On Wednesday 6th of December, the European Movement’s International Committee (IC) organised an online, in-conversation event to discuss UK-EU relations in a world of disorder. The discussion was chaired by Richard Morris, board member of the European Movement International, and included Lord Ricketts, our esteemed speaker who enriched the conversation with his knowledge and expertise.
During more than an hour of fascinating conversation, Lord Ricketts discussed the UK’s place in the world post-Brexit, with special reference to the need for UK collaboration with the EU on global affairs. Indeed, through the war waged by Putin in Ukraine but also the recent resumption of the conflict between Gaza and Israel, Lord Ricketts gave a thorough report on the current relationship between UK and the EU. He recognised the recent progress taking place between the UK and the EU, however, he sees it as a relationship and a collaboration that remains to be strengthened.
Regarding the war in Ukraine, Lord Ricketts first praised the primary role played by the European Union: “ The EU has been more effective in response to this crisis than I would ever have expected. The EU began to see itself as a political, security and defence power in line with its economic structure. The sanctions imposed by the EU have been strong.”
He also welcomed the way in which European countries managed to end their energy dependence on Russia while for some, 50% of their energy and oil came 50% from Russia. “This is an extraordinary achievement. “, in addition to the delivery of arms which put the Russian army in great difficulty and weakened its economy.
Thus, with the war at our borders and the prospect of Trump’s election next year, Lord Ricketts notes a rapprochement between the United Kingdom and the European Union. The European institutions but also the governments have realised the importance of rebuilding our relationship. Indeed, he noted recent serious progress and improvement of the link between these two former partners after years of tension and distance since Brexit.
Nevertheless, Lord Ricketts informed the audience that he regrets the consequences of Brexit on young people and their ability to move around Europe, to work and study there. According to him, it is necessary to facilitate school trips, and make it easier for young people to obtain visas so that they can work for a short time in the UK mutually with less bureaucracy. He also assured us that parliamentarians and the government are thinking about joining the Erasmus program. In this way, he stated that the next step will be to review the Brexit deal in 2025.
Watch the video in full here:
Many thanks to Lord Ricketts for sharing his wisdom on the future of UK-EU relations in a world of disorder. It was a fascinating conversation. Thank you very much for attending and participating and we hope to see you at our next event, to be announced shortly.