Heading for disaster

How Britain’s Brexit collision course with the European Union will exacerbate the Covid crisis

We need to talk about Brexit again. The negotiations on Britain’s future relationship with the EU are on a collision course for failure. To avoid this will require mutual give and take. Principally, the British government needs to climb down from its self-imagined pedestal of Brexit triumph.

In this new and urgent analysis for Policy Network, Labour peer Roger Liddle argues that the UK faces huge economic risks in piling on top of the grave Covid-19 emergency with the negative impacts of ‘no deal’, or a very ‘barebones’ trade deal, which is probably where we are heading. Equally, the success is imperilled of Britain’s future relationship with our European friends and allies beyond Brexit.

As former European adviser to the then British prime minister Tony Blair, and later advisor to the president of the European commission Jose Manuel Barroso, Liddle’s vast expertise alerts to the desperate need for a dramatic rethink. It has to start in London, in the office of Boris Johnson, the prime minister, now.

This paper is published in partnership with NEXTEUK



About Roger Liddle

Roger Liddle is a Labour member of the House of Lords. From 1997 to 2004 he served as special adviser on European affairs to prime minister, Tony Blair. From 2004 to 2007 he worked in Brussels, first as a member of the cabinet of trade commissioner, Peter Mandelson and then as an adviser on the future of social Europe to the president of the European commission, Jose Manuel Barroso. From 2008-10 he worked with Lord Mandelson as first secretary of state for business in paving the way for a return to a more activist industrial policy. Roger has written widely on European questions, and is currently co-chair of Policy Network, represents Wigton for Labour on the county council of his native Cumbria, and is pro-chancellor and chair of council at Lancaster University.