Challenges with Common Market 2.0 by Richard Barfield

April 01, 2019

What is Common Market 2.0?

Common Market 2.0 is great branding for a new trading relationship with the EU. It resonates with the notion that the European Economic Community was only about trade when the UK joined in 1973. In fact, the founding member states had always seen the overriding objective as achieving lasting peace in Europe. They saw trade as the principal means to achieve that end by building deep relationships between European countries. In 1973 and 1975, UK leaders were clear with the public that the UK would play a key role in developing closer political unity between European countries.

CM2 describes the trade part of the future UK-EU relationship. It has nothing to do with the Withdrawal Agreement and comes after the transition period. The main benefit of CM2 would be to maintain, to a large extent, frictionless trade between the UK and the EU27. CM2 does not provide the smooth, full participation in the Single Market that EU members enjoy, and it will carry some limited economic costs. Note that CM2 would take the UK out of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy and the Common Agricultural Policy.


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Statement on the vote of no-confidence against the Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP

March 31, 2019

The Executive of the Conservative Group for Europe regrets and condemns the vote of ‘No Confidence’ by the Beaconsfield Conservative Association in its MP, Dominic Grieve. We believe our Chairman, Mr Grieve, to be a distinguished and honourable MP who has served his country, constituency and Party with distinction. He is a committed and patriotic Conservative in the mainstream of the traditions of the Party. We strongly support his work to ensure that arrangements for Brexit command the full-hearted support of Parliament and fully understand his determination that the public should be afforded the opportunity to pass judgement on those arrangements. 


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Time to stop the charade

March 26, 2019

The PM should recognise that no available option has a democratic mandate, and seek one

Whatever else could be said of the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement, it has achieved one seemingly impossible task: that of uniting CGE’s chairman, Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP, with his internal polar opposites from the ERG. There is not a hair’s breadth between them in their assessment that the Withdrawal Agreement cherry-picks from each of their ideals and moulds the parts into a uniquely worst-of-all-worlds Dog’s Brexit in which the UK remains inside the EU without a vote.


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CGE at the March for a People's Vote

March 24, 2019

Following on from the overwhelming support for an Informed Vote by CGE members, we have been organising and taking part in a variety of initiatives. These have ranged from an International Policy Seminar organised by our youth wing, to the March for a People's Vote where we sent a large delegation.


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Weighing the alternatives – would it be right to have a second vote?

March 24, 2019

With the date for Brexit delayed – for how long we do not know – Parliament now has the chance to take control. The possibility of a second referendum will come alive again, and again, for how long we cannot tell. Is it as good or as bad an idea as the partisans on either side say?


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YCGE International Policy Seminar

March 17, 2019

The Young Conservative Group for Europe was honored to host young leaders from all major Northern European (Nordic, Baltic and Irish) centre-right parties* for an International Policy Seminar in the United Kingdom. 


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CGE Members ballot strongly favours a public vote to resolve political impasse on EU

March 06, 2019

Since the 2016 Referendum the Conservative Group for Europe has campaigned to maintain close and co-operative relations with the European Union and against a ‘No Deal’ but has not adopted a single view on the way forward. Alarmed by the current impasse and continued national divisions the organisation has balloted its members in the country to seek a mandate on its campaigning stance.


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Young CGE host Dominic Grieve MP at Royal Holloway

February 17, 2019

On Thursday 31st of January the Right Honorable Dominic Grieve QC MP was hosted at Royal Holloway, University of London in an event by YCGE and the Conservative Association of Royal Holloway.

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The reason why there must be a second referendum

January 30, 2019

On 15th January 2019, the House of Commons rejected the deal negotiated by the government for exiting the European Union, which should come into effect on 29th March. The United Kingdom is now in a situation of deep uncertainty with not knowing how the future will look like. Will there be a soft, or hard Brexit? Can there be found an agreement on how Britain’s departure from the EU should happen?

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The Cost of Brexit

January 20, 2019

It is fair to say that Brexiters love Professor Patrick Minford. The heterodox economist is routinely praised by Jacob Rees Mogg for his ‘remarkable track record’.1 Nigel Farage in 2015 called him a ‘top economist’ whilst citing analysis from Breitbart by another prominent Brexiteer, Raheem Kassam.2 This should not be surprising; Minford and his group Economists for Brexit, are the only ‘experts’ to predict any kind of positive economic benefit from Britain’s departure from the EU.

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