Blogs

Getting real about the UK’s post-Brexit trade policy options

12 Jul 2016
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Regions: 
EU/Eurozone,
UK

Former UK Europe minister, David Davis was the latest UK politician to set out in print yesterday a post-Brexit manifesto for UK trade policy. In both substance and form, his vision is a synthesis of a range of proposals raised by the leave camp during the referendum campaign. It is hard to fault Davis for ambition. For any business with an interest in UK trade policy it is worth a good look, not least because there are some important holes in his assumptions about what happens next for UK trade policy. 

The Renzi dilemma

Author: 
11 Jul 2016
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Region: 
EU/Eurozone

What connects a bank in Sienna to a voter in Sunderland? Simple answer: they both have a problem with the EU, or think they do. Matteo Renzi wants a state aid waiver for support for the Italian banking sector, but new EU bail-in rules suggest he will have to force debt holders – many of whom are poorly-informed retail customers – to bear some of the costs of recapitalisation or resolution.

Russia: Big Brother for ‘Big Four’

8 Jul 2016
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Region: 
Russia & CIS

Just before the Russian State Duma was dissolved for the September elections, it voted for the controversial amendments to the counter-terrorism legislation dubbed the ‘Big Brother Law’. The new amendments signed by President Vladimir Putin yesterday could completely change the country’s mobile industry landscape and seriously affect Russia’s preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

There’s real estate, and then there’s real estate

Author: 
8 Jul 2016
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Region: 
UK

My colleague Ying Staton writes today in Singapore’s The Straits Times that values in the UK’s housing market will remain robust, after a few short-term jitters. Yet a cursory glance at the UK real estate market suggests that all is far from well, as investors rush to withdraw funds and fund managers slam the gates on them. So what explains her optimism?

The UK’s ‘Canada Option’ just got even more difficult

Author: 
5 Jul 2016
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Region: 
UK

There are reports today that the European Commission is on the verge of the declaring the EU-Canada CETA a mixed agreement, paving the way for it to be ratified via national parliaments. This would be a big reversal for the Commission, which has fought a long battle over the Lisbon Treaty and what it does or does not do to restrict member state ratification rights in trade deals.  

Banking on Norway-lite

Author: 
30 Jun 2016
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Region: 
UK

My colleague Gregor Irwin has just published a great blog on the ‘room in the middle’ between the views of the supporters of Brexit in the UK and the emerging views in the rest of Europe on what might constitute an acceptable trade-off between rights in the single market and the UK’s expressed intent to take back policy control from Brussels. Gregor’s view is that one possible compromise is ‘partial participation in the single market’ and UK involvement in some horizontal EU programmes all priced against a set of UK policy concessions that allow the EU27 to feel that the UK is not cherry-picking just the bits of being ‘in’ Europe it likes.

Brexit and energy: the only certainty is uncertainty

Author: 
30 Jun 2016
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Region: 
UK

In the midst of some of the most tumultuous events ever seen in UK politics, Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom’s appearance yesterday before the Energy and Climate Change Committee received little attention. But Leadsom, now a Tory Party leadership contender, trailed today’s decision by the government to back the Committee on Climate Change recommendation for the Fifth Carbon Budget of a 57% cut in emissions from 1990 levels by 2032 and thus confirmed a major pillar of UK energy policy. With DECC estimating that the UK needs around £100 billion of investment in energy infrastructure by 2020, this will be a welcome point of clarity and continuity at a time when much else in UK politics and public policy looks deeply uncertain.