Brussels for Breakfast

Held on Tuesday, July 12, 2016


  • Graham Bishop (independent consultant,

  • David Reed (Kreab Gavin Anderson)

  • John Rega (chief correspondent, MLex)



Well, as Mr. Gilbert said 130 years ago, ‘Here’s a how-de-do’. I certainly didn’t expect a vote for Brexit – though I am, equally, not heartbroken. What is clear is that, in the medium and longer term, everything changes. In the shorter term, however, we remain fully paid-up members of the EU, subject to all the same Regulations, Directives, rules and obligations as before. And, since the Brussels machinery has been running on half-speed for some time so as not to scare UK voters, there is a lot of pent-up legislation that we are going to have to cope with whether we like it or not.

So, what’s in the pipeline? What can we duck and weave around? And what will we have to face, regardless of our vote to Leave?

As usual, our guide to the mysteries of EU policy-making is that perennial euro-optimist, Graham Bishop – a snapper-up of euro-trifles without peer, who I am sure will have lots to say about what he must see as a catastrophic error. Helping him along will be another old friend, David Reed, a partner and head of financial services with Kreab in Brussels. Prior to joining Kreab, he worked with the Commission in the Internal Market Directorate; before that, he was with the FSA here in London. I sort of think he will be a bit chastened too, but life goes on… Finally, adding further firepower is John Rega, chief correspondent for financial services at MLex, who has been reporting from Brussels since 2003 (including 12 years at Bloomberg).

These may be heady times for eurosceptics, but let’s get back to business. Let’s try to find a way for the UK to navigate the euro-maze with as little pain to the City (and to our friends across the water) as possible.