''In the dialogue with governments and parliaments there is, starting now, a window of opportunity for the business community and other interest groups in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe, so both parties should be aware of the areas that should be given priority in the Brexit negotiations,'' commented Sir Philip Lowe, Senior Adviser at the international consulting firm FTI Consulting and former Director General of the European Commission for Competition and Energy, today at ESADE.
The Brexit effect
Given the context of political and economic uncertainty in Europe, priority could be placed on sectors in which EU membership benefits both parties, but also on other areas where the advantages of the existing cooperation could be preserved.
As part of the session ''Brexit: What’s Next?'' held today on ESADE’s Madrid campus, Lowe highlighted the areas that he considers to be especially sensitive for Spain in light of the Brexit challenge. These areas include the potential impact on Spanish fishing fleets and supply chains in the manufacturing industry (in terms of both cost and benefits for production centres in Spain); the effect of the freefall of the pound on British tourism in Spain; the potential impact on the strategies and structures of certain Spain-based financial institutions; and the free movement of workers and rights of residence in relation to the United Kingdom. According to Lowe, this last aspect ''affects Spain more than other EU member states, and reciprocity in future agreements will be crucial.''
During his remarks, Lowe remarked that the ownership of UK-based energy and transport companies could be influenced more by the policies of the British government than by those of the single market. He underscored the importance of making sure that London is aware of Spain’s concerns in these areas.
The session ''Brexit: What’s Next?'', organised by the ESADE Alumni Energy and Environment Club, also featured the participation of Ángel Saz, Director of ESADEgeo, and Blanca Perea, Leader of Energy Practice at FTI Consulting Spain.
Brexit won in the British referendum. What are options are there for the UK’s departure from the EU? What challenges and opportunities do the different scenarios offer the EU, UK and Spain? What impact might it have on key sectors in the economy and specifically the energy sector? What position will be adopted about safeguarding supply, developing gas and electricity infrastructures, fulfilling plans to develop renewables, structuring the market, competition policies and state subsidies?
The ESADE Alumni Energy & Environment Club invites you to discuss all these issues over breakfast with Philip Lowe, former Director General of Competition and Energy in the European Commission, and Ángel Saz, Director of ESADEgeo.
Sir Philip Lowe
Sir Philip Lowe is a Senior Advisor in the Strategic Communications team at FTI Consulting. He is based out of Brussels and London. He is a former Director General of the European Commission for Development Cooperation, Competition and Energy. He was one of the first Directors of the EU’s Merger Task Force and headed the Competition department as a whole between 2002 and 2010. He played a key role in shaping the structure and policies of DG COMP. Prior to joining FTI Consulting, he held a number of senior posts in the European Commission, including Head of Cabinet to Neil Kinnock, the former Vice-President of the European Commission for Administrative Reform and to Bruce Millan, then European Commissioner for Regional Policy. From 2010 to 2013, Sir Philip was the Director General of the European Commission’s Energy department (DG ENER), where he helped to spearhead the ongoing development of integrated and competitive energy markets in Europe. He served as a non-executive Board Member of the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority from 2013 until 2016. He chairs the Institute of Florence Annual Competition Law Workshop.
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Presentation used by Sir Philip Lowe