuss the dispute between Hungary and the EU.

CER podcast: Will the Commission's fiscal rules plan work?

18 November 2022
In this week’s Centre for European Reform podcast, John Springford, our deputy director, and Sander Tordoir, senior economist at the CER, discuss the EU’s fiscal rules.

Events

Discussion on 'Monetary policy after the energy shock' with Fabio Panetta, Member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank

16 February 2023
London
Please email events@cer.eu if you'd like further information and to register to attend.

CER/Kreab breakfast on 'How to strengthen the EU?'

29 November 2022
Hybrid Brussels/Zoom
With Lars Danielsson, Permanent Representative of Sweden to the EU

Conference on 'Macroeconomics in a time of pandemic and war'

18 November 2022 to 19 November 2022
Ditchley Park, UK
Speakers included: Agnès Bénassy-Quéré, Marco Buti, Benoît Cœuré, Swati Dhingra, Clare Lombardelli and Martin Sandbu

CER/Kreab breakfast on 'The future of Europe'

08 November 2022
Hybrid Brussels/Zoom
With Klaus Welle, Secretary-General, European Parliament

Breakfast on 'Labour's plans for UK foreign policy'

02 November 2022
London
With David Lammy, Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Affairs, UK