Open Europe

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Open Europe is a "non-partisan and independent policy think tank, providing an intellectual framework for thinking about Britain’s new relationship with the European Union and its role in the world".
Open Europe is a member of the neoliberal, right-wing American Atlas Network.
It was also a member of the corporately-funded, free-market group the Stockholm NetworkWikipedia-W.svg,ref which promoted deregulation and advocated reducing corporation tax.

Open Europe was founded in 2005 by Rodney Leach, Baron Leach of Fairford, and others who had supported Business for Sterling in the wake of the European Constitutional Treaty being rejected in referendums in France and Holland. Its Deputy Chairman was Derek Scott, who had been Tony Blair's economic adviser. Their aim was to resist the further centralisation of power that would come down the track when the Constitution was repackaged as the Lisbon Treaty. While OE did not champion withdrawal from the EU, it promoted reform of the bloc, and under Lorraine Mullally undertook important pre-emptive spadework against EU propaganda funding. After GE-2010, it worked closely with Tory MPs Andrea Leadsom, Chris Heaton-Harris and George Eustice through their Fresh Start Project.
Open Europe provided key staff and support to assist with David Cameron's renegotiation, much of which was based on their comparatively (in eurosceptic terms) circumspect reform proposals. Former Co-Director Raoul Ruparel advised David Davis at the Department for Exiting the European Union. The 50 Groups Behind Brexit. Jonathan Isaby & Matthew Elliott, BrexitCentral, Mar.18.2017.


Open Europe Ltd refuses to disclose its funding. The privately-held limited company does not file an Income Statement, claiming exemption under Part 15 of the Companies Act 2006 (small companies).CH
Funded by leading Tory donor & Eurosceptic Lord Wolfson (of Next fame) amongst others.(?ref?)



  • Oct.16.2018: Another report on a no-deal Brexit; another excuse to ignore the damage. Open Europe is looking at the destination, not the journey. Its new report "No Deal: the economic consequences and how they could be mitigated" finds that a no-deal Brexit will only cost the UK 2.2% of GDP over 15 years, and that if we unilaterally liberalised our own trading regime that cost could be reduced to 0.5% of GDP. The report models the long-term impact of a move to a position where the UK trades with the EU on WTO terms. Anand Menon, Jonathan Portes, The Guardian.
  • Sept.11.2018: Lobbyists: Brexit's Biggest Beneficiaries. ... The ‘revolving door’ plays an important role in this cosy, social (and overwhelmingly male) world. Raoul Ruparel, adviser to former Brexit Secretary David Davis in DExEU, for example, has stayed in touch with his ex-workmates at the Eurosceptic think tank, Open Europe. Tamasin Cave, Unlock Democracy, Spinwatch.
  • Mar.2015: The Consequences, challenges & opportunities facing Britain outside EU. What might the UK deregulate post-Brexit? Social, Employment, Health & Safety laws, Environment and Climate Change laws, Energy regulation, Consumer protection, Competition and public procurement, Financial Services, Product standards, Life sciences. Stephen Booth, Christopher Howarth, Mats Persson, Raoul Ruparel, Pawel Swidlicki, Open Europe.
  • Mar.31.2010: Open Europe: the Eurosceptic group that controls British coverage of the EU. Open Europe calls itself "an independent think tank:, which it is not. OE does two exceedingly clever things to influence British press coverage of Europe. (1) Its team of young researchers reads the English-language, French, Dutch, Belgian, German and Nordic press every day, and translates and links to stories that show the EU in a bad light, in a daily press summary that has very wide circulation among political reporters. (2) They produce special reports that delve into the detail of EU legislation and the economics of the EU, and produce hack-friendly, pre-digested reports on how awful the EU is, which duly sail into the press. Charlemagne, The Economist.