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  • Dr Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos

Policy report: The UK must retain a strong international outlook to tackle Brexit challenges

In a policy report released this morning, ‘Britain in Europe’ think tank identifies acute challenges arising from Brexit in a significant number of areas – from business to human rights to international trade to higher education, domestic security and environmental protection.

Read the report in full here.

The 100-page report, which brings together 14 experts, urges the UK Government to retain a strong international outlook to effectively tackle these challenges. The Government must ensure that businesses remain able to source expertise and specialist skills from the EU. The imposition of tariffs must be avoided. Universities need to remain open to the best ideas and knowledge wherever they come from. The Government must safeguard the current attractiveness of the UK as a primary destination for corporate and financial restructuring. These are a few illustrations only of policy recommendations in the report that highlight that the UK must hold fast to its cosmopolitan tradition and retain strong links with Europe.

The report also strongly criticises isolationist trends and an emerging culture of exclusion – the product of divisive immigration political rhetoric – and calls upon the Government to offer reassurance to all non-UK EU citizens in the country that they will continue to enjoy equal protection with UK citizens after the formal exit from the EU.

On the other hand, the BiE report finds that Brexit creates opportunities for a fresh start on a number of areas. It can trigger a search for a new corporate culture more focussed on stakeholders and society. It can act as a catalyst for much needed constitutional change, including the adoption of a written constitution. It also makes realignment with the European Convention on Human Rights – and reinstating faith in the Human Rights Act – an absolute necessity, if the UK is to avoid a looming human rights deficit with the imminent departure from the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

The report, titled Brexit: Opportunities, Challenges and The Road Ahead, brings together the latest thinking from experts such as the acclaimed human rights lawyer Sir Geoffrey Nice QC – who led the prosecution against Slobodan Milošević at the ICTY – Brunel Deputy VC, Prof Andrew George, and Nat West managing director Tim Boag.

Dr Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos, the founder of the BiE think tank, said that

“this policy report is looking for answers about the way forward, so that we, as a think tank, can address the fundamental dilemmas that the EU referendum has created for us, in relation to immigration, the free market, our constitutional system, businesses and the free movement of labour, our financial institutions, human rights, the internationalisation of higher education and research, judicial cooperation in Europe, security and national defence, culture and environmental protection; the list is endless.”

He added that

“Brexit is so much more than just seeking solutions to (the numerous) practical problems that disentangling ourselves from the EU will naturally create. It is also, much more importantly, about looking back again into the elements that make our society’s fabric, and redefining the UK’s role in Europe and the world.”

The official launch is taking place at the British Academy today, where leading figures from business, politics, law and finance will discuss key risks and opportunities post Brexit.

The former Attorney General, the Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC, MP for Beaconsfield, will offer a reflection on the report and discuss ‘the road ahead with Brexit’.

Jean Monnet Professor of European Law, Panos Koutrakos, will discuss ‘international trade agreements’ post Brexit.

Britain in Europe experts will analyse their findings in the report.

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