This week, we were delighted to welcome Stephen Booth, Acting Director and Director of Policy and Research at the think tank Open Europe, for the latest in our series of #LutherNetwork events.

To kick off, Stephen outlined the situation facing the UK Government as it prepares to trigger Article 50 next year. Drawing on conversations with contacts in Westminster, Brussels, Paris and Berlin, Stephen gave his analysis of the shape of the relationship that the UK and EU could negotiate and how co-operation on security, policing, foreign policy and foreign aid will be an important part of the ‘offer’ that the UK puts forward to secure the best possible future economic relationship with Europe.

Stephen shared his thoughts on the strength of political feeling in European capitals towards Britain, how the UK Government could better operate with European politician to lessen the emotion around ‘Brexit’ and where potential allies for the UK’s position in the two year negotiations might be found out aside of the core Eurozone membership.

Stephen spoke at length about the possibility of a transitional arrangement following the two year Article 50 period to allow a phased withdrawal. For instance the potential for a temporary Norwegian or Swiss-style arrangement until the UK’s relationship with the EU is finalised. The true extent of political obstacles to this, both at home in Westminster and in Europe was discussed.

Our thanks go to Stephen and our guests for joining us.

If you would like to find out more about Luther Network events, including information on how to attend, please email