European Research Group

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Group.png European Research Group  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
FormationJuly 1993
FounderMichael Spicer
LeaderEuropean Research Group/Chair
SubpageEuropean Research Group/Chair
Focus is the single issue of the UK's withdrawal from the European Union.

The European Research Group is a research support group for the United Kingdom's Members of Parliament who choose to join. It is an Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority-funded pooled service within the formal IPSA Scheme of MPs' Business Costs and Expenses. Serving an annual average of 21 MPs[1] including cabinet members, the group's focus is the single issue of the UK's withdrawal from the European Union. In January 2018 Jacob Rees-Mogg was elected as the group's chairman, taking over from Suella Braverman.[2]



The ERG has drawn criticism for its lack of transparency regarding its use of public funds to carry out research. After a report by openDemocracy found that more than a quarter of a million pounds had been claimed through MPs' official expenses since 2010, a call was made by Labour Party MPs for an inquiry to be carried out by the IPSA into the group's practices.[3][4] OpenDemocracy's September 2017 report commenced:

Taxpayers’ money is being used to fund an influential group of hard-line pro-Brexit Conservative MPs who are increasingly operating as a “party-within-a-party”.

In response to the request, the IPSA found no breach of rules regarding expenses.[5] In addition to public funding for the service the group also receives donations. Robert Broadhurst, a Senior Researcher for the European Research Group records his employment with ERG, sponsored by David Nuttall MP, as having been 'funded by Members' subscriptions paid for from their parliamentary allowances; a donation from GR Software & Research Limited; and a donation from Norman Lamont'. GR Software & Research Limited has now been dissolved; its parent company, Pans (UK) Holdings Limited, is registered in the British Virgin Islands. Companies House lists Andrea Leadsom's husband, Benjamin Leadsom, as a former director of GR Software & Research Limited, along with her brother-in-law, Peter de Putron.


Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:The Price of Peaceblog post6 November 2018Craig MurrayIt is not possible to understand the current state of play in Brexit negotiations, without understanding that those effectively driving the Tory Party position do not view a hard border with Ireland as undesirable. They view it as a vital achievement en route to rolling back power sharing and all the affirmative measures which brought peace to Northern Ireland, in an affirmation of the glory and power of unionism.
Document:The Real Reason Theresa May’s Brexit Has FailedArticle2 March 2019T. J. ColesSo, the choice faced by ordinary British people is between a neoliberal EU supported by millionaires like Kenneth Clarke or an ultra-neoliberal Brexit supported by multimillionaires like Jacob Rees-Mogg. Meanwhile, ordinary working-class people pay the price for these elite games, as usual.
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