Brexit: cup of tea and lobbying in Brussels

The British occupy many key positions in the European institutions, where their influence is, in fact, important. Since joining the European Union in 1973, the British have continued to cultivate their influence at the heart of the European institutions and in lobbying firms. The director of the Robert Schuman Foundation in Brussels, Charles de Marcilly, goes so far as to say that they have exported lobbying techniques to Brussels, directing “the first lobbying firms in the early 1990s on market liberalisation”.

In the Commission, the British are everywhere, less by numbers than by the positions they occupy. Appointed by Jean-Claude Juncker in 2014 to the portfolio
of the Financial Markets, Lord Jonathan Hill is a symbol in his own right. “You never know whether he’s wearing the European cap or the British underpants,” reports Charles de Marcilly. In Parliament, same strategy. They have thus chaired the Internal Market Committee for more than ten years, a rarity. And MEPs from across the Channel are far more numerous in proportion to live in the Brussels capital and to have invested there than their French counterparts who are keen on the Thalys.

The famous Thatcherian discount

The British know how to defend their interests, and not only in budgetary matters with their famous Thatcherian rebate. A recent example: if they participate actively in the readmission of Syrians in the framework of the EU-Turkey agreement concluded in March, they will not participate in the visa liberalisation agreement for Turkey, which Ankara sees as a counterpart to the agreement. Their “opt-out” on the European asylum policy, which they share with Ireland and Denmark, leaves the field open to them.

Read the entire article “Brexit: cup of tea and lobbying in Brussels” writren by Loreline Merelle : Le Point