The  recent messages from Downing Street have been optimistic. Careful diplomacy is paving the way for David Cameron to renegotiate Britain’s European Union membership at a summit in Brussels on February 18th-19th. That should enable the prime minister to call (and win) his EU referendum in late June. Yet the outcome of mock “war games” staged on January 25th by Open Europe, a London-based Eurosceptic think-tank, was less reassuring.

Our Experts

  • Henry Newman, Director

    Henry Newman

    Director Henry joins Open Europe having worked as a special adviser in the Ministry of Justice and the Cabinet Office. He has taught politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies and elsewhere, and studied at the University of Oxford, Harvard University, and the London School of Economics. See Articles
  • Stephen Booth, Director of Policy and Research

    Stephen Booth

    Director of Policy and Research Stephen is Director of Policy and Research at Open Europe. While at Open Europe he has written on EU regulation, justice and home affairs and EU aid policy. Stephen holds an undergraduate degree in political science and was awarded the Jean Monnet Prize for his master's degree in European studies from the University of Sussex. Stephen's professional interests include democracy and transparency in the EU, the interaction between domestic and EU law and European cooperation in crime and policing. He is half Dutch.
 See Articles
  • Pieter Cleppe, Head of Brussels Office

    Pieter Cleppe

    Head of Brussels Office Pieter is the Head of the Brussels office of Open Europe (Open Europe Brussels VZW). He is a frequent contributor to the broadcast and print media across Europe, frequently discussing EU reform, the refugee crisis and the eurocrisis. A trained lawyer, Pieter previously practiced law in Belgium, and has worked as a cabinet advisor and speechwriter to the Belgian State Secretary for Administrative Reform. Pieter also previously worked as an analyst at the Belgium’s Itinera Institute, which he helped to found. He received his legal training at the Catholic University of Leuven, and also studied law and economics at the universities of Hamburg, Bologna and Vienna. Pieter is fluent in Dutch, English and French. He also speaks German and intermediate Italian. See Articles
  • Vincenzo Scarpetta, Senior Policy Analyst

    Vincenzo Scarpetta

    Senior Policy Analyst Vincenzo specialises in the politics and economics of Southern Europe and is a regular commentator in print and broadcast media across Europe. Vincenzo has co-authored policy-changing Open Europe Intelligence on EU free movement, employment law, financial regulation and the European Neighbourhood Policy. He is also an expert on the EU institutions, the Eurozone crisis, and the cost of EU regulation.

    Prior to joining Open Europe in 2009, Vincenzo gained work experience at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. An Italian native, he is fluent in French and Spanish, and speaks good German. Vincenzo holds a Master's degree (Hons) in International Relations and World Politics from the University of Naples 'L'Orientale' and a Master's in International Affairs from the University of Bologna 'Alma Mater Studiorum'. He has also worked as a musician, and holds a diploma in classical piano from the Conservatory of Music of Avellino - his home town in Italy.
    See Articles
  • Alex Greer, Research and Communications Officer

    Alex Greer

    Research and Communications Officer Alex joined Open Europe after working in public affairs and political reporting in Westminster and at the European Parliament under a Robert Schuman scholarship. He holds a Graduate Diploma in Politics from the LSE with a focus on the European Union, Comparative Politics, and International Political Economy. He also holds a Master’s in European Literature from the University of Cambridge, and is fluent in French and Spanish. See Articles
  • Aarti Shankar, Policy Analyst

    Aarti Shankar

    Policy Analyst Aarti joined Open Europe after working as a researcher in public affairs. She holds a masters in European Public Policy from UCL, with a focus on crisis policy learning within the European Union. She also holds an undergraduate degree in French and English Literature from Durham University, and was awarded the university's 2015 combined honours research prize. She speaks fluent French. See Articles
  • Marta Vokshi, Communications and Fundraising Officer

    Marta Vokshi

    Communications and Fundraising Officer See Articles
  • Georgia Bachti, Intern

    Georgia Bachti

    Intern See Articles
  • Dominic Hinde, Intern

    Dominic Hinde

    Intern See Articles

Need to know facts

Trade in Services (£bn) Trade in Goods (£bn)
2002 £-2.1bn £-22.4bn
2003 £-6.1bn £-26.7bn
2004 £0bn £-31.7bn
2005 £2.3bn £-37.7bn
2006 £4.1bn £-31.6bn
2007 £8.1bn £-42.4bn
2008 £11.8bn £-40bn
2009 £11.2bn £-37.9bn
2010 £10.6bn £-44.1bn
2011 £14.5bn £-43.2bn
2012 £11.8bn £-56.2bn

Diverging UK trade balance with EU-27 in services and goods (2002-12) (£bn)

While the UK is net importer of goods from the EU (with a deficit of £56.2bn in 2012), it is a net exporter of services (with a surplus of £11.8bn). Open Europe’s simulated Brexit negotiations showed that if the UK left the EU, it could be difficult for the UK to strike a deal on services with other member states.Source: ONS Pink Book 2013.

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