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

  • Stephen Booth, Acting Director

    Stephen Booth

    Acting Director Stephen is Acting Director at Open Europe and heads its policy and research team. 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
  • David Shiels, Policy Analyst

    David Shiels

    Policy Analyst Dr David Shiels holds a PhD in History from Cambridge, where he also studied for his masters and undergraduate degrees. His academic interests include Euroscepticism in the UK, immigration and domestic British politics. He is writing a book on the career of Enoch Powell and is an expert on the Thatcher era. David is from Northern Ireland and has written widely about Ulster Unionism and UK-Ireland relations. See Articles
  • Dominic Walsh, Policy Analyst

    Dominic Walsh

    Policy Analyst Dominic joined Open Europe in 2017. He holds an MA in British Politics and Contemporary History at King’s College London, where he obtained a Distinction. His areas of expertise include the UK-EU relationship, British political parties, and Euroscepticism in the UK. His research focuses on Brexit and Parliament. He has previously worked as a researcher for the UCL Constitution Unit, and holds a first-class undergraduate degree in History from Durham University. See Articles
  • Anthony Egan, Research Analyst

    Anthony Egan

    Research Analyst Anthony joined Open Europe in 2018. He holds an MA in Legal and Political Theory and a BSc in Economics, both from UCL. His research focuses on the economics of European affairs, demographic change and employment regulation. Anthony has experience in the media industry, having worked for a business and finance media outlet prior to joining Open Europe. See Articles

Need to know facts


Swiss EU migration policy: A model for the UK?

Although Switzerland is cited as a model the UK should follow outside the EU in terms of migration policy, Open Europe has found that it has far higher levels of EU immigration than the UK as a proportion of their populations. If the UK had the same net EU immigration rate as Switzerland, it would mean nearly 400,000 more EU migrants a year.Source: Eurostat
Financial 25%
Insurance & Pension 4%
Other business services 26%
Travel 16%
Transport 12%
Other 17%

UK services exports to the EU (2015) - total £88.9bn

In 2015, the UK’s surplus in services with the EU was £20.9bn, largely driven by the £19.1bn surplus in financial services and £3.6bn in insurance services. In terms of services exports to the EU, financial services accounted for 25% of exports, while insurance accounted for a further 4%.Source: ONS Pink Book