Since the vote of 23 June 2016 that ushered in the entire Brexit process, heated debates and long negotiations took place, all involved parties being well-aware of the tremendous impact of Brexit on livelihoods and businesses. CEEP also contributed to this debate by elaborating its vision of a future EU-UK relationship, protecting the common interest that public services’ providers have been enhancing throughout Europe for decades.

CEEP also warns against the risk of a so-called No-Deal Brexit, an option that can impossibly be excluded yet, but instead looms. This is particularly true after the vote by which the House of Commons rejected the Draft Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration on 16 January. On this one point, the EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier, while speaking at the plenary session of the European Economic and Social Committee, observed that “while there seems to be a majority in the House of Commons opposing ‘no-deal’, [this] will not stop ‘no deal’ from happening, unless a majority for another solution emerges”.

As recognised European social partner and representative of public services’ providers across the EU, including the UK, CEEP is bound to promote the public interest they serve and be vocal in this debate. Brexit does not imply that and should in no circumstances whatsoever lead to a situation where all bonds across the Channel are stretched thin – let alone broken. Such a step, amongst other far-reaching consequences, would indeed, with crystal clear certainty, critically undermine public services’ ability to play their part in the service of citizens. Like other undertakings, companies providing services in the general interest (SGIs) are in desperate need of reliable supply of numerous goods and services – and in the case of EU and UK, such supply occurs across the Channel more than anywhere else.

CEEP therefore supports a Brexit that both respects the British people’s decision on one hand and the longstanding, deeply rooted links between mainland Europe and the United Kingdom on the other. It recommends the above-mentioned Opinion to decision-makers and citizens alike on both sides as a means and a possible path towards this aim.

CEEP’s Policy Officer for Public Services Alexis Le Coutour (alexis.lecoutour@ceep.eu) remains at your disposal for any further question.

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