Phillip Souta, Director of Business for New Europe
Senior Brits gathered in the residence of Sir Kim Darroch, the UK’s permanen
trepresentative to the EU, on what will probably go down as the hottest day of this year’s summer in Brussels to launch the British Brussels Network.
People moved inside in anticipation of a classic Brussels downpour (news was circulating that it was hailing in Flanders, which to seasoned Brussels hands is ten minutes’ notice to get inside).
As the heavens opened, Sir Kim began by saying that he believed the project was an idea whose time had come.
Cathy Ashton, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy echoed Sir Kim’s comments. She said that it was essential that the UK’s voice be heard.
The UK, she said, was an essential part of the EU, and had a huge amount to contribute to discussions across all the policy areas of the Union.
As director of Business for New Europe, I spoke about the big idea animating the BBN - to discuss EU policy, in Brussels, from a British perspective. With the help of the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium, the ICAEW in Brussels and Nucleus, the launch was perhaps the easiest part. The follow up is where the real hard work will have to be done.
The BBN will be announcing the next event in the next weeks.
We are working on our autumn programme of events that will bring together Brits in Brussels and members of the coalition in order to look at EU affairs from the UK’s open-market perspective.